Date of death: Oct 1903
Subject: John Clayton "Clate" Taylor
Source: St. Joseph Gazette, 20 Mar 1904, p. 4
Through the identification of a bandit killed in a battle following the holdup of an electric train in the suburbs of Aurora, Ill., on the night in last October, as Clate Taylor of Nodaway Station, by Chief Frans and local detectives yesterday, it is believed that the responsibility of many of the holdups in the neighborhood of St. Joseph during the past year and of several near Council Bluffs and Lincoln, have been definitely placed to the credit of Taylor, Pate Crowe and their gang.
Although being suspected of complicity in nearly every train robbery in this part of the state and of many in adjoining states for a period of something like eight years, always escaping without arrest because of an apparent alibi, Clate Taylor, known to be a close friend of Pat Crowe, was nevertheless, for all that the Pinkertons could prove, a peaceful hard working farmer of Nodaway station. He met his death while attempting a job that the Pinkertons and the local officers believed too small for him to bother with.
With two other men, Thomas and James Conway, well known to the police of Chicago, Taylor held up the electric train just outside Aurora. They believed [sic] the passengers and the crew of all their valuables and returned to Aurora. A little later they boarded a train for Chicago. The train was overtaken by an electric car in charge of a squad of police at a substation and in the battle that took place, Taylor was killed.
Since that time the police in Aurora had been trying to secure an identification of the dead man whom his captured pals refused to identify.
Several days ago, Detective Pat Ryan, of the St. Joseph force, heard that Clate Taylor, well known to the police here, had been killed in Chicago.
Chief Frans at once began going through the files of the "Detective," a police and secret service journal published in that city.
In the November issue he found a picture of the dead bandit, connected with the Aurora robbery. Ryan and the other detective pronounced it to be the picture of Taylor.
In the information accompanying the picture of the dead bandit was the fact that the revolver taken from the body was a blue steel 41-calbre Colt's of improved pattern. It was also stated that the underwear of the man was marker "Reaner." This convinced the officers more than ever that the man was Taylor. Charles Renner, for whose name "Reaner" might be a mispelling [sic], was known to be a close friend of Taylor's and had frequently stayed at his home. The gun answered the same general description as that of the one taken from Renner. Chief Frans remembered that he had taken the number of the revolver carried by Renner at the time the latter was being held here for investigation in connection with the murder of James Piles, a Frederick Avenue saloon keeper several years ago. The number of the revolver was found to be 160,685. Chief Frans then wrote to Chief Charles Michels of Aurora, asking for the number of the revolver, and a reinspection of the name on the underclothing. Chief Michels was still convinced that the name on the garment was "Reaner" but gave the number of the revolver as 160,685, thus establishing beyond doubt that the gun was the one carried here by Renner.
Unconvicted of any crime, having been arrested, but never for a … offense, Clate Taylor, the farmer of Nodaway Station, was known to the Pinkertons as a … man. It was thought that he would not engage in a small undertaking. W… crime, it is believed, … Crowe. … [Several lines illegible] the "French Bottoms" … In … served a term in the state penitentiary for burglary of a st… Blockton. At that time he did … Pat … criminal used it.
When he settled at Nodaway Station, he married and … he met Pat … believed that Crowe … train robbery from … the country … man of ner… [Quite a bit of paragraph illegible]
It was not … Crowe would … Other persons sup… of the gang would … up saloons, and go after … Taylor, however, kept … crimes … occur.
Taylor, upon which … [paragraph illegible].
Source: St. Joseph Gazette, 22 Mar 1904, p. 5
The relatives of Clate Taylor will claim the body, which is now buried in a cemetery at Aurora, Ills.
George C. Taylor, a brother of the dead bandit, who lives in the French Bottoms, yesterday went over the descriptions and photographs of the man in the possession of Chief Frans, and said that he no longer doubted that the man was Clate Taylor.
Last night Chief Frans sent a telegram to Chief Michels of Aurora asking if the relatives might have the body.
If the reply is affirmative, George C. Taylor will probably start for Aurora today.
Source: St. Joseph Gazette, 24 Mar 1904, p. 5
Chief of Police Frans yesterday received a telegram from Chief Michaels [sic] at Aurora, Ill., stating that relatives of Clate Taylor, the bandit killed while engaged in the robbery of an electric train near that place last October, could secure the body by claiming it.
George T. Taylor, a brother of the dead man left today for Aurora. Whether the body will be brought here for burial he did not know. The parents of the dead man are anxious that the son be buried near St. Joseph. Before he left, Taylor was shown a photograph of the dead man and stated that without a doubt it was his brother.
Source: St. Joseph Gazette, 19 Apr 1904, p. 5
Brothers of Clate Taylor, who was shot at Aurora, Ill., while attempting to hold up a street car, yesterday secured a permit from Clerk Hartigan of the board of health to have the body brought to this city from Aurora. The laws of Illinois require such a permission, which was known at the time the body was exhumed about two weeks ago. The body will be brought here as soon as possible. Taylor was formerly a farmer in French Bottoms.
Source: St. Joseph Gazette, 24 Apr 1904, p. 4
The body of Clate Taylor, the bandit killed while attempting to hold up a street car in Aurora, Ill., reached the city yesterday and was buried in the afternoon from Heaton's morgue, interment taking place in Green cemetery.
Taylor and a number of his relatives lived at the French bottoms and those who survive the bandit are respected citizens. When Taylor was killed at Aurora he could not be identified and it was not until his picture appeared in a police department publication [and] was recognized by some of the local patrolmen that it was known who he was.
His body had been buried at Aurora but his relatives immediately made preparations to have it exhumed and brought here.