John G. Taylor
Arlington Heights. Mass.
July 4. 1913
Mr. John Muir.
your autobiographical sketch in the Atlantic awakens so many pleasant memories in connection with the university at Madison that I may be pardoned for writing. When you roomed in the South Hall of the North Building I was rooming on the floor above you with Cross. Every day many times I passed by your door, and of course visited in your room. Vroman who at one time roomed with you was my classmate. Since then the years have hastened away and both of us are on the sunset slope. rather far down. I don't think I can give you much information. Were you acquainted
with John D. Bicknell who used to sit by me in the class in Latin? He is a leading Lawyer in Los Angeles. Vroman as you know is a lawyer in Chicago. I don't think you knew Rice and Huntington who are here in Mass. My life has been spent in the ministry of the Congregational Church, and most of the time, as they say this way, within sight of the State House. Three years I spent in Santa Cruz, Calif as Pastor of the Church in that city. Of course I haven't lost sight of the boys in Madison and roundabout. Then for many years while my friends were alive I visited Black Earth, the home of my boyhood. So my early life was spent not far from yours; and I used to drive to Portage and over that country when at home on the farm. Those days on the farm! I don't crave a return on the same conditions, but a small farm
for fun would be very welcome. Men who have been shut up in a study a good share of the time rather hope to wind up on a bit of land, cultivating the soil or pretending to such employment. You seem to have taken the woods or the mountains, and certainly to our advantage who read your books. In the diary of your California experiences, I was delighted to see (for I saw him) Prof Butler working among the hills. The Prof of course I know very well- up to almost the close of his life.
That must have been a great experience in the California moutains, and to live among the giant trees you must feel that the Pyrimids of Egypt are recent monuments.
I wonder if you met my friend Bradford Torrey.
who died a short while ago in Santa Barbara. His book on California has just been put upon the market. I haven't read it yet.
Now I want to thank you for the great pleasure of reading the story of your early experiences in Wisconsin, where it was good to live after all. And the years gone by count doubtless in our present more than we sometimes think. At any rate a university boy still recalls the olden time.
With grateful appreciation I am of the old Guard.
John G. Taylor
Arlington Heights, Mass.
1913 Jul 4
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 14 cm.
Taylor, John G., "Letter from John G. Taylor to John Muir, 1913 Jul 4" (1913). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3910.
Reel 21, Image 0123
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