William Francis Taylor was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1883. He began his professional career there as a lithographer and newspaper artist. He moved to New York City to attend the Art Students League and studied there from 1905 until 1907. He came to Bucks County in 1910 and married his first wife, fellow painter Mary Smyth Perkins in 1913. The Taylors were part of the group of artists who gathered and studied together at Phillips Mill, known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists. The Phillips’ Mill Community Association was founded in 1929 after Taylor formed a subscription committee to purchase the mill from Dr. George M. Marshall.
William was also active in historic preservation. In 1930 he acquired property at Cuttalossa and River roads. He restored an historic building and launched the Cuttalossa Inn while living across the street in Hard Times Tavern. In 1939 he launched the Towpath Magazine, devoted to preserving “the beauty and value of the valley.” His second wife, Minette, worked with him on the magazine.
In 1961 William painted, after much research, what he felt was a realistic depiction of George Washington crossing the Delaware., An artist who felt that his strength was in “capturing the beauty of the county,” he was the first president of the Delaware Valley Protective Association, an organization comprised of like-minded individuals to protest the draining of the canal to widen River Road. William published articles Towpath Magazine as a monthly reminder of the pressing issue and to stimulate continued interest. The publication also addressed other topics regarding the preservation of the unique character of Solebury Township and environs.
William is well known for his impressionistic landscapes of the Delaware River and the areas around his Lumberville home. His works hang in the Corcoran Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
William F. Taylor died in 1970.