WILLIAM B. TAYLOR State Engineer and Surveyor
Mr. Taylor was born February 27, 1824, in Manchester, Oneida county, N.Y. His father, Job Taylor was foreman of cotton mills, at different periods, at Oakville, New  Berlin, Manchester and Old Union Factory.  He was, also, well and favorably known as an inn-keeper, in Utica, from 1830 to 1837.  During  this latter period, the subject of this sketch was educated at the Utica Academy, and was prepared to enter Geneva College, when reverses in fortune occurred, which compelled the relinquishment of that design; and, at the age  of eighteen, he was thrown upon his own resources. In the year 1837, his brother, Lorenzo Taylor, was elected City Surveyor of Utica, and William became his assistant, receiving only a nominal salary. In the winter of 1849, he was appointed a leveler in the Engineer Department, Enlargement of the Erie Canal; and from that time to the
present, with the exception of about two years, he has been retained in the State service in the various positions of first and second assistant, Resident and Division Engineer; and in the fall of 1861 was elected State Engineer and Surveyor, by a majority exceeding 100,000. In 1853 Mr. Taylor was elected City Surveyor of Utica, and was re-elected in 1854.  From 1857 to 1860 inclusive he was a member of the Common Council in the City of Utica. In politics, Mr. Taylor was a member of the old Whig party, and after that rganization was abandoned, he joined the Republicans.  Upon the breaking out of the present rebellion, and the consequent inauguration of the Union movement, he took a warn interest in its success.  On the assembling of the People's and Republican State Conventions at Syraucse, in September, 1861, he was selected as the most competent and available candidate for the office he now holds, and, as we have said, was triumphantly elected.  He is the youngest man that ever filled that position, being only thirty-seven years of age when he received the nomination.  Of his fitness for the place the
public have had an opportunity of judging, and no man has ever filled it with more honor to himself, or  credit to the State.
As an engineer, Mr. Taylor has attained a high rank, and is probably inferior to none in the State.  He possesses characteristics of mind peculiarly adapted to his profession,  A man of keen perception he is quick to detect weak points, or determine strong ones.  With a mind of great activity, he has the faculty of arriving at the conclusion of a proposition  before it is half stated to him.  His social qualities are of a rare order -- never failing to produce a strong attachment between himself and acquaintances.  Reliable in his pledges, true to his friends he possesses sufficient independence of character to do what he thinks to be right.  In
whatever position he has been placed, the public have always envinced entire confidence in his ability and integrity. Mr. Taylor has been married twice.  His first wife was the daughter of William Harrington; and his second wife, now living, is the dauther of the late C. H. Fairbanks.  His residence is in Utica, and he attends the Universalist Church.
From BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES of the STATE OFFICERS and MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE of the STATE OF NEW YORK  In 1862 and '63 By Wm. D. MURPHY Printed in Albany for the Author 1863 pages 35-37
Sheila Hoffman shoff@borg.com

From "Our County and Its People" (section 3, page 58).
Charles Tracy was born at Vernon Center, in 1851, and spent the early part of his life in that vicinity.   The Tracys were among the earliest settlers in Oneida County, and were also the foremost citizens, having been identified with the development and progress of that part of the country.  His father, Samuel Dill Tracy was born at Ridge Mills, Oneida County, NY, October 22, 1813.  When a mere boy he went to work for Joshua Hathaway, one of the first merchants in the city of Rome, NY, and in 1828 he went to new York city, where he learned the art of piano making, in company with Steinway, Chickering, Hardman, Nunn Bros., and others who were learning the trade at that time.  Leaving New York he went to Albany in the latter part of the twenties, and had the honor of stringing and tuning the first piano manufactured in this state (outside of New York City), for George Meecham and co. of Albany.  Leaving Albany he located at Hampton, Oneida County, where he built several pianos; later on he moved to Vernon, NY, where William H. Beebe and the late E. D. Buckingham of Utica, learned the piano trade of him.  Mr. Tracy invented the "back catch" and "spring jack" that were first made in square pianos.  He was the first American piano tuner in Oneida County, where he practiced tuning for over fifty years.  He married Emily Jane, daughter of Silas and Prudence  (Gridley) Crocker, by whom he had these children: James, Henry C., Mary Maria, Charles, Luna Jane, Samuel D. jr., and Edwin C., who is postmaster at Vernon center.   Charles Tracy is connected with Buckingham, Moak and Marklove, piano dealers in Utica, NY.  He is a musician of considerable reputation and one of the most skillful piano tuners in the state.   His paternal (should be maternal?)  grandparents, Silas and prudence (Gridley) Crocker came from Connecticut and settled in Vernon, NY, in 1802.  with them came Titus Pettibone, a brother-in-law, who married Cynthia Gridley.  they settled on and cleared up a lot of sixteen acres, which is now owned by Clayton Lewin.   Mr. and Mrs. Crocker had these children: Silas, Edwin, Mary and Emily Jane, all of whom are now deceased.