The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 227
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Melvin A. Traylor, 878-1934
ended that long, wearisome journey to Texas in December, 1898.
Illinois was the arena of his greatest accomplishments as a finan-
cial leader of the nation before his death, at the age of fifty-six.
My association with Melvin A. Traylor gave me a close insight
into his character and his work, for Hillsboro was my home where
I was employed by a subsidiary farm loan bank to the First
National Bank of which he was president. Although I knew him
during the last thirty years of his life, which ended in February,
1934, I have found twenty-seven years later, during my research,
that he had covered fields I knew not of, and his stature was even
greater than I had imagined.
Too many men, in every decade of our history, have risen from
humble beginnings to leadership in business and professions to
warrant another biography unless the subject's record was ex-
ceptional. Traylor's record was exceptional; his successes resulted
from a combination of stern self-discipline, hard work, and econ-
omy of time, as well as of friendliness, honesty, and modesty.
From the use of these qualities and attributes he also acquired a
cultured personality without the aid of any advanced schooling.
What he accomplished, he did without the aid of wealthy
friends, speculative ventures, or extreme forcefulness, for his
friends and associates pushed him into places of leadership which
demanded his abilities. Frazier Hunt recounted the story of Tray-
lor's life in most eloquent terms on a radio broadcast in 1931
sponsored by the New York Life Insurance Company. Hunt de-
clared that it was a story of real drama--American drama.
Forty miles from the birth place of Abraham Lincoln, James
and Kitty Traylor lived in a log cabin on a one-hundred acre
farm near Breeding in Adair County, Kentucky, not far from the
Tennessee border. Their forebears had come to the region over
the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap from Tide-
water, Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley. They were of sturdy,
self-reliant stock, mostly Scotch-Irish and English, seeking free-
dom from the restraints of the older settlements and the owner-
ship of land. The Traylors were Methodists and Democrats.
On October 21, 1878, their first child was born. For the first
twenty years of his life, Melvin Traylor called the log cabin home.
He received such instruction as could be had in a country school
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/267/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.