SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Shepherd University is among those mourning the loss of local civil rights leader and Shepherd University Hall of Famer James Taylor, who passed away September 7th.

He graduated from Page-Jackson High School then enlisted in the US Navy and served in the Korean War according to his obituary in the Journal.

After serving in the US Navy, Taylor enrolled in Shepherd College (now Shepherd University), in 1955 and graduated from Shepherd College with a BS and AB degrees and a Corrective Therapist Certification. He attended graduate school at West Virginia University and earned a Master of Science Degree in 1965.

He and three others founded the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society two decades ago.. He said they were only a few remaining at the time who had heard the stories of former slaves in the community who had been freed on Juneteenth.

At Shepherd College, he was the first African American to play on the football team and was a member of the undefeated 1955 teams and garnered All-WVIAC honors in 1958. He also played on the Shepherd men’s basketball team for one season. He went on to a successful career as an educator and coach in Jefferson County.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Eackles-Spencer & Norton Funeral Home, 256 Halltown Road, Harpers Ferry, WV.