Last Sunday, David Heap and I spent some time chatting while I was photographing the First Christian Church building in Taylor. A number of things from that conversation piqued my interest.
First, his father had once played at a joint where the band was behind chicken wire (a la Blues Brothers). But that’s not really related to the church…
Second, there was a fellow with the Gano surname who was on the building committee for the 1891 building.
That tidbit was interesting since General R.M. Gano of Dallas was present when the congregation was organized in 1877, and he spent the ensuing week preaching daily. Gano is an unusual enough surname that the two almost certainly were related.
It turns out that some of the Rev. Gano’s family lived in Taylor. In fact, there’s even a Gano Street on the south side of town, and it’s named after his brother, John Allen Gano, Jr.
Their mother, Mary Catherine Conn Gano, died in Taylor in 1891, and another brother, Franklin Marius Gano is listed as having died in Williamson County in 1881.
John Allen Gano seems to have been involved in a number of organizations in Taylor, including a project to bring electric lights to the town in 1891 and the organization of a railroad (the Taylor, Bryan, and East Texas) that same year (though I don’t think the railroad actually got off the ground– I haven’t been able to find much about it).
It looks like Gano later moved to Austin; he’s not listed in the 1910 Taylor directory, and in 1904 he’s involved with an oil and asphalt company in Austin. Gano died at the Seton Infirmary there in 1915.
Now I just need to head back to Taylor to see if I can confirm that Gano is the one who was on the building committee!
1910 Taylor City Directory:
The Electric Lights Project: