The bridge here that crosses over the Flint River (aka “Hump Creek”) bears the name of a truly great man. John Houston Taylor II was a New Market community leader, a family man, a hard working and well respected businessman, and a genuinely caring soul. By age 5 he had lost both parents but was surrounded by brothers and sisters who raised him and taught him the importance of God, family, and friends.
As a young boy, he entered the business world delivering groceries in Huntsville for W. L. Halsey on his bicycle. That grocery delivery connection would eventually develop into a career and lead him back here to “Hump” and a little country store where he met the love of his life, Ruth Jacks Taylor.
As a food industry salesman, John was constantly interfacing with people. He always kept King Leo Peppermints in his pocket to hand out to children or adults… just to see them smile. You could frequently hear the plastic wrappers rattling during Sunday sermons. Later he found that one of the products he had been delivering most of his life, had an even bigger and more profound affect. The MoonPie.
He began to visit old friends and church members who were sick or hospitalized to offer up a prayer, and one of these tasty treats. In his words, “the MoonPie took their mind off of their problems, eased their grief, and made them smile”.
His “MoonPie Ministry” eventually got the attention of the Chattanooga Bakery who offered to sponsor his efforts by sending him their products for free to hand out. He respectfully declined stating “I do this as my calling. My project.”
Moonpie John left us too soon at the age of 96, but his legacy of love and a giving heart will never be forgotten. The old country store he loved (MoonPie John's Mercantile) is now dedicated to continuing his legacy.