Born in Leominster, Massachusetts, Taylor attended the common schools, New Ipswich Academy, and Groton Academy. He graduated from in 1829. He engaged in teaching for a short time.
He moved to Troy, New York, in 1830.
He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1834 and commenced practice in Greene, New New York He moved to Owego, New York, in 1834 and continued the practice of law.