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Frontier Diary

Willa Soncarty

Today, Glenwood Springs is still touched by the influence of Edward T. Taylor. The Glenwood Canyon road, the federal building on Grand Avenue and the conservation of public lands were just some of the improvements made possible through his efforts.All of this and more was accomplished by a man whose early years did not hold much promise.Edward T. Taylor’s parents were ranchers, settling in Illinois and Kansas. From fires, blizzards and grasshopper plagues that destroyed their home, crops and rangeland, Taylor’s family seemed to have the worst of all fortunes forced upon it. Taylor’s alcoholic father placed additional abuses upon the family.Realizing that ranch life held no promise for him, Taylor walked away from his family, seeking the help of his uncle, Joe Taylor. Through his uncle’s assistance Edward T. Taylor enrolled in high school, graduating with honors at 23.Edward T. Taylor earned his law degree from the University of Michigan, and in 1887 was named district attorney for the 9th Judicial District. He was elected to the Colorado Senate in 1896, and then to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1908.Taylor’s vision and power established water rights on Colorado’s Western Slope; appropriated funds, which built the Glenwood Canyon road; protected the waters of the Colorado River; and conserved federal lands through the Taylor Grazing Act.Taylor’s legislative energies of 54 years ended with his death in 1941. His funeral was attended by his colleagues and by those he had helped in his line of service. The body of “The Grand Old Man of the West” was interred in a mausoleum in Glenwood Springs’ Rosebud Cemetery.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


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