Clara Beall Taylor Gainor Magruder


I purchased the above photograph from Whatnots Antiques on The Avenue in the Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden. The photograph was in a beautiful frame which I now regret not buying. The name of the photograph’s subject was on the back plate of the frame, not on the photograph itself, but I took a photograph of the back plate before leaving the store.


The subject is Clara Beall Taylor (1881-1972). She was the daughter of Charles Wood Taylor (1849-1934) and Mary Frances Beall (1851-1939).

She married Hunter Boyd Gainor (1859-1928), 22 years her senior, in 1901. [I have thought for years that the given name Hunter was a recent phenomenon, but not so.] Hunter had a son named Hunter Fountain Gainor (1890-1949) when they married and he was groomsman at their wedding. The two of them produced Clara Boyd Gainor (1905-1988) and John Loughran Gainor (1907-1992). The name Loughran apparently comes from a friend of Hunter’s named John B. Loughran of Norfolk, VA.

After Hunter died in 1928, Clara married Frank Abbott Magruder (1882-1949) in 1930. Magruder was the widowed husband of Clara’s sister, Louise Southgate Taylor (1885-1929). Clara, aunt of Mary Elizabeth Magruder (1923) and Margaret L. Magruder (1924), became their step-mother. Frank was a PhD professor of political science who graduated from Johns Hopkins and taught at Princeton University. When they married he was at Oregon State College in Corvalis. Magruder was a writer of textbooks, one of which, American Government (1917) was banned by the Houston, TX school board a month before he died. It is said that Frank chose to live on his salary and used all of his income from books to support charitable causes such as Camp Magruder which was named for him.

Clara returned to Baltimore after Frank died and lived in the Park-Lynn Apartments in the Roland Park neighborhood.