sidebar menu icon


TAYLOR, DONNA MAZIE LESTER (1907–1981). Donna Taylor, real estate developer, was born in Eagle Lake, Minnesota, on September 5, 1907, the daughter of Roy A. and Violet Blanche (Polley) Lester. Her parents were later divorced, and Donna lived in Tulsa and El Paso while growing up. As a young woman, she was interested in pursuing a career and moved to Dallas to work as a secretary. In the 1930s she worked briefly for the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., before returning to Dallas. She continued her secretarial career in the 1930s and 1940s after marrying William S. Taylor, Jr., of Dallas, a produce and, later, real estate broker. The couple had two children. After World War II Mrs. Taylor became interested in the home-building and real estate business. She initially sold the home she had built for her family and quickly discovered her ability to sell other homes. She eventually founded her own company, Donna Taylor Realtors, and worked with it for the rest of her life. As one of the first women builders and developers in Dallas in the early 1950s, she was responsible for the development of the Preston Hollow area in the city. She was also a founding member of the Multiple Listing Service, a service of the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors, and was a graduate of the Realtors Institute of Texas. In the 1950s she was recognized nationally for her outstanding achievements as a woman in construction. Throughout her life she was active in the Republican party, the Presbyterian Church, and Eastern Star. She died in Dallas on May 29, 1981, and was buried there. She was survived by her husband, one son, one daughter, three sisters, and one brother. In the 1990s her company remained in operation in Dallas, run by her family.

Dallas Morning News, May 31, 1981.
Debbie Mauldin Cottrell

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Debbie Mauldin Cottrell, "Taylor, Donna Mazie Lester," accessed November 24, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.