The Arrest of Dr Taylor.
Dr. Marshall Benton Taylor would be arrested without incident on Tuesday July 19th 1892 as he boarded a passenger train heading to Florida. This would be a mere 3 days after the “Botched” arrest attempt made by Deputy Sheriff R.D. McFall in the clefts of the Cumberland’s.
We are often told that after the shootout between the posse and “Doc Taylor’s Gang” that Doc and the Fleming’s separated, the Fleming’s would go into hiding and it would be nearly 2 years before they are apprehended. However we are told that Doc had made his way back to his home in Gladeville and hid out in the attic for several days before his son Sylvan Taylor convinces him to leave the area. We are then told of an elaborate plan that is put into place whereupon a cargo box was modified and Doc was put on the train.
We are also told that a railroad worker alerted the prosecuting attorney to this trickery… However there is no evidence to this account what is known is that Sylvan Taylor had given his father new clothes and about $60 where upon he took him to the rail yard where Doc jumped a train heading north. Supposedly he is seen and it was reported to the commonwealth attorney Robert P. Bruce who then wired the Baldwin Detective agency in Bluefield West Virginia to be on the lookout for the fugitive. Later Fantastical stories of legendary lawmen rushing from Wise County to make the arrest would be mixed into the story.
All this aside there would be many newspaper articles as to the capture of Dr. Taylor however the most detailed account can be found in the Clinch Valley News Tazewell C.H. Va. dated Friday July 22 1892.
In this account we are told that a Railroad worker in Bluefield West Virginia saw him get off the freight train and recognized him from the description of him that had been circulated around. (If there was a Wanted Poster and someone has one I for one would love to see it) The rail man alerts R.M. Baldwin of the Baldwin Detective agency who sets up an all night surveillance of the house that Dr. Taylor stayed in that night. The next morning Dr. Taylor is allowed to board a passenger train, by this time he had clean shaven his face and the Baldwin’s are not sure that it is the right man, however he is seen acting suspiciously and the Baldwin’s board the train.
When the train entered the town of Pearisburg Va the Baldwins confront Dr. Taylor and without incident Dr. Taylor admits his Identity he is searched and two pistols, surgical instruments and about $80 are found in the bag he was carrying. The train then continues to Tazewell Va where Doc Taylor is placed in Jail.
Two things are recorded in this incident the first is that Doc Taylor denies his guilt… The second is that he tells the men that if they take him back to Norton that he will be lynched before being brought to trial… as I stated before Doc Taylor and the Fleming’s did not act like men on the run until after the “Botched” arrest attempt and now they are afraid for their lives…
Doc is left in jail in Tazewell Va. and R.M. Baldwin would continue on to Wise C.H. to see about the supposed $400 reward for his capture. Doc is also told that if the reward was not forthcoming he would be released as the reward was offered by a third party.
Source: Clinch Valley news., July 22, 1892
Growing up I was taught to learn something new every day. Trying to live up to this axiom, I became a prolific and avid reader covering a wide range of topics and subjects. Although my personal studies have always been rather eclectic and included computer science, electricity, and electronics just to name a few. My favorite fields of study have always been Religion, Politics, and Economics, but my lifelong passion is the study of History and Anthropology.
I have also always been a bit of a dreamer and in the possession of a roving foot. As such my life has led me down paths not often traveled. My career has been long and varied and has included some strange ways to make a living, all legal by the way. But at last, all my passions and dreams have come together.
I have married the woman of my dreams. Together we have a wonderful home and we are both professional historians and spend our days in study.