Farmer, businessman, politician, and civic leader John Clarence Taylor was born in Honea Path on March 2, 1890, the son of Lee W. and Rosa Ella Taylor. He worked on the family farm until the poor health of his father made it necessary for the young boy to go to work in a local cotton mill to help support the family. Taylor served in the World War I U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. He resumed his interrupted education at the age of nineteen and completed grammar school, high school, college and law school in ten years. He received his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1919. Soon after that he became Anderson County Clerk of Court and served from 1920-1932.
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the third Congressional District, Taylor served from 1933-1939. He was on the Post Office and Roads Committee where he was influential in getting new post offices built in Anderson, Clemson College, Donalds, Due West, and Greenwood. Bills he supported included farm mortgage relief, regulation of stock market manipulations, and emergency banking legislation.
Taylor is also credited with supporting efforts by the government to improve working conditions for the textile mill workers. He had particular influence in regulating the machine load per worker so that the unpopular "stretch-out" system was controlled. His proposal required that the number of looms assigned to each employee be taken into account in decisions about hours and wages.
Taylor continued in public service as a South Carolina state senator for Anderson County, from 1950-1954 and from 1958-1962.
Some of his many business endeavors include being co-owner of the Anderson Daily Mail and Anderson Independent in the 1920s. Taylor also and founded the Piedmont Roofing Company to manufacture his patented improvement on the Burriss tin shingles.
A leader in local agriculture, especially in the cattle industry, Taylor's best-known business venture was the Taylor Livestock Market. The family-run enterprise provided local farmers with a ready market in their area. It ceased operation after fifty-two years in business.
Mr. Taylor passed away on March 25, 1983, and is remembered for his many accomplishments and personal integrity.