Rachel Taylor Milton

Rachel Taylor Milton

Induction Category:

Born: 1901

Died: 1995

Inducted: 1994

Town: Hartford

Rachel Taylor Milton was a distinguished educator and civil rights crusader who founded the Urban League of Hartford. She was committed to the ideals of human dignity for people of all races.

The daughter of John and Mary Epps Taylor, Rachel Taylor was born and raised in Hartford with her eight sisters and one brother. She was the first African-American woman to graduate from the Hartford Seminary School of Religious Education. Though she had intended to become a missionary, she turned to social work to deal with the pressing problems closer to home. Rachel Taylor married Charles H. Milton, assistant pastor of Calvary Baptist Church.

Milton continued her education at the University of Pittsburgh, the New York School of Social Work, the University of Chicago, George Williams College and Swarthmore College where she attended the first institute on race relations. As a member of the Pocono Study Group, she spent the summer of 1933 researching adult education in the Scandinavian countries. From 1953 to 1955, she was Associate Dean of Women at Fisk University in Nashville.

In 1959, Milton returned to Connecticut where she was employed by the state Bureau for Vocational Rehabilitation. Her deep involvement in the problems of the inner city led her to work toward the creation of the Urban League. It was a long struggle, but she and the other founders were finally able to raise $90,000 through foundation grants, outside gifts and individual donations of $5 each to bring their dream to fruition. Today the Urban League offers a variety of important services to the community including job location and retraining programs, family guidance and support for better housing and neighborhood improvement.

In 1968, Milton was recognized for her continued efforts on behalf of the poor and dispossessed and awarded B’nai Brith’s Woman of the Year Award. She was an active member of the Union Baptist Church in Hartford and was instrumental in its designation as a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is now a stop on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.

Rachel Taylor Milton died in Hartford in July 1995.

During This Time
1946 - 1965: Women’s Activism in Conservative Times