Elizabeth Taylor was born in Kansas in 1874, though not much is known about her early life. When she was 17, she lived in Utah Territory. There she married William Wesley Taylor. Along with starting a family, they also started the Utah Plain Dealer, a newspaper for the Black community of the territory. She worked as a compositor for the paper.
Taylor and her husband were members of the Utah Press Association (UPA) and the Western Negro Press Association (WNPA). Taylor also helped organize the Western Federation of Colored Women. Because of the Taylors’ involvement, the couple traveled widely in the Western United States. Sadly, there is little surviving record of their travel and activism. They also helped establish two Black churches in Salt Lake City, Trinity African Methodist Episcopal (AME) and Calvary Baptist, though Taylor’s family was more associated with Trinity AME.
Taylor cared for her children, mother, and sister-in-law during her newspaper career. When her husband became ill and died in 1907, Taylor took over his duties as editor and publisher along with taking care of her family. Later, she remarried AME Rev. John W. H. Morris. They worked together calling on the Salt Lake City Council to assure equal rights in businesses to all American citizens, regardless of color.
Article from the Salt Lake Herald-Republican in 1904 about the organization of the Western Federation of Colored Women (WFCW). Elizabeth Taylor called for the organization and was its president. (online resource)
Image: Utah Plain Dealer. Salt Lake City: [the Dealer], 1897, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=e253b5ad-53c8-4720-b5ba-c315ab646a5a&crate=0&index=0 (accessed: August 6, 2020)