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Centennial History of Hurricane: Brooklyn Dalton Taylor Family

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 229th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Margaritte Hulley

The Taylor family descended from George and Mary Taylor, who left England in the early 1780’s and settled near the Thomas Jefferson property in Virginia, now known as Sinking Creek or Mountain Lake. One known son, Adam, married Mary Claxton and had a son, whom they named Adam Claxton, born in 1829. Adam Claxton married Sarah Anna T. Smith in 1853 and left Virginia because of the slavery issue and settled on land where the Town of Hurricane had its beginning.

Eleven children were born to this union, all of whom either died or left Hurricane early in life, with the exception of Columbus Washington (affectionately known as “Uncle Lum”), who was born on Christmas Day in 1855. “Lum” owned a grist mill for many years in Hurricane. Adam Claxton married a second time, to Catherine Holley. To this union were born a daughter and a son who died in infancy, and three other children who lived most of their long lives in Hurricane: Brooklyn Dalton (born 12-10-90) and twins, Allie (Coyner} and Alvah (Smith). Brooklyn Dalton married Ada Delle Tanner in 1915. Ada died in 1928, leaving six small children: Jay Douglas (born 2-8-17) is married to Lula May (Morrison), has two sons, Alvin Lee and Charles Dell, two grandsons, and lives in Hurricane. Jean Avalee (born 8-26-18) is married to M.S. (Dutch) Potts, and lives in Ohio. Margaret Catherine (Margarine) (born 2-22-20) is the widow of Arthur Hulley, has four children, Dennis, Susan, Steven and Anne, and four grandchildren. Margaritte has a winter home in Florida and a summer home very near the spot where Adam Claxton and Catherine (Holley) Taylor had lived. Dalton Tanner (born-8-22-2 l) is married to Harriet (Morgan), has four daughters, Carolyn, Linda, Nancy and Pamela, seven grandchildren, and lives in Hurricane. Melba Claxton (born 9-10-22) is married to Raymond Lafon, has two children, Lynette and Bryan, and three grandchildren, and lives in Hurricane. Dorothy Fern (born 9-26-23), was married to James Dick and had three children, Kathryn, Virginia and Doug, and lived in Hurricane until her fatal automobile accident in February, 1950. Nine grandchildren have been born since Dorothy’s fatal accident. All of Brooklyn Dalton’s children who live in Hurricane have homes on the property formerly owned by Adam Claxton Taylor.

Brooklyn Dalton Taylor was a rural mail carrier during World War l. He later became a cattle farmer, operated a dairy, was a real estate broker, built homes, and developed many tracts of land. Jay and Dalton, sons, have operated several business in Hurricane and Teays Valley, including log milling, block manufacturing, development of several subdivisions and builder of around 400 houses, primarily for the working class people. Dalton does the development and managing in the field, while Jay takes care of the business of the companies. Jay’s two sons, Alvin Lee and Charles Del, and Dalton’s son-in-law (Linda’s husband), Danny Harshbarger (formerly of Milton), have interests in the companies. Margarine and Melba were registered nurses, both have retired from the Veterans Administration Hospital. Avalee is retired from her former position of personnel security specialist with the U.S. Department of Defense. Dorothy, before her death, operated the dairy business for Brooklyn Dalton, her father, and a restaurant (The Co-Ed) for Jay and Dalton, her brothers.


A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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