The history of Taylor's laws has been sitting in attics and basements for over 100 years but has now found its way home.

Mayor Brandt Rydell recently handed over a book to the Taylor Public Library with historic value to the city.

"It's amazing that it is in as good as condition that it is," he said.

Betty Greer, of Diboll, contacted Rydell with something having to do with Taylor. Since Greer had no connection to Taylor, she wanted to pass the item on to the mayor.

"She explained they were going through some boxes and ran across something that had to do with Taylor history," Rydell said.

The box came from one of Greer's husband's great aunt's husband, who was named L.J. Armfield, who was town marshal of Taylor in the 1890s.

"They found a book entitled 'Laws of the City of Taylor, Texas,'" Rydell said. "The book is handwritten . . . all long-hand. The laws and ordinances of Taylor from the 1890s."

Armfield wrote the book himself. It included laws and ordinances for sidewalks, dog law, drunkenness, assault and battery, bonds issued, salaries of officers, fire limits, fireworks, gambling, jumping off railroad cars and more. It also included a signature by then acting mayor John Threadgill.

The book, which has 105 pages, was purchased April 1, 1895.

Taylor Public Library Director Karen Ellis said this will be a great addition to the library.

"I don't think we have early laws at all," she said about the archives at the library. "This will be fun. There is some cool stuff in here. Maybe not just regular council meetings, but all of these ordinances on basically what the laws are."

Compared to today, the laws and the people were different.

"It's important to learn the history of how things evolved through time, especially as we are looking at how our police manage situations they have to deal with and the laws we ask people to follow," Ellis said. "This is part of the foundation of Taylor and how we managed ourselves. What did we ask people to do, and what their responsibilities were?"

Ellis plans to decipher the writing and digitize the book.

She said there are several different ways she will try to reproduce the text without destroying the book.

"There are ways, but it's going to take time," she said.

In addition to being Taylor's town marshal, Armfield also served as deputy sheriff for Williamson County and city secretary. In the early 1900s, Armfield relocated to the panhandle of Texas.

Armfield also owned L.J. Armfield Feed Store. It was located on the west side of Main Street. The store supported the livelihood of rural Taylor farmers.

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