Creek History – Commodore Richard Taylor

Gravestone of Commodore Richard Taylor located at his land grant property Woodlawn in the Harrods Creek Watershed. (courtesy the Oldham County History Center

Other large tracts archived at the history center in the Harrods Creek watershed were given to Phillip Barbour, Gabriel Madison, Nicholas Buckner, and Francis Slaughter. One of the most famous Revolutionary War soldiers from the area, Commodore Richard Taylor, acquired 5,333 1/3 acres in the Harrods Creek watershed for his service. The family settled on 5,333 1/3 acres of land in the Goshen area that had been granted to him in 1783 for Revolutionary services. Taylor built a two-story log house with huge stone chimneys a mile from the Ohio River. The home came to be known as Woodlawn.

One of the most famous Revolutionary War soldiers from the area, Commodore Richard Taylor, acquired 5,333 1/3 acres in the Harrods Creek watershed for his service.

Born in Orange County, VA., The Commodore married twice and had six sons and five daughters. Taylor was commissioned as a Captain in the Navy during the Revolutionary War in 1776. He was wounded twice, in the knee and thigh and retired from active duty in 1781. His vessel, “The Tartar” was engaged in battle with an English schooner when he received his first wound, which was in the thigh. In November of 1781 he was Commodore of “The Patriot” in another battle with an English cruiser, just

Taylor was friends with General Marquis de LaFayette, and when LaFayette made his visit in America, as a guest of the nation in 1824, he visited the Commodore and his family in Westport. Taylor’s grand-daughter, who lived at Woodlawn until she was 14 years old at the time of Taylor’s death, recalled LaFayette sitting her on his lap and giving her a kiss, which caused her to be the envy of all her playmates. A few years before LaFayette’s visit to Woodland, the little girl’s mother, Matilda Taylor, had a beautiful family wedding at Woodlawn in May, 1799 which was known as the event of the year. Matilda married her childhood sweetheart, Isaac Robertson. They met in Virginia before the Taylor family moved to Oldham County.

In 1817 Congress approved and passed a measure for the relief of Commodore Taylor with an annual pension as long as he lived. His great-grandson and namesake, Col. Richard Taylor Jacob, was born at Woodlawn on March 14, 1825. Col. Jacob had a beautiful monument of red granite erected over the graves of the Commodore and his wife. The base of the granite slab contains the stones from the chimneys of Woodlawn. In 1959 the Peter Foree Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution officially marked the grave which is located on private property on an Oldham County farm.

Historic records provided by:
Nancy Stearns Theiss, PhD
Oldham County Historical Society

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