Submitted by Micah Cox
My grandfather Henry Taylor told me the story of a murder, as his father Robert Lee Taylor, the shooter, told it to him. Robert Lee Taylor had a moonshine still in VA with a partner. His partner got a woman pregnant and was forced to marry her. The partner cheated on her and abused her. My great grandfather, at the still said “Why do you treat that woman that way?” His partner drew a knife and my great grandfather shot him in the head. He put the man’s head in the still fire in an attempt to cover it up, and ran to Kentucky. He met Louisa Creech there and had a few children. He was recognized in a general store one day, and spent 10 years in prison. Governor Henry Stuart pardoned him. He went back to Louisa Creech, who he married, and had my Grandfather Henry Stewart Taylor. He named him for the governor that pardoned him, but spelled Stuart wrong.
My middle name is Stewart after my grandfather. It gets even more interesting. It turns out that Governor Henry Stuart’s wife was relation to Robert Lee Taylor. We believe the pardon was because of that relationship. He had to leave the state under the terms of the pardon. His father had wooded land that sold for $300,000. I lost out on inheritance and aristocracy apparently. At least I got this middle name. We found the pardon. One census shows Robert Lee Taylor’s address as prison. We don’t know what name he used when on the run but we suspect he may have used the last name “Couch”. It’s just a guess based on something we saw (can’t remember). I don’t know who the victim was or the woman. I would love to know.
They had a number of children, including Henry Taylor who fought in WWII.
Robert Lee Taylor was the son of John Taylor and Orpha Ann Nash.
UPDATE: I found this clipping in the Tazewell Republican, 1 April 1909.