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Taylor, Janabelle

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Janabelle Taylor was born on 3 December 1920 in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, the oldest of three children. She attended local schools, graduating from Central High School in 1939, and then moved on to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, graduating in 1944 with a degree in physical education. Following college she worked 1944-45 at the Hallie Q Brown Center, an African American, nonprofit social service agency in St. Paul, founded in 1929. During the war years 1941-45, Janabelle lived at home with her family in the Hamline Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, and like many families dealt with the effects of shortages and rationing. A brother, John, was in military service during the war, stationed stateside. In 1945 Janabelle took a position as a social worker in Asbury Park, New Jersey, organizing athletic programs for girls. She remained here until 1947, when she moved to a similar position in Peoria, Illinois. In 1949 Janabelle returned to St. Paul and a position at the Hallie Q Brown Center, and she remained a part of this organization until her retirement. Janabelle married James Taylor in 1949, and the couple raised three sons at their home on Thomas Avenue in St. Paul. Janabelle remained very active with community service and her church, Pilgrim Baptist of St. Paul.


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Janabelle Taylor - Transcript.pdf (633 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Janabelle Taylor