Profile of the Day: Annie Edson Taylor

Posted October 24, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Annie Edson Taylor

Annie Edson Taylor

Do you have any daredevils in your family? On this day in 1901, Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She was also celebrating her 63rd birthday.

Taylor was born on October 24, 1838 in Auburn, New York. She studied to become a school teacher, and at the age of 17, married David Taylor. After her husband died in the Civil War, she eventually moved to Bay City, Michigan, in hopes of teaching dance and music. However, finding herself struggling financially, Taylor hatched a plan to earn fame and fortune – she would become the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

On the day of the event, two assistants helped secure her into a specially-made barrel and set her adrift. Several thousand people gathered to watch her make the 167-foot plunge down the raging waterfall. She made it over the falls successfully, only suffering minor gashes and bruises. After the stunt, she reportedly told the press, “If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat…I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall.”

Although Taylor’s adventure did briefly earn her fame, she was never able to acquire the fortune she had hoped for. She lived in poverty until her death on April 29, 1921 at the age of 82.

View Annie Edson Taylor’s Geni Profile


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