Louis Taylor

Entry for Louis Taylor in the Chicago Commission Report

Born: 1864
Killed: July 28, 1919
Cause of death: Skull fracture

Louis Taylor, a Black man, was born in Maryland in 1864. His mother and father were also born in Maryland. It is possible, given Taylor’s birth year and location, that he was born a slave. While it is uncertain when Taylor left Maryland, records indicate that he married Augusta Sonweid in 1901 in Chicago. While in Chicago, Taylor lived at 508 W. 54 Place and worked as a cook on a dining car for the Chicago Great and Western Railroad Company. 

Taylor’s killing during the 1919 riot followed the pattern of other Black streetcar victims. The Chicago Commission Report stated that, at 9:40 pm on July 28th, Taylor “had just come off his run and was returning home on a South-bound Westworth avenue streetcar.” While at the Root Street and Wentworth Avenue stop, Taylor’s streetcar was stopped and boarded by a mob of one hundred white assailants armed with clubs and bricks. Police officers later found Taylor unconscious on the street with a skull fracture and his watch and suitcase missing. Taylor’s killers were never apprehended or tried. He died of his wounds on August 1 at the age of fifty-five. Taylor is buried at Mt. Glenwood Cemetery in Willow Springs, Illinois. 

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