The Taylors at the University of Virginia
Robert Coleman Taylor and Lillian Marie Gary were married on November 24, 1900, after a long, delightful courtship. Like the Garys, the Taylor family summered at Catonsville. Mr. Taylor graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1886 and became the Assistant District Attorney of the County of New York from 1902-1934. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor visited the University often, including during their honeymoon trip. They remained interested in University of Virginia news and events throughout their lives. The Taylors donated Mrs. Taylor's collection of popular American fiction to the University of Virginia in 1945, along with other gifts, such as family portraits and furniture.
As Lillian worked on her collection of American fiction, she wrote about the Taylor Room being prepared at Alderman Library at the University of Virginia. Lillian was looking forward to helping arrange the room and shelve the books. The furniture, portraits, and collection that the family donated were originally kept in the Taylor Room, which is now the Virginia Center for Digital History. See pages Volume II, 137-8.
During their honeymoon, the Taylors celebrated Thanksgiving at “Bob’s beloved University of Virginia” (136). While at the University, the dined with Professor and Mrs. Smith, and Professor and Mrs. Thornton. Thanksgiving morning they breakfasted with Miss Kent, and later celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with Professor and Mrs. Raleigh C. Minor. Vol. III, pg. 136. The Taylors also visited Charlottesville during their second anniversary celebration, but heavy rain shortened their trip. Volume III, 193-4.
While a law student at UVa, Bob joined one of the University’s ribbon societies, the Eli Bananas. In November of 1913, the Taylors made a trip to UVa for an Eli Banana reunion. Lillian recalls, “What a time those men had, behaving like the students they used to be. […] A fine thing for these older men to get together, and renew their youth.” Bob was “[a]s proud of his Eli Banana badge as could be.” During their visit the Taylors “lunched at the Club, went to a Ball game, where the University beat Vanderbilt” and “dined with Dr. Harrison.” See Volume IV, 280.
The University of Virginia Online Visual History website has a photograph of the Eli Banana club in 1886; Robert Coleman Taylor is standing, the third figure from the left. Also pictured is a Professor Harrison, who may be the Dr. Harrison with whom the Taylors dined during their visit for the reunion.