The Eureka February 1886


Mrs. Anna Taylor, a convict serving a life sentence, died in the Anamosa Penitentiary at 7 o'clock on the evening of Sunday, February 14. She was sentenced for the crime of murder. The crime was committed in Clinton county. John S. Taylor, who is also serving a life sentence, became enamored of her. She returned his passion. They had clandestine meetings but became impatient of the restraint imposed upon them by Taylor's wife. They resolved to get rid of the wife, and planned to kill her by poison. Anna bought the poison and Taylor administered it. The wife died suddenly and in terrible agony reproaching her husband for his perfidy. The day the wife was consigned to the earth Taylor married Anna. Suspicion pointed to their crime and they were soon afterward arrested, were both convicted and sent to the penitentiary for life. Mrs Taylor was first sent to the Fort Madison penitentiary, where she served two years. Then she was transferred to the Anamosa penitentiary, and had been here three years when she died. She was a victim of consumption. Towards the last she became a petulant in temper and was very troublesome. She protested her innocence to the last. An abhorrence to being buried in the convicts' cemetery filled her mind continually. Every cent of money she could obtain by making fancy-work and selling it was jealously hoarded to buy a lot in Riverside cemetery and to pay the expenses of a civilian's funeral. At the time of her death she had gathered enough money for the purpose. Warden Martin directed that her wishes should be carefully carried out. The funeral was held Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock. The body was enclosed in a handsome coffin and the melancholy white plumes of the hearse waved above it in the blistering wind as the little cortege moved to the city of forgetfulness, where are neither palaces nor prisons. She was 35 years old when she completed the journey of life. We were unable to ascertain her full maiden name as the prison registry does not show it.