Wiley Higgins Taylor Sr. and the Post Office

New United Post Office . Built 1937
Source: US Post Office History

"On August 31, 1933, Wiley Higgins Taylor Sr. assumed the postmastership at Beaufort. He was to retain that office for fifteen years and nine months.

"During his tenure he was to oversee the relocation of the post office from “Old Town” to 'New Town' (i.e. east of Pollock Street to its present location) and the hanging of one of Beaufort’s unique assets, the Post Office murals.

"Mr. Taylor was the son of Warren and Emiline Bryan Hellen Taylor. Born on the 'Hellen Farm' in the community of Bettie on May 4, 1878, his family moved to Beaufort when he was a small child. They first resided on Front Street in a house that sat behind the small 'Robert Taylor' home in the 800 block. The Taylors later moved 'around the corner' to 106 Marsh Street, known as the Gibble House. Eventually, the family settled at 206 Marsh, the present home of Wiley Higgins Taylor Jr.
Beaufort Grocery . House circa 1930
      
"Wiley Higgins Taylor Sr. married Ruth Elizabeth Ives, a native of Grifton. Mrs. Taylor was the daughter of John H. and Pattie Roundtree Ives. Listing his occupation as a 'sailor' in 1900, in 1910 he had moved into the 'salesman' business. He was employed in a local wholesale grocery business, known as the 'Beaufort Grocery.'

"Mr. Taylor served several terms as Beaufort Town Commissioner and Clerk of the Board in the period 1902-1907, 1912 and 1914-1915. He also worked on the mailboat to Ocracoke before his appointment as postmaster.

"In August 1938, The Beaufort News announced that the Joe House Drug Store would move into the old post office building at Front and Craven Streets. The new edifice had opened on the northeast corner of Front and Pollock, former site of the Atlantic Hotel/Hammond Army Hospital. The Dr. Duncan home had been displaced to the east to make room for the new building.
The following February, the newspaper reported that artist Simka Simkhovitch had arrived in Beaufort to “get inspiration ideas” for his Post Office murals commission.

"In 1940, Wiley Higgins Taylor Sr. was appointed 'lifetime postmaster' for Beaufort by the United States Senate. He retired on May 31, 1949. He died March 15, 1970 and is interred, as is his wife, in the Oceanview Cemetery, Beaufort."