Taylor was originally named Taylorsville to honor Edward M. Taylor, an official of Houston Belt and Terminal RR when the townsite was laid out in 1876 in Williamson County. The first public school was established in 1883, and the first churches were built in 1878.
Named a Texas and National Main Street City, the downtown area features retail shopping in a unique architectural setting, and is also home to famous barbecue restaurants. The annual 'Lights of the Blackland' Christmas lights tour held every December when Taylor's Heritage Square is adorned with more than 300,000 lights. Other annual events include Cot'n Pik'n Festival & Heritage Days, International BBQ Cookoffs, Rattlesnake Sacking Championships, Homes Tour & Loft Walk and Annual Christmas Crafts Boutique.
Two municipal parks provide swimming pools, picnic areas, and other recreational activities. Mustang Creek Club's 9-hole golf course is open to the public. For hikers and joggers, Bull's Branch Hike & Bike Trail criss-crosses the city providing a beautiful view of trees, ducks and water. Taylor is home to branches of Temple College and Austin Community College Fire School.