Orla Benedict Taylor papers: 1831-1943
Summary Information
Title: Orla Benedict Taylor papers
Creator: Taylor, Orla Benedict, 1865-1945
Dates: 1831-1943
Extent: 4 linear feet
Detroit, Michigan lawyer and banker, and alumnus of University of Michigan. Correspondence, essays, and newspaper clippings concerning the Detroit banking crisis of 1933; and biographical and genealogical information on the Church, Benedict and Mahon families; also photographs.
Call number: 8681 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was donated by Orla B. Taylor (donor no. 1682); other materials came from the University of Michigan Library (donor no. 1682) and George Stanley (donor no. 4552).

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Orla Benedict Taylor papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Orla Benedict Taylor was born in Fowlerville, Michigan on September 29, 1865. A graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A. 1886; LL.D., 1887), Taylor served as editor of The Oracle and The Chronicle while an undergraduate. He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Chi fraternities.

Taylor entered practice in Detroit shortly after graduation, and very soon established himself as legal advisor for various property and business interests in the State. Among the notable cases in which he took part were the Ann Arbor Railroad Company vs. the Michigan Central Railroad Commission, and the Michigan Central Railroad Company vs. the Michigan Railroad Commission.

Mr. Taylor devoted his leisure time, especially after his retirement, to travel and study, historical research and writing, and the accumulation of historical and literary materials. Ever a loyal alumnus of the U-M, Taylor made many generous gifts to the University Library, including many valuable law books and a complete set of autographed letters and documents of Emperor Napoleon I and his marshals, as well as autographs of several of the Emperor's generals and cabinet members. He died December 1, 1945.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Orla B. Taylor collection consists of correspondence, essays and other writings, and biographical and personal material. Many of the writings relate to banking in Detroit in the 1930s.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Banks and banking -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • Depressions -- 1929 -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • Detroit (Mich.)
  • Lawyers -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • Oracle (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Photographs.
  • Benedict family.
  • Church family.
  • Couzens, James, 1872-1936.
  • Mahan family.
  • Taylor, Orla Benedict, 1865-1945.
  • University of Michigan. Class of 1886.
  • University of Michigan -- Alumni and alumnae -- Anniversaries, etc.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1881-1890.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Societies, etc.
  • Bates, Henry Moore, 1869-1949.
  • Bishop, William Warner, 1871-1955.
  • Burton, Clarence Monroe, 1853-1932.
  • Glass, Carter, 1858-1946.
  • McLeod, Clarence John, 1895-1959.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence [series]
Box   1  

(include letters 1831-1832 from Benedict family members)

Box   1  

(include letter of Clarence M. Burton, 1916)

Box   1  

(include letter of William Warner Bishop, 1931 and letters of Henry M. Bates, 1932)

Box   1  

(include letters of Carter Glass and Clarence J. McLeod, 1935 and letter of Henry M. Bates, 1936)

Box   1  
Essays and other writings [series]
Box   1  
Student essays 1881-1882
Box   1  
Essays concerning banking 1932, undated
Box   1  
Essay, "The Plot to Give the Cream of the Banking Profits of the Entire Country to the Customers of the New York Investment Bankers," undated
Box   1  
Essay on the banking crisis of 1933 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Essay entitled, "The Detroit Banking Tragedy of 1933"
Box   1  
Essay, entitled, "The Detroit Banking Tragedy of 1933"

(rough draft)

Box   1  
Source material for banking essay (3 folders)
Box   1  
Essay entitled, "The Story of the Detroit Bank Robbery " (2 folders)
Box   1  
Essay entitled, "The Story of the Detroit Bank Robbery"

(rough draft)

Box   2  
Materials used in writings on banking in Detroit 1933-1937 (9 folders)
Box   2  
Essay entitled, "Anno Domini 1925" 1925
Box   2  
Papers used for "Anno Domini" 1917-1925
Box   2  
Essay entitled, "Anno Domini 1927" 1927
Box   3  
Manuscript for "Let Us Face the Facts" 1941 (2 folders)

(rough draft)

Box   3  
Source material, for "Let Us Face the Facts" 1934-1940 (4 folders)
Box   3  
Essay entitled, "Rise and Principles of the Whig Party" undated
Box   3  
Essay entitled, "Lewis Cass, The Father of the West" undated
Box   3  
Essay entitled, "A Tourist in Java" undated
Box   3  
Essays undated
Biographical, personal, and miscellaneous [series]
Box   3  
Autobiographical essays and notes, and genealogical information on the Benedict and Richard Church family (2 folders)
Box   3  
Speeches 1932-1941, undated (2 folders)
Box   4  
Inventory of the Library of Orla, B. Taylor 1939-1941 (3 folders)
Box   4  
Papers concerning rare books and book collection 1930-1932
Box   4  
Newspaper clippings, concerning the banking crisis 1933 (3 folders)
Box   4  
Miscellanea. 1932, undated
Box   4  
Transcript of U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals case resulting from the banking crisis 1935 (2 volumes)
Box   4  
Legal briefs 1934 (3 volumes)
Box   4  
Photographs 1886, 1911

(include group portraits of Oracle (University of Michigan student publication) board, and of the 25th anniversary reunion of the University of Michigan Class of 1886)