Photo of Bill Pickett

Home of Bill Pickett

Statue of Bill Pickett, famous cowboy and father of bulldogging, erected in downtown Taylor, Texas in 2017. Photo by Mark Nibbelink
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Promotion: Nearby Map of Williamson County

Taylor is at the intersections of the Missouri Pacific and the Missouri, Kansas and Texas lines and State Highway 95 and U.S. Highway 79, in southeastern Williamson County. In 1876 the Texas Land Company auctioned lots in anticipation of the arrival of the International-Great Northern Railroad. Taylorsville (which officially became Taylor in 1892) was named after Edward Moses Taylor, a railroad official. An influx of settlers from Czechoslovakia and other Slavic states, as well as from Germany and Austria, helped establish the town. It soon became a busy shipping point for cattle, grain, and cotton. By 1878 the town had 1,000 residents and thirty-two businesses, twenty-nine of which were destroyed by fire in 1879. Recovery was rapid, however, and more substantial buildings were constructed. In 1882 the Taylor, Bastrop and Houston Railway reached the community, and machine shops and a roundhouse serviced both rail lines. In 1882 the town was incorporated with a mayor-council form of city government, and in 1883 a public school system replaced a number of private schools. By 1890 Taylor had two banks and the first savings and loan institution in Texas. An electric company, a cotton compress, and several newspapers were among the new enterprises. A water line from the San Gabriel River, a 100-man volunteer fire department, imported and local entertainment, and a yearly fair made noteworthy news items by 1900.

Taylor continued to grow during the early years of the twentieth century. An artesian well was drilled, a city hall was built, and a hospital was opened. Two daily newspapers, as well as weekly German and Czech papers, were published. By 1940 the town had 7,875 residents and 225 businesses. Though other industries were added in the early 1900s, cotton was the leading local product, and Taylor proclaimed itself "the largest inland cotton market in the world." In 1951 the local press noted that 150 to 300 crews were at work but that 3,000 more pickers were needed; mechanical harvesting soon reduced the need for migratory workers, however. By 1954 the Agricultural and Industrial Foundation sought a more diversified local economy, a program that the Development Corporation for Industrial Financing continued in the 1980s. By 1983 twenty-two manufacturers and processors were located in Taylor, and cotton production had been joined by maize, wheat, and cattle. In the 1980s transportation facilities in Taylor included the two railroads, a bus line, an airport, five freight lines, and the two main highways. Residents were served by a daily paper, a radio station, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, Lone Star Gas, and Texas Power and Light. Sources of water included four artesian wells and the Lake Granger Water Supply Corporation.

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Ruth Mantor | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Taylor is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Taylor is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [-sville]


Latitude: 30.57350340
Longitude: -97.42153900

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »