Title: Actor, Stage Director
Birthdate: September 25, 1834
Death Date: August 6, 1899
Plot Location: Section 203, Lot 37
Named after his father but always known as Jerry, he was one of ten children, nine of them boys. The first four were named Andrew Jackson Taylor, Thomas Jefferson Taylor, George Washington Taylor, and James Madison Taylor. Next came a girl named Margaret, and the parents must have run out of famous people they liked, so the next three were Jeremiah, Charles, and Isaac. For the last two boys they thought of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Horn, who had been their Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was also a customs collector that Jerry’s father probably knew when he was a clerk in the customs house in the 1840s.
There may have been something about all those siblings having other people’s names that fed Jerry’s notion of being an actor. He was listed in the cast of a play at the Chestnut Street Theater that was advertised in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1863. Since acting doesn’t usually provide a steady income, he worked intermittently as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad in the off-seasons.
Jerry went to New York for some productions in the late 1860s where he met and married Mary Amanda Marks in 1869. She was also one of ten children, some of whom were also involved in the theater. They eventually made their home in Philadelphia and had four children, two of whom became actresses.
As many actors have learned, Jerry’s greatest fulfillment came not from acting but directing. This 1885 newspaper account shed light on his accomplishments in this off-stage role, where he had his greatest success at theaters in both New York and Philadelphia.
Chronic kidney disease claimed Jerry’s life in 1899, and because the Actors’ Order of Friendship (forerunner of what is now called the Entertainment Community Fund) had purchased a plot in Section 203 for its members, he was buried there and was joined later by his wife.
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