Chapter 24


Tate Homeplace in Fabius Township, Marion County, Missouri


  • About
  • Ancestors
  • Britons
  • Colonists
  • Settlers
  • Roy Davis Tate
  • Leona Marie Tate

Last revision 08 July 2020 by the author Lawrence Eugene Vaughn Jr


This is the story of my wife’s family history to the best of my ability to document it. The story begins with the Tate families of ancient Briton in the days of Mercia, Anglia and Wessex kingdoms. Genealogists have traced the Tate name back to Celtic and Viking days. Those records established hereditary rights in the days of tribal and feudal England, which has been a great boon to historiography buffs such as myself.

I have borrowed extensively from previous published works by genealogists and historians to try to piece together this narrative, which I hope is insightful and informative. I certainly acknowledge their work and give credit where I am able. I apologize to anyone I may have slighted in this regard.

I welcome any insights or contributions to the information I publish on this website, and invite you to leave comments as desired. Thanks for joining me in adding to what is known about this wonderful, loving, family, which, for me, started with Roy Davis Tate and May Pauline Leffert Tate, parents of my high school sweetheart and the love of my life.

Larry E Vaughn Jr

A great deal of the information contained in this writing is taken from Ethel Updike’s out of print book, “Tate And Allied Families Of The South,” published in 1972. Most of the same information is in Gail King Blankenship’s book, “Virginia Families Of Louisa, Hanover And Monroe Counties,” and there is an extensive repository online at, and another at

However, caution has to be exercised, since “Tate and Allied Families of the South” is known to contain several errors regarding the family, and many casual researchers are publishing information online that they are not taking time to verify.

The information in ANCESTORS also draws on published information from European researchers who have documented the first ten generations of Tate ancestry, which extends the traceable family line back to a time when people often added their occupation to their first name to set themselves apart from others in the community with the same first name. The history of the feudal Tates is recorded back into the 800s.

Sources include List Of Persons Of Quality From England by Hotten, p. 70, 121, excerpts from Estate Files of Aaron Tate, Sr., John Tate, Elizabeth Connelly Tate, and Maben Dock Tate, all late of Dekalb County, Alabama, by Roland Tate, Excerpts From Tate Families Of The Southern States, Volume II, by Laura Mentzel and Ethel Updike, 1984, Virginia Records by W. A. Crozier, National Society of Founders and Patriots of America, Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, History of Members of Parliament, WikiTree, Geni, Ancestry, and various other Internet resources. This lineage has changed many times over the years as new documentation has been discovered that clarified lineage and relationships.

I conducted none of the research into our European ancestry, but, rather, draw on those who are better positioned to  do that research. I give them much credit for the work they have done, and continue to do, in gathering and verifying information across cultures and ages. By its very nature, genealogy is an imperfect work, as hard as we try, and due to many factors, much of the detailed documentation researchers wish for, to prove and verify our research, is just not available. Beware of online family trees as many contain guesses and false claims of relationship. Caveat lector.

My first research into the Tate lineage was in the very early 1960s when I was dating the young girl, Leona (Lea), who was to become my beloved wife. Her family fascinated me. They were so different than mine, I began to understand that what I had considered a normal upbringing was all a matter of perspective. Their family was bigger than mine, and there were lots of aunts and uncles and cousins nearby, too. Her dad had eight older brothers and sisters in the area. I interviewed, documented, collected, and captured what I could of their family history.

A great deal of clarification was provided by Dennis M. Tate, son of Roy Davis Tate. Dennis spent a great deal of his youth at the Homeplace with his father, and learned much detail about family history from his father. His counsel helped me understand that after 1923 the Homeplace was unoccupied more than it was used. I had always believed that it was occupied full time until 1944 when Roy went to work for the railroad.

It is also apparent that the Tates purchased or rented additional properties in the area of the Homeplace, and had at least two other dwellings, perhaps three. One, a log cabin was located on the property Fred purchased in 1907. Another was located on the same road as the current entrance to the Homeplace, just a quarter mile further down from where we turn off the road today.

There may also have been a third residence, too. I had notes dating back to the 1960s, in which I noted that Roy showed me where there had once been a cabin in the woods near the banks of the South Fabius River. The remains of burned wood and rusty crumpled metal could still be seen to the left of the path as you walked through the woods to the Fabius river from the Homeplace. It was the home of Emma and “Bill” Jennett when it was struck by lightning and burned.

Much of my work is based on imperfect human recollection which fades with time. I have attempted to preserve and document the memories and histories of this hard working, loving, family as a tribute to the high regard and respect which I have for them, and for their memories, which should not be lost to time.

So, with the understanding that this work must certainly contain errors, because it is based on imperfect and faulty recollection, I have endeavored to be as accurate as possible, verifying when I can, and hope that this work might serve family researchers in the future to use as a springboard to improve this collection.

Examples of Tate Coats of Arms from England-Scotland-Ireland

Tate Coats of Arms.png
Sample Tate Coats of Arms

The precise origins of heraldry are cloudy at best. What is almost certain is that painting patterns on shields and/or armour has a military origin, born out of the need for a leader to be recognizable on the field of battle or during a joust when faces and bodies were obscured through the wearing of helmets and armour. It is said that the crusaders painted crosses on their shields and the Romans did something similar. In Ireland there are many references to the battle standards of the first millennium Gaelic chieftains whose symbolism later appears on coats of arms, which changed over time to display earned honors, achievements, or location. A king might have a different coat of arms for each of his castles, and a son might modify the design to honor his father after death.

By the 12th century, personal badges were widely used by the nobility, and a century later, arms could be inherited. This meant that they had to be officially recorded and their display controlled. It is due to this painstaking record keeping that we can trace family roots back into these early times of the Britons.

Pioneer woman at log cabin
Amanda Elizabeth Leffert Tate at early log cabin home, Fabius Township, Marion County, Missouri


Lineage from John Tate of Coventry

  1. Sir THOMAS TATE , of Coventry (ca 1376-)
  2. SIR JOHN TATE (1442-1515)
  3. SIR BARTHOLOMEW TATE (1486-1532)
  4. BARTHOLOMEW TATE, Esquire (1526-1591)
  5. SIR WILLIAM TATE (1559-1601)
  6. WILLIAM TATE (1585-1650)
  7. JAMES TATE (1615-1665)
  8. JAMES TATE (1638-1727)
  9. JAMES TATE (1662-1740)
  10. ROBERT TATE (1691-1759)
  11. ROBERT TATE (1722-1794)
  12. WILLIAM TATE (1747-1803)
  13. JOSEPH FREDRICK TATE (1778-1843)
  14. GEORGE A TATE (1826-1909)
  15. JOSEPH FREDERICK TATE (1873-1949)
  16. ROY DAVIS TATE (1911-1976)
  17. living (1942-)

Many family genealogists have confused the data for the three colonial James Tates in our line, mixing dates and spouses that belong in other generations or other Tate lines. Many show James the father and James the son dying in the same year, 1727. This is unlikely, since there is no record of this unusual occurrence. Where I have no clear record of dates of death, I have used an average of ancestors and descendants’ lifespan of 60 years to estimate what those dates might be. Further clarification will be found as research advances in the future.



The origin of the name Tait, Taite, Taitt, Taitte, Tate, Tatte, Tayt, Tayte, Teat, Teate, Teit, and Teite was a personal name in Norway in the eleventh century. The Scots made a favorite of this ancient British name for both boys and girls. It is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning the cheerful; and Tatum is a variation simply meaning one of the Tates; the word Tate is Norwegian meaning younger or “son of.”  

The name of TATE, TAYTE, or TAIT was taken into England and Scotland at extremely early dates, probably by one of the Norsemen, who ravaged the coasts of the British Isles in ancient times. It is found on ancient records of Scotland, England, and Ireland and on early American records in various forms Teit, Teite, Taitte, Tayte, Tayt, Tait, Tate and others, of which the last two spellings mentioned are those most generally in use in America today.

Norwegian/Norsemen/Viking Ancestors

The Tate family settled in England in the ninth century, arriving from Scotland and Ireland. The first Tates reported their holdings in Northumbria, the land north of the Humber River which was settled by the Scandinavian sea pirates, as reported to William the Conqueror, and his agents, when he checked all land titles in England. The family was mentioned in deeds in Coventry as early as 1207. In the Church of St. Michael in that city was a chantry founded by one of the name, called “Tate’s Chantry.”

John Tate, of Coventry, held lands in the reign of Richard II. A descendent, Sir John Tate, Knight (1442-1515), twice Lord Mayor of London, Member of Parliament, was knighted by Henry VII 1497 at the Bridge Foot on the King’s entering London after the Battle of Blackheath. Sir Bartholomew Tate, of de Ia prey Abbey was  a member of the British Parliament in 1496, Sir William Tate, a great grandson of Sir John Tate, of De la Pré Abbey, was a member of Parliament in 1592. Genealogists claim that our American Tate family descended from this line.

Nicholas Tate, appeared in the records of Cambridgeshire, England as early as the year 1273; the most notable of the name was Sir Henry Tate, trustee of the National Gallery, who presented to the British Nation the famous Tate collection and picture gallery then called the “Tate Gallery.” Today, Tate is an institution that houses the United Kingdom’s national collection of British and international art in a network of four art museums. The original is now called Tate Britain, London. Until 2000, it was known as the Tate Gallery, founded 1897.

Like many other names, early scribes spelled Tate as the fancy moved them, frequently it was spelled Taite. My branch of the family spells the name Tate, and we are descended from William Tate, who was born about 1585 in Northumberland, London, England. He died 1650 in England, was believed to be a son of Bartholomew Tate, Member of Parliament, and Dorothy Tate. He was a brother of Francis Tate, MP; Sir William Tate, MP and Dorothy Tanfield, and married the  widow of David Bowerman Tate. He was the father of James Tate, son of William, born 1585..  

Families of this name were resident at early dates in the Counties of Peebles, Northampton, Nottingham, Leicester, Warwick, Cambridge, and Limerick, as well in the city and vicinity of London. They were, for the most part, of the British landed gentry and yeomanry. Among the earliest records of the family in England are those of Nicholas Tate, of Cambridgeshire, in the year 1273, AD; and those of John Tate, of Warwickshire, in 1392.

Very ancient writings document the probable original roots of the Tate family dating before the year 992, and this family is mentioned in deeds relating to Coventry, as early as the reign of Henry III, who reigned from 1216-1272.

Our First John Tate

The first John Tate that researchers usually attribute to our line was living at Coventry, County Warwick, in and before the year 1392. He was the father of a son named William, (some researchers call him John), who was the father, by his wife Margarett, of Sir John and Thomas Tate, of whom the first, Sir John Tate, became Lord Mayor of London about the year 1473, and probably left at least one son, named John.

Thomas Tate, younger son of William (or John) and Margaret, was the father of Sir John and Sir Robert, of whom the first became Mayor of London in 1496 and was the father by his wife, Magdalen Harpenden, of Wales, of John Anthony, and Sir Bartholomew of whom John was the father by his wife, Elizabeth Marshall, daughter of Anthony and Margarett.

Sir Bartholomew Tate resided in Northamptonshire and married the widow Anne Befford, a daughter of Lawrence Saunders, Among his progeny were two sons, Bartholomew and Anthony, of whom the latter married Margarett, daughter of John Digby, and was the father by her of George and Saunders or Sanders, of whom the first resided in Nottinghamshire and left issue by his wife Barbara, daughter of Richard Stanley,of, among others, and a son named Anthony, who married Bridget, daughter of Henry Kirby, and was the father of George (died young), Henry, Anthony, William, George, Anne, Barbara, Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Dorothy.

Bartholomew, elder son and heir of Sir Bartholomew Tate, of Northamptonshire, married Dorothy, daughter of Francis Tanfield, and was the father by her of Sir William, Jane, Anne, Martha, Dorothy, Francis, and Bartholomew, of whom Sir William owned lands in Warwickshire and Northampton, and died in 1617, leaving issue by his wife Ellinor, daughter of William, Lord Zouch, of five children, Zouch, William, Sir John, Mary and Elizabeth.

Here is the Tate story as compiled from “A Genealogical and Heraldic History of The Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland Enjoying Territorial Possessions or High Official Rank: But Uninvested With Heritable Honours,” “History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland,” & “Tate, of Burleigh Park Lineage.”


A knight is a person recognized and honored by a king, king’s deputy, or tribal leader for service to the monarch or country, especially, though not exclusively, in a military capacity. Usually, a knight was a soldier. Historically, in Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors who served to keep order among the tenants of lands controlled by their king, and defend the land against intruders. Knighthood usually conveyed power, and was often accompanied by grants of land, title, and other sources of income.

During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility, and knights were conferred the honorary title of “Sir.” By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior.

Often, a knight was a vassal who served as a fighter for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings. The lords trusted the knights, who were skilled in battle on horseback. These knights were, then, military leaders who served a particular king, and were, therefore, knights of whatever land his king possessed.

A good example, in the paragraphs below, is “Sir William Tate, knight of De la Pré Abbey, and of Whitley, in the County of Warwick.” Knighthood was universally recognized as accomplishment of above average fighting skills.

Today, the title of knight is purely honorary, usually bestowed by a monarch, as in the British honours system, sometimes even for non-military service to the country.

Sir William Tate of Corfe Castle

Sir William Tate, knight of De la Pré Abbey, and of Whitley, in the county of Warwick, Member of Parliament for Corfe Castle, on the Isle of Purbeck.

The first stone of Corfe Castle was laid more than 1,000 years ago. Since then it’s seen its fair share of battles, mysteries and plots. It’s been a treasury, military garrison, royal residence and family home.

The keep was built in the early 12th century for King Henry I, William the Conqueror’s son. It was designed to be impressive – and it certainly was. Standing 21m tall and on the top of a 55m high hill, this gleaming tower of Purbeck limestone could be seen from miles around.

King Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, was the castle’s first royal owner.

Corfe Castle.png

William died in 1617, and was succeeded by his son, Zouche Tate, esquire of De la Pré Abbey, born in 1606.

History of De la Pre’ Abbey

Delapre Abbey and Gardens, Northhampton, England.png

De la Pré, (now called Delaprey) Abbey is a seventeenth century house with a large park (500 acres) and an 8 acre garden. There is a rock garden, haha, lake, woods, sculptures and walled garden. It was the Tate family home 1546 – 1764.

Originally a monastery for nuns, the abbey was surrendered to the crown during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, closing in 1538. After later use as a private residence, and then in war service, the abbey was converted to the library of the Northamptonshire Record Society. At this writing, the Abbey is open to the public, with the Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust managing the building.

  • 1538 – Under the Dissolution of Churches, King Henry VIII forced the Abbey to surrender to the Crown.
  • 1543 – The Crown rented the abbey and grounds to a tenant (Tate).
  • 1550 – The Crown sold the De la Pré estate to the Tate family.
  • 1756 – Sir Charles Hardy, Governor of New York, husband of Mary Tate, sold the estate to Edward Bouverie for £22,000.

The Tate family ownership lasted two centuries until the mid-18th century during which time they reconstructed and adapted the nunnery buildings to form a courtyard house, probably on the foundations of the original monastic buildings. Examples of 16th century detailing, mainly door heads, remain in the north and east ranges.

The Tate family were distinguished in national affairs. Bartholomew I (d1532) was a prominent London merchant and member of the Royal household, in military service for Henry VIII. He married Anne Saunders of Harrington in Northamptonshire.

It was Anne Saunders and her third husband Andrew Wadham and Anne’s son, Bartholomew Tate II, (d 1601), who took ownership of De la Pré. Bartholomew II became Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1585 and appears to have made De la Pré the principal family seat. He was the father of Sir William Tate (1559-1617) who was sheriff in 1603 and MP for the County in 1614, and of Francis Tate, a lawyer and antiquary and also an MP.

Sir William’s son Zouch Tate (1606-51) was MP in 1640 and was a zealous Parliamentarian who represented Northampton in the Long Parliament. Zouch, who was in possession of Delapré from 1617-1650, was responsible for major alterations to the house between around 1630-40, including the remodelling of the west entrance front to form a prestigious new entrance with a projecting porch in a recessed centre between two wings with shaped gables.

Zouch Tate also rebuilt the east range containing the kitchen, scullery and larder as the windows here are of early 17th century date. In 1749, Delapre was given to Captain, later Admiral, Sir Charles Hardy (circa 1714-80) on his marriage to Mary Tate. Mary died shortly after but Hardy remarried and undertook a number of alterations and remodelling of the house and also the erection of the coach house and stable block to the north of the house.

In order to provide space for entertaining, including a formal dining room and withdrawing room, the south range built by Mary Tate’s father Bartholomew was also remodelled and rebuilt and given a second story with a run of 12 sashed windows. In 1755 Hardy was knighted and made Governor of New York. As a consequence, he spent little further time at Delapre, and the house was advertised for let in 1756. Tenants included in 1762 two surgeons, Lyon and Litchfield, who used the house for their medical research in inoculation.

The Tate association with De la Pré was drawing to an end, and finally in 1764 the house and estate was sold to the Bouverie family.  

Delapre Abbey Entrance.png

The Tate Family Lineage

Generation No. 1


THOMAS TATE, of COVENTRY, a mercer, was born circa 1400. His spouse is unknown, but they were parents of Sir Robert Tate and Sir John Tate, both of whom served as Lord Mayor of London, were both knighted, and both served as Members of Parliament. From the History of Parliament: John Tate b. by 1444, 2nd son of Thomas Tate of Coventry, Warwickshire.
Genealogists have long held that our American Tate family descends through this line. It is , but has not yet been proven, that Thomas was the son of John Thwaites Tate (1385-1461), and grandson of John of Thwaites (1350-). This line was descended from the Yorkshire, England Thwaites.

Some historians list Sir John of Thwaites, born 1350, of Lofthouse, Thwaites and Denton, West Yorkshire. He was married to Joan Thornton, born 1342, daughter of Peter Thornton and Lucia Hellesby.

Sir John Thwaites Tate, born 1385, Lofthouse, West Yorkshire, England married Lady Jane de Thornton, born 1406, daugfhter of Robert de Thornton. John died January 22, 1461, at Lofthouse, Yorkshire, England. Details of Lady Jane’s demise are uncertain.

Notes for Thomas Tate

A descendant, Sir Robert Tate, was Lord Mayor of London in 1488 and Robert’s younger brother, Sir John Tate was twice Lord Mayor. Sir William Tate, a great grandson of Sir John Tate, was a member of the British Parliament in 1592. Reference: History of Parliament online.

From the History of Parliament:

  • Sir Robert Tate, Lord Mayor of London
  • Birth: circa 1440
  • Hasfield, Gloucestershire, England
  • Death: December 15, 1500 (age 56-64)
  • Stockbury, Kent, England
  • Immediate Family:
  • Son of Sir Thomas Tate, of Coventry and unknown mother
  • Husband of Margery Tate, Lady
  • Father of Lady Mary Agnes Chandler; Robert Tate; Bridget Pauncefort and John Tate, of Clerkenwell
  • Brother of Sir John Tate

Sir Robert Tate, Lord Mayor of London, born circa 1440,  at Hasfield, Gloucestershire, England, son of Thomas Tate, of Coventry and unknown mother, married  Margery Wood, daughter of Richard Wood, Mayor of Coventry and Margaret Annes Wood. Robert and Margery were parents of  Mary Agnes Chandler, Robert Tate, Bridget Pauncefort, and John Tate, of Clerkenwell. He was half brother of Henry Thwaites of Lund; Thomas Thwaites and John Thwaites.

Robert Tate Offices Held:

Sheriff 1481-2. Mayor 1488-9. M.P. London 1483 (bis), 1491; Auditor 1485-7; Master Mercers 1482, 1490, 1498. Died ca Dec 1500; Will (PCC 18 Moone) 18 Nov 1500; proved 26 Jan 1501. Source: The Aldermen of the City of London

Generation No. 2

SIR JOHN TATE (Lord Mayor of London) (ca 1442-1515)

Sir John Tate was born second son of Thomas Tate of Coventry and became a mercer of the City of London, initially apprenticed to his uncle, John Tate, a former (1473) Mayor of London. He held lands in the reign of Richard II, married Magdalen (Maud) Harpenden daughter of a Welsh knight, Sir John Harpenden. He and Magdalen had 3 sons, John, Anthony, and Bartholomew, of which the youngest, Bartholomew, was made his heir. The Tate family lived in the parish of All Hallows by the Tower, and later, in the parish of St. Dion’s, Backchurch.

John Tate was made an Alderman of London in 1463, appointed Sheriff of London for 1485 and elected Lord Mayor for 1496-97 and 1514–15,
and mayor of Calais (1505 and 1509). He was twice elected, in 1504 and 1510, as a Member of Parliament for the City of London. He was knighted 17 June 1497. by Henry VII at the Bridge Foot upon the King’s entering London after the Battle of Blackheath.

He was a generous benefactor to St. Anthony’s Hospital, St Benet Fink in the City of London in which connection John Stow in his Survey of London (1598) wrote of him as follows:

“In the year 1499, Sir John Tate, sometime ale-brewer, then a mercer, caused his brew house, called the Swan, near adjoining to the said free chapel, college, or hospital of St. Anthonie, to be taken down for the enlarging of the church, which was then new built, toward the building whereof the said Tate gave great sums of money, and finished in the year 1501. Sir John Tate deceased 1514, (sic) and was there buried under a fair monument by him prepared”.

Sir John requested in his will that 1,000 requiem masses be said for him within two months of his death. He died January 1515.

Offices Held

Warden, Mercers’ Co. 1480-1, master 1486-7, 1492-3, 1500-1, 1508-9; alderman, London 1485-d., sheriff 1485-6, auditor 1491-3, mayor 1496-7, June-Oct 1514; mayor, staple of Calais 1505, 1509; justiciary for Hanse merchants in London 1511; commr. subsidy, London 1504, 1512, 1514.4

Biography from History of Parliament

The following excerpt was published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, edition, by S.T. Bindoff, 1982:

John Tate was the son of a Coventry mercer, himself a near relative (nephew) of the John Tate, mercer and alderman of London, to whom his young namesake was apprenticed. Tate was admitted to the freedom of the company in 1465 and seven years later sued out the general pardon offered to merchants of the staple of Calais. In 1475 he and his elder brother Robert Tate, both living in Tower ward, were among the London merchants said to be worth £10 a year in lands or £100 in goods: at this time the two were trading jointly into the Netherlands. John Tate became an important stapler, exporting wool and wool fells in nine different ships bound for Calais in March 1502 in preparation for the Easter mart. In 1497 he bought a tenement in St. Nicholas parish, Calais, and the moiety of a hospice in Maisondieu Street; he acquired further property when his factor at Calais, his wife’s half-brother, fell into debt and appealed to him for assistance, offering in return lands and tenements in Calais and four small houses in Faringdon, Berkshire. In London he lived first in the parish of All Hallows by the Tower and later in the parish of St. Dionis Backchurch. (5)

As a warden of the Mercers Tate was chosen on 24 Apr. 1483 to ride to meet Edward V on his entry into London, and two days later was elected by the common council of the City to assist the chief butler at the coronation, which in the event became the coronation of Richard III. An alderman of London from March 1485, he was among those charged with defence precautions in July 1485; two years later, after Henry VII had overcome the first rebellion of the reign, Tate was sent on a deputation to the King at Kenilworth. The Cornish rising of 1497 touched London more nearly, and when Henry VII rode into the City after Blackheath he knighted Tate, then mayor, for his services in the ‘well guiding’ of the City and the victualling of the royal army. Thereafter Tate was frequently employed on city business. Thus in March 1503 he reported to the King the widespread opposition to the new charter granted to the Merchant Taylors and in May was one of those appointed to negotiate with the monarch for the confirmation of London’s charter, which the City hoped to see accompanied by the withdrawal of the Merchant Taylors’; in the same year he was empowered to discuss with the corporation of Exeter a dispute over scavage, and in December he was directed to take evidence on the subject. (6)

Both these issues were to come up in the next Parliament, to which Tate was elected on 30 Dec. 1503, after the death of Sir John Shaa. The first was by implication decided in favour of the Merchant Taylors by an Act (19 Hen. VII, c.7) removing from the mayor and aldermen control over all companies’ ordinances; the second was dealt with by an Act (19 Hen. VII, c.8) restricting scavage to goods sold by foreigners, but with the proviso that the City might levy the duty on denizens’ goods with the assent of the King and Council. In 1510, when Tate was again a Member, his company made a determined attempt to limit the new Act (I Hen. VIII, c.20) of tonnage and poundage made necessary by the accession of Henry VIII; although this passed without the desired amendments it did contain a special proviso for merchants of the staple. Tate was not re-elected in 1512, but he presided over the court of aldermen which approved the sending of a deputation, in which all the companies except the Merchant Taylors had agreed to take part, in support of a bill then before Parliament, ‘that all crafts shall hereafter be under the rule of the mayor and aldermen’; during the second session he was assigned to speak to the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and the lord privy seal in favour of this bill, which nevertheless failed. (7)

After his second mayoralty in 1514, when he replaced William Brown who had died in office, Tate asked the court of aldermen what his ‘ancienty or preeminence’ should be as the oldest alderman and the youngest to have been mayor twice. He did not long enjoy the distinction. In a long will, dated 3 Jan. 1515 and proved 18 days later, he asked to be buried in the collegiate church of St. Antholin, which he had rebuilt at his own cost, directed that 1,000 requiem masses should be said for him within two months of his death, and made charitable bequests totalling £1763 to religious houses in Coventry and London and to prisoners, the sick and the poor. He left to his wife, his executrix, the residue of his goods and all his lands in Berkshire, Calais, Essex and London, with remainder to his younger surviving son Bartholomew Tate. The exclusion of the elder son, to whom he left ‘little or nothing’, gave rise to contention and was criticized by the widow in her own will. Bartholomew Tate was the father of the Elizabethan Member of that name. (8)


Ref Volumes: 1509-1558 Author: Helen Miller Notes 1. City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 1, f. 150. 2. City of London RO, jnl. 11, f. 90. 3. Date of birth estimated from admission to freedom of Mercers’ Co. Harl. 1504, f. 116; 1546, f. 64 (the first marriage ascribed to Tate in HP, ed. Wedgwood 1439-1509 (Biogs.), 841, was his nephew’s); Gt. Chron. of London, ed. Thomas and Thornley, 277. 4. Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co. ed. Lyell and Watney, 138, 229, 244, 294, 316, 344; City of London RO, jnl. 9, f. 71; 10, f. 79; 11, f. 190; letter bk. L, 225, 281, 289; CPR, 1494-1509, p. 447; LP Hen. VIII, i; Statutes, iii. 83, 118. 5. Coventry Leet Bk. (EETS cxxxiv), i. 246; PCC 4 Holder; List of mercers (T/S Mercers’ Hall); CPR, 1467-77, p. 315; Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co., 79; Bronnen tot de Geschiedenis van den Handel met Engeland, Schotland en Ierland, ed. Smit, ii. 1847; E122/79/9; CCR, 1485-1500, no. 992; C1/272/12-14. 6. Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co., 138, 147; City of London RO, jnl. 9, ff. 21v, 71, 82, 150v; 10, ff. 281, 285v; rep. 1, ff. 129, 147v; Gt. Chron. of London, 277. 7. Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co. 346 seq.; City of London RO, rep. 2, ff. 146, 148. 8. City of London RO, rep. 1, f. 136v; 2, ff. 178v, 197v; PCC 4, 35 Holder; W. K. Jordan, Charities of London, 1480-1660, p. 352. Ref:


John Tate was the son of a Coventry mercer, himself a near relative of the John Tate, mercer and alderman of London, to whom his young namesake was apprenticed. Tate was admitted to the freedom of the company in 1465 and seven years later sued out the general pardon offered to Merchants of the Staple of Calais.

In 1475 he and his elder brother, Robert Tate, both living in Tower ward, were among the London merchants said to be worth £10 a year in lands or £100 in goods: at this time the two were trading jointly into the Netherlands.

John Tate became an important stapler, exporting wool and wool fells in nine different ships bound for Calais in March 1502 in preparation for the Easter mart. In 1497 he bought a tenement in St. Nicholas parish, Calais, and the moiety of a hospice in Maisondieu Street; he acquired further property when his factor at Calais, his wife’s half-brother, fell into debt and appealed to him for assistance, offering in return lands and tenements in Calais and four small houses in Faringdon, Berkshire. In London he lived first in the parish of All Hallows by the Tower and later in the parish of St. Dionis Backchurch.

As a warden of the Mercers, Tate was chosen on 24 Apr. 1483 to ride to meet King Edward V on his entry into London, and two days later, was elected by the common council of the City to assist the chief butler at the coronation, which in the event became the coronation of Richard III.

An alderman of London from March 1485, he was among those charged with defence precautions in July 1485; two years later, after Henry VII had overcome the first rebellion of the reign, Tate was sent on a deputation to the King at Kenilworth. The Cornish uprising of 1497 touched London more nearly, and when Henry VII rode into the City after Blackheath, he knighted Tate, then mayor, for his services in the ‘well guiding’ of the City and the victualling of the royal army. Thereafter Tate was frequently employed on city business.

Thus in March 1503, he reported to the King the widespread opposition to the new charter granted to the Merchant Taylors, and in May was one of those appointed to negotiate with the monarch for the confirmation of London’s charter, which the City hoped to see accompanied by the withdrawal of the Merchant Taylors. In the same year, he was empowered to discuss with the corporation of Exeter, a dispute over scavage, and in December he was directed to take evidence on the subject.

Both these issues were to come up in the next Parliament, to which Tate was elected on 30 Dec. 1503, after the death of Sir John Shaa. The first issue was, by implication, decided in favour of the Merchant Taylors by an Act (19 Hen. VII, c.7) removing from the mayor and aldermen control over all companies’ ordinances. The second issue was dealt with by an Act (19 Hen. VII, c.8) restricting scavage to goods sold by foreigners, but with the proviso that the City might levy the duty on denizens’ goods with the assent of the King and Council.

In 1510, when Tate was again a Member, his company made a determined attempt to limit the new Act (I Hen. VIII, c.20) of tonnage and poundage made necessary by the accession of Henry VIII. Although this passed without the desired amendments, it did contain a special proviso for merchants of the staple.

Tate was not re-elected in 1512, but he presided over the court of aldermen which approved the sending of a deputation, in which all the companies, except the Merchant Taylors, had agreed to take part, in support of a bill then before Parliament, ‘that all crafts shall hereafter be under the rule of the mayor and aldermen.’ During the second session he was assigned to speak to the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and the lord privy seal in favour of this bill, which nevertheless failed.

After his second mayoralty in 1514, when he replaced William Brown who had died in office, Tate asked the court of aldermen what his ‘ancienty or preeminence’ should be as the oldest alderman and the youngest to have been mayor twice. He did not long enjoy the distinction.

John Tate Final Will

In a long will, dated 3 Jan. 1515 and proved 18 days later, he asked to be buried in the collegiate church of St. Antholin, which he had rebuilt at his own cost, directed that 1,000 requiem masses should be said for him within two months of his death, and made charitable bequests totalling £1,763 to religious houses in Coventry and London and to prisoners, the sick and the poor.

He left to his wife, his executrix, the residue of his goods and all his lands in Berkshire, Calais, Essex and London, with the remainder given to his youngest surviving son Bartholomew Tate. The exclusion of the elder son, to whom he left ‘little or nothing’, gave rise to contention and was criticized by the widow in her own will. Bartholomew Tate was the father of the Elizabethan Member of that name.

Will-Ref Volumes: 1509-1558  Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 1, f. 150.
  • 2. City of London RO, jnl. 11, f. 90.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from admission to freedom of Mercers’ Co. Harl. 1504, f. 116; 1546, f. 64 (the first marriage ascribed to Tate in HP, ed. Wedgwood 1439-1509 (Biogs.), 841, was his nephew’s); Gt. Chron. of London, ed. Thomas and Thornley, 277.
  • 4.Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co. ed. Lyell and Watney, 138, 229, 244, 294, 316, 344; City of London RO, jnl. 9, f. 71; 10, f. 79; 11, f. 190; letter bk. L, 225, 281, 289; CPR, 1494-1509, p. 447; LP Hen. VIII, i; Statutes, iii. 83, 118.
  • 5.Coventry Leet Bk. (EETS cxxxiv), i. 246; PCC 4 Holder; List of mercers (T/S Mercers’ Hall); CPR, 1467-77, p. 315; Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co., 79; Bronnen tot de Geschiedenis van den Handel met Engeland, Schotland en Ierland, ed. Smit, ii. 1847; E122/79/9; CCR, 1485-1500, no. 992; C1/272/12-14.
  • 6.Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co., 138, 147; City of London RO, jnl. 9, ff. 21v, 71, 82, 150v; 10, ff. 281, 285v; rep. 1, ff. 129, 147v; Gt. Chron. of London, 277.
  • 7.Acts Ct. of Mercers’ Co. 346 seq.; City of London RO, rep. 2, ff. 146, 148.
  • 8. City of London RO, rep. 1, f. 136v; 2, ff. 178v, 197v; PCC 4, 35 Holder; W. K. Jordan, Charities of London, 1480-1660, p. 352.

Generation No. 3

SIR BARTHOLOMEW TATE of Laxton, Northants

Bartholomew Tate, (1486-1532), born in Laxton, Northants,
Northamptonshire , England, son of Sir John Tate and Magdalen (Maud) Harpenden, married Anne Saunders (d.1564), daughter of Laurence Saunders of Harrington, Northamptonshire, and they had six children together. He also had two sons and four daughters from another relationship. He died in 1533 at the age of 47.

In 1475 John and his elder brother Robert Tate, both living in Tower ward, were among the elite London merchants said to be worth £10 tax a year in lands or £100 in goods The Tates were well known at the social level of the royal families. Bartholomew’s father was chief butler at the coronation of Richard III; he was chosen on 24 Apr. 1483 to ride to greet king Edward V on his entry into London; Henry VII rode into London after the battle of Blackheath and knighted Tate, then Lord Mayor,

Sir Bartholomew Tate became a member of the royal household and held office in Calais, probably as vice-marshal or marshal. Tate himself must have been employed by Elizabeth before her accession to the throne, as she gave him a grant ‘for his service’ in the reign of Queen Mary.

Generation No. 4


Bartholomew Tate, Esquire, born April 1529 in De la Pré Abbey, Northamptonshire, England, served as a Member of Parliament representing Coventry, Warwickshire and De la Pré. He married (1) Elinor or Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Richard Pauncefote circa 1557, and (2) Dorothy, daughter of Francis Tanfield of Gayton, Northamptonshire.

Notes for Bartholomew Tate b 1529

From the History of Parliament, Ref Volumes: 1558-1603 Author: S. M. Thorpe:

Family and Education

Bartholomew Tate b 1529, first son, and heir, of Sir Bartholomew Tate of Laxton, Northamptonshire, by Anne Saunders (died 1564), daughter of Laurence Saunders of Harrington, Northamptonshire, probably the widow of one Befford. Bartholomew was married by 1550, (1) Elinor or Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Richard Pauncefote; circa 1557, married (2) Dorothy, daughter of Francis Tanfield of Gayton, Northamptonshire; they had 3 sons, including Francis and William, and 3 or 4 daughters.

Offices Held: Freeman, Northampton; Escheator, Northamptonshire. 1560-2, Justice of the Peace. by 1582, “q.” 1584-d.; Sheriff 1585-6.


In the fifteenth century the Tates were London merchants. Tate’s father became a member of the royal household and held office in Calais, probably as vice-marshal or marshal. Tate himself must have been employed by Elizabeth before her accession, as she gave him a grant ‘for his service’ in the reign of Queen Mary.

After his father’s death, his mother married Sir Thomas Longueville, but the latter died without surviving issue in 1536 and Tate was probably brought up either on his father’s Coventry manor, Whitley, or by his mother’s family, the Saunders.

Some time between 1544 and 1548 his mother married Andrew, a younger son of Nicholas Wadham of Merrifield, Somerset, and on 13 Feb. 1548 they bought De la Pré Abbey from John Mershe with remainder to Bartholomew. The following day Mershe obtained a licence to alienate the property to Tate’s two Saunders uncles, probably by way of a settlement. Tate and his mother immediately built a range of rooms on the site of the old nunnery and it may have been to these that he brought his first wife, his cousin Elizabeth Pauncefote, granddaughter of Robert Tate, and her father’s heir.

She evidently died young, for in 1557 Tate enfeoffed his Kent manor of Stokebury to a group of Tanfield feoffees; and his eldest son, William, was baptized in 1559. Elizabeth Pauncefote has been described as dying without issue, but for two reasons it seems probable that she left a daughter: in the first place Tate retained the Pauncefote estates, and secondly in about 1576 his eldest daughter, Dorothy, married Robert Tanfield, his second wife’s brother.(4)

Tate had many relatives who might have assisted him to obtain advancement: his cousin, Richard Tate, the ambassador, who left Tate’s brother Anthony a £20 annuity; his second wife’s family, the Tanfields, prominent in legal circles; her cousins the Caves, royal officials; and above all his cousin, Sir Christopher Hatton.

His friends, and the marriages arranged for his children show him to have been a member of Hatton’s circle, yet Tate does not himself appear to have derived any benefit from his relatives. The Tanfields undoubtedly promoted the legal career of his son Francis and the connexion with the Hattons probably helped his son William to a seat in Parliament.

In the late 1550s and the 1560s Tate was occupied in reorganizing his Northamptonshire estates, dividing his time between his Coventry manor of Whitley and the abbey at Delapré. In 1564 he was recommended by the bishop of his diocese for inclusion on the commission of the peace as ‘an earnest furtherer’ of religion, a claim which receives no confirmation from the Catholic sympathies of the husbands he chose for his daughters. He does not appear on the commission until the eighties, and then played only a minor role in county affairs. He served the usual term as sheriff and was occasionally called upon to act on special commissions.

In Coventry, Tate was a well known figure as the owner of one of the principal manors within the city boundaries, and the descendant of prominent benefactors of the borough. A dispute over commons was settled by arbitration in 1569, and there was no quarrel outstanding in April 1573 when Tate was elected to replace Edmund Brownell, deceased, who had represented Coventry in the first session of this Parliament.

In 1581 he was named one of the trustees, under Thomas Dudley’s will, of property left for charitable uses. By 1593 there was a further dispute: a reference in the council book to £23 in gold sent to London for Mr. Tate’s suits is presumably the prelude to the agreement in 1594 between Tate and the city concerning lands and tithes at Stivichall and Stretton.(6)

In Parliament Tate has only one recorded committee, 11 Feb. 1576, on the poor law. It may have been he who, about this time, wrote a treatise, wrongly ascribed to his son Francis, offering advice on the management of the House of Commons to a Privy Councillor—possibly the comparatively inexperienced Hatton, who is known to have been seeking advice.(7)

Tate died 23 Apr. 1601, and was buried at Hardingstone. He had expanded his estates shortly before his death by the acquisition from the Crown of the manor of Cotton and the purchase of Byfield rectory from Valentine Knightley. The bulk of his estates descended to his eldest son William, for whom in 1597 he had negotiated a splendid match with the eldest daughter, and presumptive coheir, of Edward, Lord Zouche of Harringworth.(8)


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. PCC 24 Thower, 29 Tashe; Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe:, 45, 198; Vis. Notts. (Harl. Soc. iv), 84; the pedigrees are confused about the numbering and names of his mother’s husbands, Wadham being generally given as her second.
  • 3.Northampton Recs. ii. 45.
  • 4. W. K. Jordan, Charities of London, 137, 271, 299, 300, 352, 405; S. Thrupp, Merchant Class of Medieval London, 369; Chronicle of Calais (Cam. Soc. xxxv), xxxix. 100, 163; PCC 16 Pynnyng; Baker, Northants. i. 27; Lipscomb, Bucks. iv. 315; Wards 7/26/44; R. M. Serjeantson, Hist. Delapré;, 33; J. Wake and W. A. Pantin, Northants. Past and Present, ii. no. 5, 230; CPR, 1547-8, p. 332; 1555-7, p. 434; 1556-9, p. 321.
  • 5.CPR, 1558-60, pp. 12, 405; 1560-3, p. 326; Wards 7/26/44; Bridges, Northants. i. 363, 364, 365, 392; ii. 35; E. St. John Brooks, Sir Christopher Hatton, 68-70, 159; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 36; APC, xix. 68; xxii. 546; xxiv. 41; Lansd. 49, f. 171.
  • 6. Jordan, loc. cit.; Coventry Bk. of Payments, ff. 17, 44, 69; Coventry Loans, Benefactions and Charities (1802), p. 61; T. W. Whitley, Parl. Rep. Coventry, 59.
  • 7.CJ, i. 105; Harl. 253, ff. 32 et seq.; Neale, Parlts. i. 422-4; Sir Harris Nicholas, Sir C. Hatton, 216-18, 226.
  • 8. C142/265/58; PRO, cal. and index pat. rolls 31-7 Eliz. 32 (17), p. 24, 37-43 Eliz. 41(11); Baker, ii. 276; CP, xii. 951-2.

9. Bartholomew Tate died in 1601, and was survived by his eldest son, Sir William Tate, knight of De la Pré Abbey, and of Whitley Castle, in the county of Warwick. M.P. for Corfe Castle. Retrieved from: A Genealogical and Heraldic History of The Commoners of Great Britain And Ireland Enjoying Territorial Possessions or High Official Rank: But Uninvested With Heritable Honours. History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland.  Tate, of Burleigh Park. Lineage.

Generation No. 5

SIR WILLIAM TATE of Corfe Castle

Sir William Tate, knight, was born 1559 at De la Pré Abbey. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward la Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche of Haryngworth, and Eleanor _____, of Eversley, Hampshire, England. They had four sons and three daughters, of whom the eldest son, and heir, was Zouch Tate. Sir William died at the age of 58 in 1617.

Notes for William Tate b 1559

SIR WILLIAM TATE (1559–1617) was an English Member of Parliament. He was the son of Bartholomew Tate of De la Pré Abbey, and brother of Francis Tate. He studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, and entered the Middle Temple (of law), one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers, the others being the Inner Temple, Gray’s Inn and Lincoln’s Inn. It is located in the wider Temple area of London, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.

He was first in Parliament as member for Corfe Castle, in 1593. He succeeded his father in 1601, inheriting De la Pré Abbey. (, Tate, William (1559-1617), of De la Pré, Northants.)

Tate was an associate of Richard Knightley. He used De la Pré Abbey as a centre for local Puritans. (REF: Andrew Cambers, Godly Reading: Print, Manuscript and Puritanism in England, 1580-1720 (2011), p. 180; Google Books.)

He brought the physician John Cotta to the area, from the University of Cambridge, in 1603. (Dictionary of National Biography, Cotta or Cottey, John, M.D. (1575?–1650?), physician and author, by Alsager Vian. Published 1887.)

He was appointed High Sheriff of Northamptonshire for 1603-04. and was knighted in 1606, and elected to Parliament for Northamptonshire in 1614. (Roger Kenneth French, Andrew Wear (editors), The Medical Revolution of the Seventeenth Century (1989), p. 14 note 12; Google Books.)

Sir William Tate married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward la Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Oliver Beecher and was mother to the M.P. Sir William Beecher. They had four sons and three daughters. Their daughter, Elizabeth married Sir William Beecher, (1628-94).

Family and Education

He was born the second son, but first surviving son of Bartholomew Tate of De la Pré Abbey and his second wife Dorothy Tanfield. He had one other brother, Francis. Educated at  Magdalen Hall, Oxford in 1576, at the age of 17. He married in 1597, Elizabeth Zouche, (d.1617), daughter and coheir of Edward, 11th Lord Zouche. He was knighted 2 Feb. 1606, and died 14 Oct. 1617.


Originally from Coventry, Tate’s forbears made their fortune as London brewers: three served as lord mayor between 1473 and 1515, one of whom, Sir John Tate, represented the City in the 1504 and 1510 parliaments. The family bought De la Pré Abbey, Northamptonshire in 1548. Educated with his younger brother Francis Tate, he was probably intended for a legal career until the death of his elder brother in 1580 left him as heir.

Tate represented Corfe Castle in 1593 in the interest of the manorial lord, his cousin, Sir William Hatton, alias Newport. When the latter’s estates were seized by the Crown in the following year, for payment of debts of £42,000 owed by the late Sir Christopher Hatton, Tate and his brother were granted a lease of the extent.

Despite the parliamentary patronage thus placed at his disposal, he did not sit again until 1614; in any case, his tenure as sheriff of Northamptonshire rendered him ineligible in 1604. In February 1605 he signed the petition against the deprivation of ministers who refused to subscribe to the new ecclesiastical canons, but quickly submitted when summoned before the Privy Council.

He was otherwise a conspicuously loyal Crown servant: in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot he conducted a rigorous search at Harrowden, seat of the Catholic Lord Vaux; and when a controversy arose over purveyance in 1613, he urged co-operation with the purveyors, ‘lest we should seem wholly opposite to give respect in extraordinary necessities to supply of His Majesty’s wants’.16

Appointed a deputy lieutenant in 1607, Tate gradually took over the leadership of Northamptonshire’s western division from Sir Richard Knightley, and despite health problems, he succeeded the latter as Knight of the Shire in 1614.17

He made no recorded speeches in the Commons, but was named to several committees: he was one of the delegation appointed to confer with the Lords about the bill settling the succession rights of Princess Elizabeth’s children (14 Apr.), and was also appointed to the committee drafting a petition which condemned the new order of baronetcy as ‘dishonourable to the state’ (23 May).

Towards the end of the session he was included on three committees appointed to consider what action to take in the escalating privilege dispute with the Lords over Bishop Neile’s criticism of the Commons’ debates on impositions (27 May, 30 May, 1 June).18   

Tate died at De la Pré on 14 Oct. 1617. He bequeathed £1,500 apiece to his younger brother Edward, 11th Lord Zouche, both his executor and guardian of his heir, Zouche Tate, who sat for Northampton in the Short and Long Parliaments until his exclusion at Pride’s Purge.19

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629. Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Simon Healy


  • 1.Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 199. Bartholomew was clearly the eldest: Al. Ox.
  • 2.Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.; MTR, 292.
  • 3. C142/265/58.
  • 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 139.
  • 5. C142/365/149.
  • 6.Musters, Beacons, Subsidies ed. J. Wake (Northants. Rec. Soc. iii), 83; E179/157/398.
  • 7. C181/1, ff. 24, 117.
  • 8.List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 94.
  • 9. Northants. RO, Northampton Bor. Recs. 3/1, f. 307v.
  • 10. Ibid. f. 130v; Musters, Beacons, Subsidies, 119-21.
  • 11. Northants. RO, W(A)4/VII/11J.
  • 12. C181/2, f. 30v.
  • 13. E359/5; E401/2409, 401/2419, 401/2420.
  • 14. C181/2, ff. 90v, 117v, 260v.
  • 15. Bridges, Northants. i. 365; MTR, 227; Vis. Northants. 141, 198-9.
  • 16. C66/1442/15; SP14/12/69; HMC Hatfield, xvii. 491, 496; CSP Dom. 1603-11, p. 256; HMC Buccleuch, iii. 154.
  • 17.HMC Buccleuch, iii. 160, 164; Northants. Ltcy. Pprs. ed. J. Goring and J. Wake (Northants. Rec. Soc. xxvii), pp. xiii-xiv.
  • 18.Procs. 1614 (Commons), 82, 322, 365, 381, 405; Add. 34218, f. 120.
  • 19. PROB 11/130, ff. 479v-82v; WARD 9/162, f. 273v.

Generation No. 6

WILLIAM TATE of Northumberland, England

WilliamTate, son of Sir William Tate, was born about 1585 in Northumberland, England. He married the widow of David Bowerman Tate, Katherine ______, born in 1585. William Tate died about 1650 in Northumberland, London, England. Katherine’s demise is unknown, although death is believed tohave occurred in Northumberland, London, England.

Notes for William Tate b 1585

William had three brothers and three sisters. His brother Zouche was the heir apparent for the estate at De la Pré. It is possible that he relocated elsewhere to pursue his own interests, since few people desired to be under the Lordship of a younger brother. William and Katherine had one known child christened at St, Katherine, London, England in 1618.

Generation No. 7

JAMES TATE of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

James (1) Tate, son of William, was born 1 Aug. 1615 at Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He was christened on 1 Sept. 1615 at All Saints church, Newcastle Upon Tyne. He emigrated to America via Barbados in 1635, age 17. In 1636 he married Mary Evans, born about 1618 in England, daughter of William and Katherine Evans.

Their son, James (2), was born in York Co., Va. in 1638, married in 1685 and died in 1727 in York County, Virginia Colony. Son of James (2), Robert, had a son John.
REF: Ancestry Message Board Tates of Northumberland

Mary Ann’s father, also an emigrant, was born circa 1595 in Yorkshire, England, died October 21, 1657 in Elizabeth City, Colony of Virginia. Mary Ann died August 1665 in York County, Colony of Virginia. James and Mary Ann were parents of James (2) Tate, Ann Tate, and Elizabeth Tate.



Tates Immigrate to America  

  • Historical Colonial Papers (Library of Virginia)    
  • James City County Virginia Correspondence
  • York County Papers   

First Tates in America    

  • John Tate, Pilgrim  
  • Tates In Colonial Virginia    
  • Magnus Tate, Colonist    
  • James Tate of Ireland    
  • Robert Tate, Settler      
  • Bacon’s Rebellion      
  • White Indentured Colonists 

The Tate Families Of Russell County, VA    

  • Living on the Frontier    
  • Flour And Cornmeal    
  • Pioneer Farming    
  • Pioneer Clothing  
  • Cultural Norms   
  • Animals In The Wild    
  • Wild Cats

Robert Tate and Mary Bracken    

  • William Bracken, born 1679    
  • Timeline of Russell County    
  • Petition to the House of Delegates of Virginia    
  • Political Climate In Virginia      
  • Dunmore’s Mismanagement      
  • Confrontation With The Hanover Militia      
  • Final Skirmishes And Return To Britain

Native Indian Troubles    

  • Massacre On Wallen’s Creek    
  • Dunmore’s War Of 1774    
  • Cherokee War of 1776    
  • Battle of Point Pleasant
  •  Colonial Virginia Militia Laws    
  • Battle at King’s Mountain, by A. W. Tate    
  • Battle of New Garden, N.C.    
  • Battle of Guilford Courthouse  
  • Kentucky Historical Society

Colonial Fortifications  

  • Forts Of The Holston Militia  
  • Houston Fort Overcrowding
  • Frontier Forts  
  • Stockaded Military Forts  
  • Fort Christian  
  • Moore’s Fort  
  • Blackmore’s Fort  
  • Daniel Smith’s Fort  
  • New Garden Station
  • Big Moccasin Creek  

 John Tate’s Fort On Upper Moccasin Creek

  • Col. John Tate Homestead, An Oral Tradition  
  • Site of Tate’s Fort  
  • The Tate Bottoms  
  • Fugate Cabin 

John Tate’s Political Life    

Road Surveyor, Constable, Militia Lieutenant, Patriot, Gentleman Justice, Captain of Militia,  County Commissioner, Battalion Captain of Militia, Lieutenant Colonel of Militia, Overseer of the Poor, College Trustee, Sheriff, Collector of Revenue

Colonel John and Mary Tate Interments      

  • Colonel John Tate Grave Marker
  • Tate Cemeteries of Russell County, Virginia    
  • Tate-Burdine Cemetery    
  • Tate Cemetery
List of Tate Generations 8-13
  • 8. James Tate of Northumberland, England
  • 9. James Tate of York County VA
  • 10. James(4) Tate of New Kent, New Kent, VA
  • 11. Robert Tate b 1691 of Hanover County VA, born 1691
  • 12. Robert Tate of Hanover County VA, born 1722
  • 13. William Tate of Augusta County, Virginia
200 Ton British Merchant Ship of the 1600s –


Generation 8

James(2) Tate of Northumberland England

James (2), was born in York Co., Va. in 1638, and married in 1685, Mary Ann Evans, born circa 1619, England, daughter of William Evans and Katherine. and died in 1727 in York County, Virginia Colony.
REF: Ancestry Message Board Tates of Northumberland 

Mary Ann’s father, William Evans, also an emmigrant, was born circa 1595 in Yorkshire, England, died October 21, 1657 in Elizabeth City, Colony of Virginia. Mary Ann died August 1665 in York County, Colony of Virginia. James and Mary Ann were parents of James (3) Tate, Ann Tate, and Elizabeth Tate. Robert, son of James (2), had a son John. 

From Madison County, Kentucky histories:

Children of James(2) and Mary Ann Evans Tate;
Anne born between 1656 and 1675;
John born between 1656 and 1675;
Robert born between 1656 and 1675;
William born between 1656 and 1675;
James(3) born 1662 in New Kent Co., VA; died about 1727; buried at St. Peter’s Parish in New Kent Co., VA He was called the “Scotsman Emigrant” who settled near Page’s Ware House in Hanover Co. VA

Hanover County, was formed from New Kent Co., in 1720. This James(2) was a Hatter by trade, and a Tailor. On March 14, 1708, he was appointed overseer of processioning for his district until 1727 when he died intestate.

When St. Paul’s Parish was formed from St. Peter’s, records of James (2) appears there for the years 1706 through 1719. James(2) was paid in tobacco for his services to the parish. His sons appear in the processioning records.

Louisa Co., VA Will Book 3, page 507

(Acting executor was Enos Tate)
(Wife’s name not available)

Aron FONTAINE and Garrett MINOR, examine and approve the account produced to them by Enos TAIT, acting executor of James Tait, deceased, and find the said James Tait’S personal estate to amount to 646 pounds, 9 shillings, 7 d – etc. The Court will decide what is the widow’s part.

We find that Rachel Hester, daughter of the same James TAIT, deceased, died before him, leaving a son, Charles Hester, now living. We find also that John and Nathan Tait, sons of the said James Tate, deceased, entered into the Continental Army previous to the said James’ death and that they have not been ……………….

Miscellaneous Notes
Zenas born 1737 in Hanover Co., VA; died 1805; married Lucy ?; was given 100 acres in Louisa Co. VA by his father; served in the French and Indian War under George Washington;
John born about 1739 in Hanover Co., VA; died 1785 in Guilford Co., NC; married Sarah “Sally” Street; Served in Revolutionary War. (State Archives in Raleigh) SOURCE: According to the Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. X, 1775 – 1776, page 204; Saturday 9, 1775, the Congress met to select Field Officers of the Minute Men and the Field Officers of the Militia; John Tate was selected as second Major for Guilford County Militia, serving under Colonel Ransom Sutherland; Source: “Fox and Graham Family”, by John Fox;

REF: Louisa Co., Va. Will Book 3, page 502

Aron Fontaine and Garrett Minor, examine and approve the account produced to them by Enos Tait, acting executor of James Tait, deceased, and find the said James Tait’s personal estate to amount to 646 pounds, 9 shillings, 7 d – etc. The Court will decide what is the widow’s part. We find that Rachel Hester, daughter of the same James Tait, deceased, died before him, leaving a son, Charles Hester, now living. We find also that John and Nathan Tait, sons of the said James Tait, deceased, entered into the Continental Army previous to the said James’ death.

Notes for John Tate
John Tate was a Carpenter. He lived in the section of New Kent Co., VA that was later taken to form Louisa Co., in 1742. John was an elder in the church of St. Martin’s Parish. Married (2nd) Mary Waddy about 1737; born about 1715; died 1773;

Caswell Co., NC Deed Books 181701840 by Katharine Kerr Kendall. Deed Book S pgs 23-24

“On 19 Dec 1776, John and his wife, Sarah, sold 219 acres adj. Widow Yancy, William Pettit and Samuel Waddy to Richard Swift of Louisa Co., VA.; John died intestate prior to 10 Mar 1785 and his brother, Zephaniah Tate, was administrator. and guardian of his six children.”

Waddy born about 1741 in Louisa Co., VA; died 1789 in Caswell Co., NC; married Nancy Ann Simpson (Sister to Sarah who married Nathaniel Hart and sister to Lydia who married Zaccheus Tate); about 1769 in Caswell Co., NC;

Zaccheus born about 1742 in Hanover Co., VA; died 1798 in Orange Co., NC;
married Lydia Simpson (Sister to Sarah who married Nathaniel Hart and sister to Nancy Ann who married Waddy Tate); the couple lived on the Orange and Guilford Co., line; he was given a grist mill and 67 acres on the north bank of the New River in 1770 by Richard SIimpson, his father-in-law; he served in the Revolution under Capt. Nathaniel Hart, NC troops; Sarah “Sally” born about 1743 in Louisa Co., VA; married Joseph STtreet on 9-4-1769 in Louisa Co., VA;

Zephaniah born about 1749 in Louisa Co., VA; died 1816 in Caswell Co., NC;
owned 222 acres of land on both sides of Orange and Guilford Co. lines north side of Haw River in 1779; (Appointed guardian of his brother John’s six children);

Zedekiah born about 1751 in Louisa Co., VA; died 1784 in Louisa Co., VA;
Upham “Fannie” born about 1753 in Louisa Co., VA; died 1784/8; married Anthony Winston on 3-7-1776;

Louisa Co., Va. Deed Book H. page 477 –

10 March 1785 – Articles of Agreement between Zackeus TAIT, of the COUNTY OF ORANGE, STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, son of John TAIT, deceased, formerly of the County of Louisa, Virginia, of 1st part – (Zenas) TAIT of City of Richmond, Virginia, son of John, deceased, of 2nd part – Waddy TAIT, of COUNTY OF CASWELL, STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, son of said John TAIT, deceased, of 3rd part and Zephaniah TAIT, of the COUNTY OF GILFORD (sic) STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, son of said John TAIT, deceased, of the 4th part – Charles SNELSON of the County of Halifax, State of Virginia, representative of Mary, his wife, daughter of John TAIT, deceased of 5th part – and Joseph STREET, of County of Louisa, Virginia, representative of Sarah, his wife, daughter of John TAIT, deceased, of 6th part – and Anthony WINSTON, of county and state aforesaid, representative of his late wife, UPHAM, daughter of John TAIT, deceased, of the 7th part – and John TAIT, of the COUNTY OF ORANGE, STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, son of Zacharias TAIT, deceased, son of the said John TAIT, deceased, representative of his father as administrator of his estate and also of his father’s orphan children, Sarah TAIT – Anderson TAIT and Richard TAIT, being their guardian, of the 8th part and Zephaniah TAIT, aforesaid, as representative for John TAIT – Fanny TAIT – Sally TAIT – Hannah TAIT – Caswell TAIT – and Anthony TAIT, orphan children of John TAIT, deceased, being their guardian lawfully appointed, of the 9th part, etc., etc.

Refers to Will of John Tait of Louisa Co., Virginia dated 25 November 1768 (which see) and his wife (and relict) Mary TAIT, his ten children, etc., aforesaid heirs appoint Zephaniah TAIT their legal attorney and agent, etc.

The signatures of the parties appear as Zacekis Tait – Zenas Tait – Waddy Tait – Zephaniah Tait – Charles Snelson – Joseph Street – Anthony Winston – John Tait, administrator and guardian and Zephaniah Tait, guardian. Proved and recorded Louisa Co., Virginia 14 March 1785.

Generation 9

JAMES TATE (3) of York County VA

James Tate (3), born 1638, York County, Virginia, and in 1685, married Anne Upham, born 1642. James died circa 1727, in York County, Virginia Colony. Son of James (3), Robert, had a son John. REF: Ancestry Message Board Tates of Northumberland

Notes for James Tate b 1638

James(3) Tate, had been married before his father, James(2) Tate, executed his will on 18 June 1664, hence was not named in his father’s estate.

Because of the lack of official documents, there is persistent confusion among researchers as to last names of the wives of these several generations of James Tates. The identity of this James(3) Tate’s wife is uncertain, although some published sources believe her name to have been Anne Upham, since Upham begins to appear as first names of children in following generations.

Other researchers believe, because of the recurring obvious surnames used as first names in several succeeding generations, that his wife’s maiden name may have been Waddy. However, both of these surnames were widely used Scotch-Irish names, and just as Tate was a popular first name in preceding generations, these surnames were popular as first names in these generations.

Combine this with the loss of many vital records due to courthouse fires. and the fact that there were many Tate/Tait/Tayte, etc lines in colonial times, there is great difficulty in being completely confident in the work of research from this period.

Generation No. 10


James(4) Tate born 1662 in New Kent, New Kent, VA, died circa 1740 in St Peters Parish, New Kent, VA, married Anne Waddy about 1685, daughter of Samuel Waddy and Ann Craighill. She was born, about 1662 in New Kent County, VA, and died after 1743 in Hanover County, VA.

Notes for James (4) Tate b 1662

There is no documentary evidence of the first name of James’ wife but Ethel Updike believed that it was Anne. Marriage: 1685, St. Peters Parish, New Kent County, Virginia.

James (4) and his wife had 7 children with 2 daughters dying young: Anne died on Nov 30 1702 at age 13; Upham died on Apr 13 1703 at age 2. Except for the oldest son, the children’s births were recorded in St. Peter’s Parish of New Kent Co VA.

St. Peter’s Church is still standing in New Kent County near Talleysville. It is a quaint, brick, English-looking building in the beautiful Virginia countryside with a historic graveyard.

St Peters Church.png
St. Peter’s Church

The present building was erected in 1701-1703. When visiting the restored church in the 1990’s, it is easy to imagine the Tates attending services there 300 years earlier. The church has claim to an important event in American history because it was the home parish of Martha Dandridge Custis who married George Washington.

They married at Martha’s plantation home of “White House” in 1759, performed by the parish priest, Rev. David Mossom, and it remains an important event in the parish history.

On May 4 1689 in St. Peter’s Parish, James(4) was named as a landowner and as having his holdings “processioned.” Processioning of lands was required by the royal government of England and meant that periodically the bounds of every person’s land “shall be gone around and the landmarks renewed.” In 1704 James’ name appeared on the rent rolls, showing that he owned 160 acres. He was a hatter and tailor, making clothes for Anthony Burroughs in 1700 and 1708, and for Anthony Winston in 1711.

Unfortunately, there are very few records existing from the two counties where James(4) lived. New Kent Co VA had been formed in 1654, but few records remain. The first records of James are found in the church records of St. Peter’s Parish. In 1704, St. Peter’s Parish was divided, and the new parish of St. Paul’s for New Kent Co was formed. James was listed in the records for St. Paul’s Parish for the years 1706 through 1719 many times.

He was paid in tobacco for his services to the parish in 1706 (50 pounds), 1708 (35 pounds), 1711 (25 pounds). He was appointed an overseer of processioning along with Thomas Giles in 1708. His lands were processioned in 1711, 1715, 1716, and 1719. His neighbors remained essentially the same over these years with the names of Thomas Glass, Anthony Winston, John Anderson, and Thomas Collett appearing repeatedly.

In 1720, Hanover Co was formed from New Kent Co, but St. Paul’s Parish remained the same. Sometime between 1720 and 1727, James(4) died in St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover Co. Widow Tate was listed in the church vestry records on Aug 22 1727 with the same neighbors as in previous listings. Her 3 oldest sons, John, James(5), and Robert, appeared in the processioning records for the first time. “Widow Tate” continued to be listed in 1739 and 1743.

Children of James(4) and Anne(?) Tate:

  • i. John Tate born about 1687, New Kent, VA, died 1769, Louisa, VA; he married 1Lucy (Waddy?) about 1725, and 2Mary Waddy about 1736.
  • ii. Anne Tate born 29 Aug 1689, New Kent, VA, died 30 Nov 1702, New Kent, VA.
  • iii. Robert(1) Tate born 27 Feb 1690/91, died unknown.
  • iv. Mary Tate born 20 Apr 1694, New Kent, VA., died unknown.
  • v. James(5) Tate born 11 Nov 1698, New Kent, VA, died after 1750.
  • vi. Upham Tate born 5 Jan 1700/01, New Kent, VA, died 13 Apr 1703, probably New Kent, VA.
  • vii. William Tate born 12 Apr 1702, New Kent, VA, died 1751, Lunenburg Co., VA; he married Sarah about 1722, New Kent, VA. Hanover Co. was formed from New Kent Co. in 1720.

A widow Tate was there in 1743. Anne’s maiden name may have been Upham or Waddy since those names were used as Christian names in the families of Tate descendants for several generations thereafter.

Generation 11

ROBERT(1) TATE of Hanover County VA

Very little detail is known of this generation due to wars, courthouse fires and other problems throughout Virginia’s early history, which caused many vital records to be lost. The majority of those were destroyed along with courthouses, churches, and other buildings throughout the Civil War. In 1865 Richmond burned, and Jamestown was destroyed 3 different times. Some information remains due to a few records retained in private homes.

Notes for Robert(1) Tate b 1690/91

Robert Tate and wife Anne had at least six children; only their six sons are known, but it is entirely possible they had daughters. He appears in records of Hanover County as a surveyor of roads in September 1730, and where, in 1741, he purchased 400 acres. He died intestate in 1759. He is believed to have relocated to Big Moccasin Creek VA with at least three of his sons. Although other Tate families with his children’s first names are found in records, nothing that ties them together has been documented to date.

Children of Robert(1) and Ann Tate

  • i. Henry Tate, born Abt 1712; m. Sarah Netherland.
  • ii. John Tate, born Abt 1714; m. Sarah.
  • iii. William Tate, born About 1716; m. Lucy Bullock, 1740.
  • iv. James(6) Tate, born About 1718; m. Abigail.
  • v. Nathan Tate, born About 1720; m. Ellzabeth
  • vi. Robert(2) Tate, born About 1722, Hanover Co, Virginia; m. Mary (lea ?), D. Before 1794, Washington Co. Va

REF: Descendants of Robert Tate Sr. of Russell County, VA 1724 – 1794 :

Generation 12

ROBERT(2) TATE of Hanover Co, Virginia

Robert Tate, born about 1722, Hanover Co, Virginia; married Mary (Lea ?), and died before 1794, in Washington Co. VA (later, Russell County).

Notes for Robert Tate b 1722

It is presumed that this Robert(1) Tate, father of at least three of the Tate brothers who settled what became Russell County VA, relocated with them. Further, it is unknown, but presumed, that his wife Mary relocated with him, since no contradictory evidence has surfaced.  There are other Tate families in the area who may have been other sons, but no records have surfaced to validate relationships.

Robert(2) and his wife Mary are believed buried in the Tate-Burdine Cemetery on the original Tate Plantation in Russell County which was owned by their son, John (Col) Tate.

Hampshire County Map

Note for Robert(1) Tate: Sat. 23 December 1809, Judge Charles Tait of Georgia, interviewed an old neighbor of the Russell County Tate family, John Hester, of Hanover Co., Virginia, who told the judge what he recalled of his Tate ancestors. In his writings, Judge Tait called  James, son of John Tate, “the Scotsman immigrant,” (at a time when our line of Tates were already third generation American.) It is this journaled information that has contributed so much confusion for researchers in trying to untangle the Tate families at this early period, as several branches appear to be intermixed.

Generation 13

WILLIAM(1) TATE of Augusta County, Virginia

William (1) Tate was born 1747 in Augusta County, VA, and died September 15, 1803 in Russell Co, VA. He married Elizabeth Hudson. She died Unknown.

Notes for William Tate

Excerpts from Tate Families of the Southern States, Volume II, by Laura Mentzel and Ethel Updike, 1984

WILLIAM(1) Tate, born about 1747 of Augusta or Botetourt County, VA, died September 15, 1803 testate. He settled in Washington County about the time John and Robert(2) did, and is believed to be a brother. He was on the tax rolls for 1784. On February 20, 1793, Joel Hobbs and wife Margaret sold 145 acres on both sides of Big Moccasin Creek, a spur of Clinch Mountain on the Holston River to William Tate.

It would seem that he was not as civic minded as his brothers. However, there are so many acts attributed to the other (Militia General) William Tate  that lived in the same county over this period, One wonders if this William Tate was active in the community, too, but the other William has received all of the credit. William lived within five miles of Col. John and Robert(2) Tate.

William(1) Tate died 1803 in Russell Co, VA Heirs named in his will: Isaac Tate, William(2) Tate, Joseph Tate, Robert(3) Tate and Peggy Tate, all of whom moved to Blount County, Tennessee.


Russell County, Virginia, Will Book 2, Pages 42-43, Executed 25 October 1803

In the name of God, Amen

I,William Tate, of the county of Russell, in the State of Virginia, being in a weak and infirm state of body but of sound mind and desirous of settling my worldly affairs do make this my last will and testament giving and bequeathing as follows:

After my lawful debts and funeral charges being paid Item, To my wife, Elizabeth Tate the land that I now live on during her natural life; After the decease of my wife Elizabeth I give and bequeath to my son William Tate that part of the tract of land aforesaid including the house that I now live in and with an with a direct course from the west side of the house to the sugar camp and a direct course with the west side of said house crossing the creek to the line of said land including the upper end of said tract.

Item, To my son Joseph Tate and my son Robert Tate all that part or tract of land from the house aforesaid with the aforesaid conditional lines including the lower end of the above tract of land.

Item, To my wife Elizabeth Tate one beige mare and one gray mare, three cows and two calves, eleven head of sheep and all the hogs that I now own, and all my household furniture now belonging to me, and all the tools and implements belonging to me during her natural life excepting the gray mare which my son Robert is to have when he arrives at twenty one years of age, and all my moveable property this is not otherwise directed after the death of my wife Elizabeth shall be disposed of as hereinafter directed, that is to say, to my son Isaac Tate my son Joseph Tate my son William Tate my son Robert Tate and my daughter Peggy each to have equal shares.

Item, To my son William Tate one sorrel horse colt.

I do further appoint Robert Tate junr, Executor of my estate; confirmed and subscribed by me this 15th day of September 1803.

William X Tate, Robert Tate Junr, John Tate, Samuel Tate

At a court held for Russell County the 25th day of October 1803. This instrument of writing was exhibited in court as and for the last will and testament of William Tate deceased and proven by the oaths of Robert Tate Junr. and John Tate and Samuel Tate witnesses hereto and ordered to be recorded. And on motion of Robert Tate Junr. Executor therein named certificate is granted for obtaining Setters Testamentary in due form, he having first made oath and entered into and acknowledged his bond in the sum of two thousand dollars together with John Tate his security conditioned as the law directs.

William(1) Tate’s lands sold in Russell County, VA by his heirs:

  • *1804– to William Tate and wife Mary
  • *1806– to Joseph Tate and wife Margaret (Peggy)
  • *1812– Joseph Tate’s wife in Miller’s Cove Church Minutes appears to be Nancy. Could be a second wife?
  • He executed his will, September 15, 1803 in Russell County, VA, probated October 25, 1803 by wife Elizabeth.

Tate names found in early Blount Co. records:

  • *1799– Isaac Tate– county court records
  • *1805– William Tate (Jr)– on tax record
  • *1806– Joseph Tate–county court records
  • *1812– Robert Tate– Miller’s Cove Baptist Church Minutes (minutes begin in 1812)
  • *1814–Peter Tate– county court records “hand to work on road” (could be Isaac or William’s son)
  • *1819–Margaret Tate– deed, Isaac Tate to Margaret Tate –mentions “house we now live in” (could be a “spinster” sister)

Tate Names found in Louisa County VA

There are dozens upon dozens of Tates listed among the 20,000 names recorded for Lousia County, provided by researcher Janice L. Abercrombie. They contain the person name, date, source of information, relationship type and the name of the related person. You can find the link to the list here:.

Notes on Col John Tate By Leland Burdine Tate:

From 1743 to 1772, John Tate was born, reared, married to Mary Bracken, and lived in places as yet unknown to the writer, a seventh generation descendant.

Col. John Tate’s wife, Mary Bracken, died in 1817, and is buried with him. The children of John Tate and Mary Bracken were:

  • i. Robert Tate, 1768-1844, who married Winnie Atkinson and moved to Pulaski Co., KY.
  • ii. Hannah Tate, 1772-1844, who married Colbert Fugate and lived in Russell County, Virginia, just southwest of her parents in the Moccasin Valley.
  • iii. Samuel Bracken Tate, 1775-1845, who married Jane Owens and moved to Pulaski County, Kentucky.
  • iv. Jane Tate, 1770s-1823, who married Henley Haddix and moved to Kentucky.
  • v. Martha Tate, 1780-1847, who married John Buster and moved to Kentucky
  • vi. Isaac Tate, 1780s-?, who married Peggy Walton of Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1809, and lived in Russell County until 1833, then in Kentucky and Missouri.
  • vii. Lydia Tate, 1785-1854, who married William Fugate and lived in Russell and Scott Counties, Virginia

Notes for Robert Tate b 1725

Robert(1) Tate purchased land on Moccasin Creek, Russell County, Virginia, in the early 1770s. Robert and his wife Mary had six sons and one daughter. The oldest son, Joseph, remained on the Moccasin Creek land but the other five sons, James, John, Robert H., Aaron and Alexander migrated to Warren County, Kentucky with Henry J. A. Hill before 1805. Their father, Robert, died in 1806, and they returned to Virginia for the settlement of the estate and took their mother back to Warren County with them

Little is known of the daughter, Polly, who married Meredith Price, or of John, who married Ledicia (Dicie) Hogg, or, of Alexander, who married a Henderson. Aaron moved to Alabama before 1840. Robert H. and James remained in Warren County. Robert H. was married twice, to Suzannah and later to Scinthy. He died in 1867 and left the property to his wife Scinthy and unmarried son, Aaron V. After their deaths the land was sold at auction and divided among several heirs, some of whom were Mitchells, Jennie Woodlee, Jessie Tate who married John Keel, Mary Tate who married Henry King, Porter Tate, and Susie, wife of Quincy Love, children of William and Ellen Tate.

James Tate, born about 1780, was the most prolific of the sons. He and first wife, Ruth, had 13 children. These were: Robert, b. 1799, m. Sally (maybe a Lockhart); Mary, b. 1800; Davidson, b. 1802, m. Dorcas Myers; Sarah; Joseph; Margaret (Penny); James M.; Twins, Jahaziel and Zazeel, b. March 4, 1814; Samuel Jackson; Elan H., b. 1817, m. Jane Turner; John Goolman, b. 1820, m. Permelia Brown; and Eveline, b. 1823, m. Andrew Gross.

James and Ruth Tate were divorced. He married Elizabeth Smith and had five more children by her: James W. M., b. 1827, m. Mary Dugan; Francis Asberry, b. 1830; Meredith P., b. 1830; Nancy, b. 1833, m. Jonathan Bost; and Elizabeth, b. 1835, m. Marcus O. L. Bost. James, who served in the War of 1812, was known as Major James Tate. He died in 1849 and is buried in Philadelphia Cemetery.

Robert (son of Major James) and Sally had 10 children: James W. Tate, b. 1822, m. Lucinda Savage; John J. Tate, b. 1824, m. Martha Hicks; William Holeman, b. 1825, m. Prudence Lockhart; Francis Marion, b. 1826, m. Mary Bost; Elizabeth Tate, b. 1828, m. James Reilly; Humphrey P. (Pose), b. 1829, m. Elizabeth; Calvin G. S., b. 1832, m. Fannie Christian; Prudence, m. Vance Lockhart; Joseph S., m. Helen Larimore; and James, m. Caroline Smith.

John Goolman Tate, b. 1820, and his wife Permelia Brown, had 9 children: Mary E., b. 1841, m. William Brown; Elizabeth, b. 1842, m. Isham Dykes, Jr.; James B., b. 1844; Russell, b. 1848; John, b. 1854, m. Sarah Smith; Ruth, b. 1856, m. James M. Dugan; Julia, b. 1857, m. T. B. Lockhart; Martha, b. 1859; and Nancy, b. 1859, m. George Rogers.

The 2 children of John and Sarah Smith Tate were: Herbert; and Floyd, who married first Nancy Sweeton and had two children, Clyde and Thurman; second Sarah Vann and had one boy, Floyd Tate, Jr.

The 5 children of James W. and Lucinda Savage Tate were: Sarah; Fannie; Robert; Prudent; and Joseph.

The 11 children of John J. and Martha Hicks Tate were: Elizabeth, b. 1847; James D., b. 1849; Sarah S., b. 1850, m. Polk Northcut; Francis Marion, b. 1853, m. Minerva Tate and their children were Willie V., Walter, Delia, Lassie, Mamie, Carrie, Charlie, and George.

Robert D. R., b. 1855, m. America Dutton and their children were Dagmar, Arnold, Oscar, Clyde, Haskell, Sexton, and Jim.

Elijah, b. 1858, m. Mary Ann Williams and their children were El, Beth, Dess, Ike, Ernest, Tull, Mary, Eva, Ella, Jim, Willis, Hallie, and Bertha.

Clara Belle Tate Bowden, was a celebrated New Orleans entertainer, and played two keyboards in the Beersheba Hotel Lobby.

Joseph, b. 1858 (twin to Elijah), m. first Susan Smith and their children were Albert, Elizabeth, Hilda, Nancy, and Mary; Joseph married second Minerva Green and their children; Stokes, Nathaniel, and Maudie.

John Armfield, b. 1861, m. Hattie Tate and their children were Albert, Ernest, Hattie, Bill, Nettie, John, Nell, Charles T., and R. J.

Albert, b. 1863, m. Eva Thompson and had one child, Mary Elizabeth.

Victor L., b. 1867, m. Carrie Coppinger and their children were Mary, m. Hans Hege; Martha, m. John Carroll Dykes; Joe T., m. Ethel Gross; Wiley “Bunk”, m. Mabel Hill; Ruby, m. Edgar Gross; Allie, m. Andrew Anderson;

Frances, m. Morris Layne.

Hubert, m. first Vesta Layne and second Katherine Gilbert; Naomi, m. Frank Melfi; Hazel, m. Leander Layne; Victoria, m. Bill Morrison first, and second Harvey Bess; and Eugene.

Mary Victoria, b. 1867 (twin to Victor). Her children are given under Creighton.

William M., b. 1869, m. first Emma Hobbs and their children were Nellie, m. Frank Smith; Annie, m. Earl Hargis; and Garnet, m. Hazel Beck. William , m. second Martha B. (Mattie) Smith and their children were: Ruth, m. Hoyt Cook; John Franklin, m. Mabel Schulze; Clara Belle, m. Sam Bowden; Bessie, m. Harvey Bess; and Leonard, not married.

The 2 children of Oscar and Mary Morton Tate were: Etheleen, who married Henry Myers; and Elsie.

The 6 children of Clyde and Bessie Morton Tate were: Hembree; Lottie Bell; Richard; Glen; B. D.; and Clyde Jr.

The 6 children of Robert Tate (called Wooley Bob) and Margaret were: Lou, never married; George Carter, m. Laura McCarver; Champ, never married; Ollie, m. Dock Hobbs; Henry, m. Emma Hobbs; and Othella, m. Charlie Tate, son of Francis Marion.

The 5 children of George Carter and Laura McCarver Tate were: Rupert, Lillian; Margie; Paul; and Lloyd, who married Dora Smartt.

The 9 children of Albert and Pearl King Tate were: Jasper, m. Wilsie Hobbs; Lucinda, m. Bill Johnson; Iola, m. Joe B. Tate; Burton, m. Sidney Walker; Roscoe; Morton; Paul; Lester; and Edward.

Willie V. Tate (son of Francis Marion) married Delia Smith. Their children were: Alfred, Lorene, Woodrow, Alton and Arthur.

REF: First Families Rev. doc- University of Maryland
  • i. John (Jr.) Tate, born August 06, 1761, Russell County, VA; d. Unknown, KY; m. Susannah Mayse; d. Unknown, KY.
  • ii. Jane Tate, born 1763, Fincastle, Botetourt County, VA; d. Bef. December 09, 1829, Pulaski County, KY.
  • iii Homer Tate, b 1763, Fincastle, Botetourt County, VA; d. Unknown
  • iv. Robert Tate, born July 31, 1768, Fincastle, VA; d. August 03, 1844, Tateville, Pulaski Co, KY.
  • iiv. Hannah Tate, born. 1772, Russell County, VA; d. June 03, 1844, Tateville, Pulaski Co, KY.
  • v. Samuel Bracken (Major) Tate, born. November 11, 1775, Russell County, VA; d. May 21, 1845, Pulaski Co, KY.
  • vi. Martha (Mattie) Tate, b. 1777, Washington County, VA; d. 1847, Tateville, Pulaski Co, KY.
  • vii. Isaac Tate, b. September 27, 1780, Russell County, VA; d. Unknown.
  • viii. Lydia Tate, b. 1785, Russell County, VA; d. October 15, 1854, Scott County, VA.

Colonel John Tate Farm Description

Col. John Tate’s farm is described in the 1815 Russell County Tax Assessments:

John Tate: one farm on Moggason [Moccasin] Creek, 245 acres having thereon one dwelling house of wood, one story and a half, 20 feet by 16 feet, one barn of wood, three stables, three corn houses, one smoke house, one loom house, one kitchen, one milk house, valued at $1000.

In 1819, John and his grandson Robert Fugate, became Executors of the estate of Colbert Fugate (deceased) who married John’s daughter Hannah, and who had been a farmer, part-time county official, and three times a member of the Virginia Legislature.

Notes for Generation 13

Issue of William Tate and Elizabeth Hudson

  • 13-i. Joseph Tate, b. 1777, Russell County, VA; died Apr 26, 1841/1842.
  • 13-ii. William (Jr.) Tate, b. 1779, Russell County, VA; d. Unknown; m. Mary; d. Unknown.
  • 13-iii. Isaac Tate, b. 1781, Russell County, VA; d. Unknown; m. Margaret; d. Unknown.
  • 13-iv. Margaret (Peggy) Tate, b. 1783, Russell County, VA; d. Unknown.
  • 13-v. Robert Tate, b. 1785, Russell County, VA; d. Unknown; m. Cynthia; d. Unknown.

Issue of Robert (Jr) Tate And Mary

  • i. John Tate, b. 1772, Russell County, VA; d. 1845.
  • ii. James (Major) Tate, b. 1778, Moccasin Creek, Russell County, VA; d. April 19, 1849, Warren County, TN.
  • iii. Joseph Tate, b. September 11, 1778, Botetourt County, VA; d. March 16, 1843, Lebanon,  Russell County, VA.
  • iv. Robert Hood (III) Tate, b. 1780, Russell County, VA; d. 1867.
  • v. Alexander Tate, b. Abt. 1783, Russell County, VA; d. 1847, McMinnville, Warren County, TN.
  • vi. Mary Polly) Tate, b. 1787; d. Unknown; m. MEREDITH PRICE; b. August 13, 1790; d. March 27, 1843.
  • vii. Aaron Tate, b. 1788, Russell County, VA; d. June 1862, Fort Payne, DeKalb County, AL.

Notes for Joseph Tate b 1777

Joseph Tate, born 1777, Russell County, VA was the son of William and Elizabeth Hudson Tate.  He was a cousin of the Joseph Tate, born 11 September 1778. Joseph’s cousin Joseph, was the son of Robert, and married Margaret “Peggy” Floyd. That Joseph remained in Russell County until his death 16 March 1843. That the two Joseph Tates were born within a few months of each other, and each had a spouse by the name of Margaret or “Peggy,” is verified by deeds.

Children of Joseph Tate and Margaret Floyd

  • i. Elisha Tate, b. April 1801; m. Eliza Davenport.
  • ii. John Tate, b. 1803; m. Virginia Jane Lark.
  • iii. Robert Carlyle Tate, b. 1803; m. Nancy.
  • iv. William Tate, b. 1805; m. Forbia

County Records

On October 30, 1804, Joseph Tate and Robert Tate sold to cousin Joseph, 75 acres on both sides of Moccasin Creek on a direct course to exclude the house, lower end of a tract of 145 acres which was granted on December 15, 1792 to Joel Hobbs and bequeathed by the last will of William Tate on September 15, 1803 to the sons, Joseph and Robert Tate, witnessed by John and Isaac Tate and Richard Davis

On October 1, 1805, Joseph Tate and wife, Peggy, sold to (cousin) Robert Tate, 51 acres on Big Moccasin Creek adjacent to Richard Davis and William Hullams.  Signed by Joseph Tate and Peggy Tate, and witnessed by the same persons.

On February 3, 1806, Joseph Tate and Margaret Tate of Russell County, VA sold to William Hullams, 70 acres, both sides of Moccasin Creek, direct line so as to exclude the house, lower end of tract granted to Joel Hobbs on December 15, 1792 containing 145 acres which was bequeathed to Joseph and Robert Tate by Will of William Tate September 5, 1803.

It was stated in Tate Families of the Southern States, Volume II, by Laura Mentzel and Ethel Updike, 1984, “This family probably left Russell County, VA at that time, however, it is not known by compiler where they settled.” Thus ends the information from their research and publication.

Hampshire County is a county in West Virginia. The county seat is Romney, West Virginia’s oldest town (1762). The county was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1754, from parts of Frederick and Augusta Counties (Virginia) and is the state’s oldest county.

Missouri Settlers


Joseph Frederick Tate, was born 1777 and died 26 April 1841 in Hampshire County, Virginia. His wife, Margaret Horn, was born 1796  in Winchester, Virginia, and, according to his War of 1812 Pensioner’s Card, died 03 Apr 1883 in Palmyra, Marion County, Missouri

Issue of Joseph Frederick Tate and Margaret Horn

  • 14-i. Elisha Tate born 14 Apr 1801, Big Moccasin Creek, Russell Co VA
  • 14- ii. Elizabeth Ann Tate (1814–1872) born 13 Dec 1814, Hampshire County, VA
  • 14- iii. Catherine Tate(1816–) born Oct 1816, Hampshire, VA
  • 14- iv. James Amiel Tate (1818–1889) born 27 Nov 1818, Hampshire, Russell County VA
  • 14- v. Henry Tate (1821–1825) born 1821, Hampshire County, VA
  • 14- vi. George A. Tate (1824–1909) born 22 Feb 1824, Hampshire County VA
  • 14- vii. Samuel F. Tate (1827–) born Dec 1827, VA
  • 14- viii. John William Tate (1833–) born 1833, Hampshire County, VA
  • 14- ix. Martha Rebecca Tate (1834–1932) born 24 Mar 1834, Hampshire, VA
  • 14- x. Benjamin Wellington Tate (1837–1909) born 07 Jan 1837, Hampshire,VA
  • 14- xi. Keziah Tate (1840–1899) born 25 Aug 1840 • Hampshire County, VA

Notes for the Traveling Tates

Of interest to many family members, is how our Tate line got into Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Missouri and Iowa. It all started with the “Traveling Tates,” those generations of pioneers who were willing to pick up and relocate to virgin lands, often purchasing land grants for wilderness acreage given for military service.

Robert Tate was one of those pioneers who left behind established communities where land was scare and expensive and relocated his family, including at least three sons, into Big Moccasin Creek as soon as the new frontier was opened.

Some of the family of that generation apparently continued on into the Carolinas and, perhaps, Georgia. As new lands opened up for settlement, it appears the Tates were among the first to enter, often moving whole large groups of their family and friends.

ROBERT HOOD (III) TATE was born 1780 on Moccasin Creek in what became Russell County, VA, and died 1867.  He married (1) Suzannah Woodlee. She died date and place unknown after 1816. He married (2) Cynthia Scinthy.  She was born 1805 in GA, and died date and place unknown. Robert was, no doubt, a minor when his father executed his will July 29, 1796.  However, no mention was made in the will regarding the children’s ages.

Robert and his wife had been living in Warren County, TN before 1806, since he signed, with his other brother, a petition requesting that there be a new County formed.  He and his wife, Susannah Woodlee named in the deed on October 14, 1816 when the heirs of Robert Tate, deceased, sold the home plantation.

They settled in Warren County, TN near his brother Major James Tate on Taylor’s Creek out of McMinnville, Warren County, TN.  A descendant stated he was the most active of all the brothers in Civil affairs and had four land grants totalling some 5,190 acres of land.  On January 12, 1819 Robert H. Tate sold 150 acres adj. Aaron Tate, where he then lived, to John Gross, no wife signed dower.

The Federal Census of 1820, Warren County, TN lists this family with 3 sons and 5 daughters.  In 1830 there was still 3 sons, however, one under 10 years of age. They had a large family and only those showing on the 1850 Census are known.  He married Cynthia, born 1805, in Georgia. She was living with son Aaron in 1880.

Robert Hood Tate died testate in 1864.  His will was dated April 8, 1864 in Grundy County, TN.  Do not have the probate date. Wife Cynthia, son Aaron V. Tate, and grand daughter Harriet Webb, her small son, Aaron Woodlee Webb.  Exor. Sedon Brown. Witness: Enoch Woodlee.

Robert had a very large family.  No delineation has been located yet to determine which children were of his first wife (Suzannah), or second (Cynthia).  Therefore, all children (except the last) are listed under Suzannah.

Issue of Robert Tate And Suzannah

  • i. Elizabeth Tate, b. Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown; m. Andrew Mitchell; d. Unknown.
  • ii. Jennie Tate, b. Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown; m.  Woodlee; d. Unknown.
  • iii. Jessie Tate, b. Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown; m. John Keel; d. Unknown.
  • iv. Mary Tate, b. Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown; m. Henry King; d. Unknown.
  • v. Porter Tate, b. Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown.
  • vi. Susie Tate, b. Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown; m. Quincry Love; d. Unknown.
  • vii. Hood Tate, b. 1805, Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown.
  • Issue of Robert Tate and Cynthia Scinthy – viii. Aaron Tate, b. 1812, Warren or Grundy County, TN; d. Unknown.

Issue of William (jr.) Tate And Mary

  • i Isaac Tate
  • ii. Joseph Tate

Generation 14

GEORGE A TATE (14- vi)

This is the generation I have not been able to definitively locate through documents for the fifty years I have been doing on again – off again Tate research. May Pauline Leffert Tate, my mother-in-law, told me many times over the years that the families tended to be large, and there were too many Josephs, Freds, Roberts and James’ to get the Tate genealogy straight. And, researchers seem to agree, as their lineages vary greatly. So, I have chosen to follow the most generally accepted lineage(s).

Since Pauline’s husband, Roy Davis Tate, was the youngest member of a large family, by the time he was interested in his heritage, his siblings no longer could relate much detail, and had nothing like family bibles that had survived the years of pioneering strife. Her own father, John Leffert, lost his Leffert-Farley family bible and photos to a house fire fire soon after moving to Missouri while she was still a child.

Tate Researchers

In the late 1960s Vernie May Bruner, a distant relative of the Tates visited in Hannibal, Missouri, from the East Coast, to gather family group sheets from all family members in the area. She said she was close to publishing a book about the Tates and related families, and just needed the group sheets to complete her research. I was fascinated as she talked for hours about her research into the European connections to the Tates of the British Isles.

I took as many notes as I could to document her stories, and gave her $30 to purchase an advance copy of her book when she got it finished. We never heard from her again, and her research has never been published, as far as we know. This is the missing Tate generation; the connection she was trying to make to tie both ends of the line together.

When Ethel Updike published “Tate And Allied Families Of The South,” in 1972, I immediately snatched up a copy, hoping to finally find that missing link, but did not, and in fact, found that there were several errors, particularly in the several James’ lines.

One of the best instances of high quality research that does some meticulous combing through these webs and sorting the various lines is Descendants of Robert Tate Sr. of Russell County, VA 1724 – 1794

It appeared from my own research, that several James’ and Roberts’ families were intertwined and have been confused.  When “Excerpts from Tate Families of the Southern States, Volume II, by Laura Mentzel and Ethel Updike, 1984” came out, I again bought an early copy, hoping for that magic connection, but, was again disappointed, as family lines had been switched from one likely ancestor to a brother’s or cousin’s lines.

George Calvin Tate’s death announcement

George Tate Obit..jpg

So, over the years, I have quit visiting libraries and courthouses, recorders of deeds, county clerks and graveyards, and relied on the sharing of information on the Internet to find those missing connections. And, though there is much misinformation available, I have not been able to locate and prove this final connection. So, what you see here is my current best efforts at ferreting out the information to put forth a tentative best estimate.

What I can state with some degree of certainty, based on recollection my mother-in-law told me, is that her husband, Roy Davis Tate’s father was Joseph Frederick Tate. He went by “Fred.” Fred’s father, George, moved to Missouri from Virginia as a young man, with his mother and siblings. They apparently rented and later bought the Homeplace property and built a home on the hill above the fresh water spring, across the valley from the current two-room cabin.

His immediate family, including his mother, may have lived with him there for a time, but eventually she and his siblings moved to a house on the Tate Plantation owned by George’s brother, James Amiel Tate. Their father, Joseph Frederick Tate, had passed on in Virginia. George and his brothers and sisters descendants were scattered around the Palmyra-Taylor-Quincy areas.

The best insight into this generation came from the obituary of George Calvin Tate, born 1882, son of George and Emma Rogers. He died Saturday, August 8, 1959 at the home of a daughter, near Loraine, Illinois.

Details state that he was born 02 Apr 1882 in Marion County, Missouri, was married to Estella Jane Pittman, and had two surviving daughters whose given names were not listed, two sons, Frank Tate and Paul Tate of Quincy, Illinois, and a sister, Bertha Forden of Quincy. He was preceded in death by three brothers; Herbert, David and Fred,  and three sisters; Anna, Maggie and Mattie.

The Fred listed above in George Calvin Tate’s death announcement is Joseph Frederick Tate, who died 9 Aug 1949 in nearby Hannibal, Missouri. Joseph Frederick Tate was the father of Roy Davis Tate, born 1911, and was one of two grandfathers living with Roy’s family in Hannibal, Missouri when they passed away within six months of each other in late 1949 and early 1950

Notes for George A Tate (14-vi )

George A. Tate born 22 Feb 1824, in Hampshire County VA, and died 2 Dec 1909  in Fabius Township, Marion County, Missouri, and is believed buried in Sunrise Cemetery, in the nearby Hester, Missouri area.

That cemetery was once adjacent to the Hester Christian Church, and is the location of many Tate burials. The church, and all of its records, burned to the ground in the late 1950s. The cemetery has changed names a couple of times, and is, as of this writing, named Providence Cemetery.

Census Records

George A. Tate is often shown in family trees as George A. O. Tate, since one document appears to have an “O” for his middle initial, which could have just been a badly formed cursive “A”.  We use the middle initial A, as it is shown on the General Deed documenting the purchase of the Homeplace property that still remains in the family

George married Emma Frances Rogers after 1860 in Rock Island, Illinois. Emma was born 1842-43 in Vermont, nineteen years George’s junior.

Mail Order Brides

Family tradition is that Emma was a “mail order bride” and George had arranged to meet her train in Rock Island on the appointed day. During the settlement of the Midwestern part of America, it was mainly single men who entered these wild territories where resources were plentiful, spaces were wide and open, and there was a lot more freedom than back east.

However the many single men who went west soon found themselves to be lonely.  Only a small number of men brought wives and/or families with them and the number of single women was negligible. It wasn’t long before men started to think of creative ways to get wives without having to travel away from their land and risk it being claimed or taken over by someone else while they were gone.

Some men wrote home asking friends and family for recommendations for single women they knew who would make good wives, and the courtship was by correspondence, until the couple decided to marry, when the woman would go west for the ceremony and to start her new life. However, a much more common scenario was the mail order bride.

Men in the west advertised in eastern newspapers for wives. In the ads, they would tell a bit about themselves and what they were looking for in a wife. Interested women who met the qualifications of a particular advertiser would write back. From there, the process from first letter to marriage was much the same as for men who got wives through their social networks back home.

Once in a while, a woman would advertise in a western newspaper looking for a husband, usually if she wasn’t finding anyone who was interested in her (or vice versa) at home, and the courtship process was the same as if she was answering an ad rather than writing one.

Women who answered the ads for wives in the west were those who weren’t finding men, or men of quality, at home, or those who wanted to get away from home for some reason. Reasons included having overly strict parents, being the subject of a scandal that was ruining their reputation, or simply wanting adventure and/or a new start after something bad happening at home.

These women needed to find husbands elsewhere, in places far away from where they lived. Surprisingly, there was no shortage of women who answered these mail order bride ads. Many marriages on the new frontiers were made this way, and it was not at all uncommon to see marriages between people of greatly different ages, often with the wife being 15-20 years older than the husband

Land Purchase in Section 20, Fabius Township

1891 Deed.jpg
Purchase of land by George Austin from Fielding M. Johnson

The 1870 U.S. Census (June 30) indicates that Margaret (Horn), age 75, (George’s mother) was living with George in Fabius Township, Marion County, Missouri, likely at the Homeplace. The 1900 Federal census lists George A., age 76, father of the head of household, (Joseph F. Tate, age 25), and Emma F, mother, age 57, with no listed occupation.

Also in the home in the time of that census were Amanda, wife of Joseph F, age 23, their daughters, Rosa Lee, age 5, and Maggie M., age 1, and Raymond Tate, a nephew, age 10, born Illinois, parents born in Missouri. Months and years of birth are listed as, Joseph F, December 1875; Amanda, May 1877; Rosa Lee, February 1895; Maggie, August 1898; Raymond, June 1890; George, Feb 1824; Emma Apr 1885.

Generation 15

Children of George and Emma Tate

  • 15-i.  Herbert “Harvey” Tate (1864–1898) was born in Laclede, Illinois, and died in Marion County, Missouri. He married Virginia __, (1864-1895). Both are buried in Sunrise Cemetery,Marion, Missouri..
  • 15-ii. 14-2. Margaret Ellen Tate (23 Oct 1868–1958)
    Laclede IL. She married (1) Edward Lee Shinn, 28-JAN-1890, (2) Ed Hawkins, 19-FEB-1919. Maggie and Ed had three children.
  • 15-iii. Joseph Frederick Tate (1873–1949) b 03 Dec 1873, Taylor, Marion, MO
  • 15- iv. Roberta “Bertha” Tate (1879–) b 28 Mar 1879, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 15- v. George Calvin “Buck” Tate (1882–1959) b 1882, Laclede IL
  • 15- vi. Anna, b, Palmyra, Marion, Missouri
  • 15- vii. Magdaline (Mattie)
  • 15- viii. David, b, Palmyra, Marion, Missouri


Joseph Frederick Tate was born at the Homeplace, near Taylor, Missouri, on December 3, 1873. His father, George, was 47 and his mother, Emma, was 30. Fred, as he liked to be called, was the first member of the Tate family to be born at the Homeplace, according to his son, Roy Davis Tate, who was, himself, the last Tate born there.

This Joseph Tate went by the nickname Fred. In 1893 he married his first cousin, Amanda Elizabeth Leffert, daughter of Charles Leffert (1843-1930) and Sarah Ann Lewis (1847-) formerly of Broad Ripple, Marion County, Indiana. They were married in the home of Amanda’s father, Charles Leffert, at Palmyra, Missouri.

In the 1850 census of Fabius Township, Marion County, Missouri, James Tate, brother of George, had relocated to what became known as the “Tate Plantation” north of Smileyville. He apparently settled, with his wife Elizabeth, children, and two in-laws, Jacob and Joshua Harsell. Also living with them at time of the census where his mother, Margaret, and a number of brothers and sisters, most of whom could help in the home with chores around the 800 acre property. Family tradition is that there was a Sunday Feature about the Tate Plantation in the Quincy Herald Whig newspaper, but I was unable to find it in a couple of trips to the library where I scanned years of microfiche archives.

The Leffert In-Laws

In 1850, Charles, 7, and James, 6, were living at home with their parents, Malon Leffert, 32, and Martha, 34, in Washington Township, Marion County, Indiana. Also in the home were brothers and sisters, Willis, 9, Rachel, 4, John, 3, and Simon, age 1. Their father, Mahlon, was a farmer, and a descendant of the Lefferts of Pennsylvania/New York lineage .

In the 1870 census, James, 25, was head of his own household, and listed as a daily laborer in Etna Green, Kosciusko County, in North Central Indiana, near the town of Wabash. Charles, 27, was listed as a daily laborer, and Sarah A., 22, was keeping house.

The 1880 census shows that Charles and his family were farming in Lewis Twp, Union County, Mo. The census lists Charles Leffert, 37, farmer, born Indiana (father born Pennsylvania, mother born Pennsylvania), A. Sarah, 38, wife, housekeeper, W. John Lefferts, 8, son, E. Manda Lefferts, 3, daughter, James Lefferts, 34, brother of Charles, farm hand.

Generation 16

Joseph F Tate ca 1900.jpg

Joseph Frederick “Fred” Tate

When Joseph Frederick Tate was born at the Homeplace on December 3, 1873, his father, George, was 47 and his mother, Emma, was 30. His brother, Henry, was nine years older than him, and his sister, Margaret Ellen, was four years older. They were both born at Laclede, Illinois.

Fred, as he liked to be called, was a farm laborer, working dawn until dusk on neighboring farms, often living on rental houses located on the farm where he was employed, and returning to the Homeplace to cut wood for the winter, hunt or fish, and tend to other matters on weekends.

A search of Illinois census records did not turn up any information on Fred’s family having taken up residence there, and no birth certificates have surfaced for the children at this writing. Fred, as he liked to be called, was the first member of the Tate family to be born at the Homeplace, according to his son, Roy Davis Tate, who was the last Tate born there.

Other Tate children, also born at the Homeplace, were William Earl, 1901–1966, Charles Frederick, 1903–1962, Amanda Elizabeth, 1906–1972, Emma Ann, 1908–1970, and an Unnamed female, 1910

Issue of Joseph F Tate and Amanda Elizabeth Leffert

  • 16-i. Rosa Lee Tate (1895–1972) b 21 FEB 1895, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- ii. Frank Tate (1897–1899) b 1897, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- iii. Francis Tate (1897–1899) b 1897, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- iv. Margaret Miller Tate (1898–1953) b 23 AUG 1898, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- v. William Earl Tate (1901–1966) b 26 September 1901, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- vi. Charles Frederick Tate (1903–1962) b 23 JUN 1903, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- vii. Amanda Elizabeth Tate (1906–) b abt 1906, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- viii. Emma Ann Tate (1908–1970) b 25 NOV 1908, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- ix. Unnamed female Tate (1910–1910) b 6 mar 1910, Taylor, Marion, Missouri, d. 9 Mar 1910, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 16- x. Roy Davis Tate (1911–1976) b 24 April 1911, Taylor, Marion, Missouri, d. 4 November 1976, Hannibal, Marion, Missouri.

Amanda Elizabeth Leffert

Amanda Elizabeth Leffert Tate
Amanda Elizabeth Leffert Tate

Amanda Elizabeth Leffert, born on May 16, 1877, in Marion County, Missouri. Her father, Charles, was 34, and her mother, Sarah, was 29. She married Joseph Frederick Tate at the age of sixteen on December 31, 1893, in Palmyra, Missouri. They were married in her parents’ home. Fred and Amanda had ten children in 16 years. She died on February 23, 1938, in Palmyra, Missouri, at the age of 60, and was buried in Sunrise Cemetery, on Route A, south of Maywood, Missouri.

Lefferts Genealogy

From North American Family Histories, 1500-2000

Genealogy of the Lefferts Family 1650-1878

Mahlon’s children were Willis (1840-), Charles (1843-1930), James (1844-1930),
Rachel (1846-), John (1847-), Simon (1849-), and Jemima J (1853-1928).

Amanda Elizabeth Leffert, and her father, Charles Leffert of Marion County, Indiana, were descended from Leffert Lefferts and Margaret “Antie” Vanderbilt of New York, parents of Abraham Lefferts, who married Margaret Van Aersdalen, and migrated to Bucks County, Pennsylvania where they helped establish the Dutch Reformed Church.

Joseph S Tate Amanda E Leffert marriage.jpg

Fred, like his father and older brother, worked as a laborer on neighboring farms, while maintaining a modest homestead on the three acre homestead plot his father George had purchased in 1891, and probably had bought, sold, or rented for many years prior.

According to descendant, Dennis Tate, George had bought and sold or rented the Homeplace a number of times, often when they took up residence as laborers on a farm in the area, and didn’t need the Homeplace as a residence. Fred and his family lived on the Homeplace until after his parents passed from this life. He relocated his family to the Palmer Farm in Liberty township in about 1923.

1900 U.S. Census

The 1900 Federal census lists George A., age 76, father of the Head of Household, (Joseph F. Tate, age 25), and Emma F, mother, age 57, as having no listed occupation. Also in the home that year were Amanda, wife of Joseph F, age 23, daughters, Rosa Lee, age 5, and Maggie M., age 1, and Rexford Tate, a nephew, age 10, born in Illinois, of parents who were born in Missouri. These may be of the Tate families who located around Laclede, Illinois, where Fred and his young family had first lived.

Months and years of birth are listed as, Joseph F Dec 1875; Amanda, May 1877; Rosa Lee, Feb 1895; Maggie, Aug 1898; Raymond, Jun 1890; George, Feb 1824; Emma Apr 1885. Since the census lists the place of residence as Fabius Township, we make the presumption that this is the home George constructed on the land he purchased, which we now call the Homeplace, and younger generations call “The Camp.”

The 1900 census also shows John Leffert, M, W, single, b Dec 1872, age 27, born in Illinois to parents born in Indiana, working as a farm laborer, and living in the next closest residence to the Homeplace.

The closest residence on the opposite side of the Homeplace was occupied by Ben (?) H. Harsell, M,W, b Oct 1862, age 37, born in Missouri to parents born in Virginia, and his wife, Elizabeth, F, W, age 31, b Sep 1868, born in Illinois to parents born in Germany, married 13 years.

Also, the census lists a boarder, A. J. Ottsman(?), a farm laborer, and a lodger, Raymond Tate, M,W, b Aug 1888, age 11, born in Missouri to parents born in Missouri, listed as attending school.

Amanda Leffert, Joseph F, Margaret and Rosa  Tate_sml.png

In this photo, circa 1900, his oldest children, Rosa Lee, born 1895, and Margaret Miller, born 1898, are shown. Twins Frank and Francis, born 1897, died 1899, perhaps of smallpox, which struck a large area ranging from St. Louis to Springfield, Illinois. The  burial site of the children is unknown, but may be at the Homeplace.

1907 Land Purchase

In April of 1907, Fred purchased a lot in Section 21, Fabius Township, from Fred Mason and his wife Bertie Lee Mason.

The lot is believed to have had a log cabin on it, and had enough room to erect a hog pen, chicken coop, or set up a vegetable garden. This was one of at least three properties the Tates occupied in this area. By 1934, according to the Plat Map from that year, that property belonged to R. Hibbert.

It was about 1923 that Fred moved his family from Fabius Township to an all-tin rental house on Bay Island when he went to work full time for George Palmer. It is probable that he sold the house and lot in Section 21, but kept the Homeplace property.

In the illustration above you can see the location of the Homeplace in Section 20, and the location of the property Fred bought in 1907 in Section 21. The Homeplace is 438 feet by 222 feet, while the 1907 property was smaller, 252 feet by 102 feet; perhaps for a family garden, or another house and lot.

Fred Tate Section 21 Deed_2.png

Warranty Deed from Fred Mason and Bertie Lee Mason, his wife, 22 April 1907, grant to Fred Tate, for the sum of $150, (land) beginning at the Northwest corner of the Northwest quarter of Section 21 in Township 59, Range 6 West, thence South 102 feet, thence running East 252 feet, thence West 252 feet, thence North 102 feet to the point of beginning.

1910 Census Data

1910 Census Fred Tate cu.jpg

In 1910 Federal census shows that Roy’s parents, “Fred. J. Tate,” age 36, and Amanda, age 32, who had been married for 16 years, resided in Fabius Township, with daughter  Rosa, age 15, Margaret (whom they listed as Maggie), age 12, Amanda Elizabeth, (whom they listed as Lizzy), age 4, and Emma, age 1, and brothers, Earl William, age 8, and Charley, age 6.

Amanda Elizabeth Leffert Tate.jpg

The photo above is of Amanda feeding the chickens in the yard of her log cabin home. Notice the rag mop hanging on the wall, and the wood steps leading to the front door. Location unknown, but comes from the May Pauline Leffert Tate collection.

This residence may have been any one of the homes around the Homeplace that the family owned or rented. It is not possible to tell which property they were on when the census was taken, since they were in close proximity, and all within Fabius Township.

It could be that one location was better for raising hogs, or had a bigger garden, easy access to firewood, or any of a number of factors to be considered in those days. This location appears to be adjacent to a large cleared field, rather than a garden plot.

It is known, however, that the Tate family had another log cabin house in nearby Section 21,  on the parcel Fred bought in 1907, and this may have been their home for a time. It, too, was in Fabius Township.

The log cabin where Amanda is feeding chickens appears to be in good repair, and likely provided more insulation against the cold winters than the Homeplace cabin would have. No known photos of the earliest Homeplace residence, which burned before Roy Davis Tate’s birth, have been located.

Rural Mail

Roy’s father went by “Fred,” and this was likely the reason his name in census records varied from Joseph F Tate to Fred J Tate, and other variations. According to Fred’s World War I Draft Registration, September 12, 1918 he was working as a farm laborer on the Samuel K Weibell farm and listed his home address as R.F.D. 1, Taylor, Marion County, MO. A post office called Taylor has been in operation since 1873.The community was named after Captain John Taylor, the proprietor of a local mill.

Roy Tate, Fred’s youngest son, said that he was the last Tate born at the Homeplace, and that he thinks the family moved to the Palmer Farm when he was about twelve years old, establishing the date at around 1923, but, we didn’t think to ask if they had lived anywhere else before moving from the Homeplace previously. The Draft Registration Card was the first clue that they might have moved away during World War One days, 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918, when there was a shortage of able bodied laborers.

World War I Registration

Joseph Frederick Tate Draft Card front.jpg

Fred was of medium height and build, had blue eyes and brown hair. He gave his middle name as “Frederick,” although he always was known as simply “Fred.”

Joseph Frederick Tate, age 44, born December 3, 1873 was working as a farm laborer for Samuel K Weibell. He listed his permanent residence as Taylor, Marion County, and his nearest relative was Amanda Elizabeth Tate.

It is unlikely that this is actually his signature, as the cards were usually completed by the registrars.

1920 Census

1920 Federal census shows “Fred J Tate,” age 46, living in Fabius Township, with wife Amanda, age 42, Earl W, age 18, Charley, age 16, Amanda E, age 14, and Emma, age 11, and Roy, age 9. Fred, and his father, George, had worked on the farms of all three neighbors, Earl Dearing, Charles Johnson, and Frank Harsell.

1920 Census Fred Tate cu.jpg

Bay Island Home

Fred Tate Home on Bay Island.png

Sometime around 1923, Fred moved his family to a rented house on Bay Island, in Liberty Township, North of Hannibal, where he and Roy worked as farm laborers for George W Palmer,  for many years. Palmer’s house is shown above in an old photo from the May Pauline Leffert Tate collection.

Many grain and vegetable farms were located in the rich Mississippi River bottoms soil, which was often flooded by the river that flowed at the island’s eastern border. Usually Roy, and often, his brother in law, Charlie Leffert, would work for various farmers in the Bay bottoms, and sometimes there was work as laborers on railroads in the area.

1930 Census

The 1930 census was taken April 1930, and shows Fred, age 56, Amanda E, age 52, and Roy D, age 18, living on Bay Island in Liberty Township. Neighbors included George W Palmer, farmer, and George W Otten, a grain farmer. Other surnames in the Bay Island area included Wagner, Spires, Culpin, and Curtiss. It also shows that Fred was 20 when he first married, and Amanda was 17. Fred, Amanda and Roy all indicated that they could read and write.  

1930 Census Fred Tate cu.jpg

The 1930 census also shows that John W Leffert, 67, Charles W Leffert, 13, and James J Leffert, 11 were living in Fabius Township, possibly in that cabin on the gravel road near the Homeplace.

1940 Census

The 1940 census shows Joseph F, age 66, widowed, living with Roy D, age 28, and Pauline Leffert, age 16, living in Liberty Township, and that they had lived there for at least five years. Neighbors included George W Palmer, Henry Wagner, William M Schenck (spelled Shanks on census), his wife Rosalie (sic), and sons Albert and Orbert. Another neighbor, William E Schenck, (spelled Shanks on census), his wife Rosabelle E, and son William R were nearby.   

1940 Census J. Fred Tate.png


Fred and Amanda had the following children:

Rosa Lee Tate 1895–1972, Frank Tate 1897–1899, Francis Tate 1897–1899, Margaret Miller Tate 1898–1953, William Earl Tate 1901–1966, Charles Frederick Tate 1903– 1962, Amanda Elizabeth Tate 1905–1972, Emma Ann Tate 1908–1970, unnamed female Tate 1910–1910, and Roy Davis Tate 1911–1976.                      

Unnamed Infant Girl of Joseph F Tate b1910.jpg

Death Certificate for an unnamed infant girl, born to Fred and Amanda Tate, March 6, 1910 in Fabius Township. Fred listed his mailing address as Taylor, an unincorporated community in northeastern Marion County on the Fabius River near the northern junction of U.S. Routes 24 and 61, about five miles west of Quincy, Illinois and eight miles north of Palmyra. A post office called Taylor has been in operation since 1873.

The infant lived only one day, and received no medical attention. It may have been a “blue baby,” as recalled by Fred’s daughter-in-law, Pauline Leffert Tate. The certificate states that burial was at the Hester Christian Church Cemetery. No grave marker exists.

Joseph Fred Tate b1873.jpg

The death certificate verifies that Joseph Frederick Tate was the son of George Tate and Emma Rogers, and that his spouse was Amanda. Information was given by their daughter, Rosa Lee, who was living in Hannibal. He was in hospital, or institutionalized, at 116 Center Street, Hannibal, at the time of his death. He was 75 at the time of death. He had gone into a coma due to kidney failure.

Amanda Leffert Tate Death Certificate.jpg

Cause of death was tetanus resulting from gangrene necrosis of her left leg,. Pauline said Amanda died of lockjaw caused by tomato vine poisoning. Tomatoes are nightshade fruits, and the vines have a protective toxin that is a common allergen.

Joseph Frederick and Amanda Leffert Tate gravestone.jpg

Marker at Sunrise Cemetery

During the Great Depression, Tom Reddick’s family lived at the Homeplace while Tom worked on a road construction crew for WPA in Fabius Township, and Fred’s family was laboring near Hannibal.

In the late 1930s Fred and his family lived in a tin house on the George Palmer farm in Liberty Township on Bay Island, north of Hannibal, in Marion County, on the western banks of the Mississippi River. Amanda died 23 February, 1938 on Bay Island, of gangrene poisoning resulting from a rash caused by tomato plants.

Roy Davis Tate

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Roy Davis Tate, born April 24, 1911, was the youngest of ten children born to Joseph Frederick Tate and Amanda Elizabeth Leffert. Roy was born on the three acre Tate homestead, which he called “the Homeplace,” and his descendants now call “the camp.” Three of Roy’s infant siblings had passed before his birth, and are probably buried on the knoll in the yard near the cabin with other infant family members.

Roy was the youngest child in his family, with Charles being eight years older, and Earl being ten years his senior. His oldest sister, Rosa Lee, was fifteen, and Margaret Ellen “Maggie,” thirteen years older. Amanda “Lizzie” was six, and Emma was his senior by three years.

Roy Davis Tate revised.png

By the time Roy arrived, the family was a well functioning team, with brothers and sisters old enough to make significant contributions to daily life, and reduce the workload for everyone. There was now enough egg money that he and Emma got to attend the Oak View subscription school in their area. The oldest brothers would have been making their own way in the world, and the older girls were starting their own families.

Generation 17

1910 Census Data

The 1910 Federal census shows that Roy’s parents, “Fred. J. Tate,” age 36, and Amanda, age 32, married 16 years at that time, resided in Fabius Township, along with daughters Rosa, age 15, Margaret (whom they listed as Maggie), age 12, Amanda (whom they listed as Lizzy), age 4, and Emma, age 1, and brothers, Earl W., age 8, and Charlie, age 6. Which house they lived in is not noted, but it is known that they had at least three residences in Fabius Township over the years.

In addition to the Homeplace cabin, the family at some time had another small house a quarter mile further down the gravel road from the current Homeplace entrance, at the end of the road. Today the property beyond the end of the road is the Lovelace farm.

There was also a 2-room log cabin with a loft believed to be on a piece of property purchased by Fred Tate a short distance away to the north, likely used during the years he worked on the Guardhouse farm. There is a photo of Fred’s wife, Amanda, feeding chickens in the yard of the log cabin.

There was another house located on the county road at the entrance to the Elizabeth Harsell farm. It was in this house that John Leffert and his son Jimmy resided after arriving from Indiana. In 1907. It is in this house that fire broke out and destroyed all family photos and records John had brought from Indiana.

Each of these residences could be listed in the 1900 census as “Fabius Township,” because there was no mail delivery, no public school routes, no paved roads, and there were no street addresses. But, since George Tate, age 76, was residing in the home with Head of Household, Fred J Tate, and others, we presume this residence to be the Homeplace.

Residents had to travel to Palmyra and Taylor, the two closest post offices,
usually on Saturdays. to see if there was any mail for them. Travel to town often halted after a rain to give the dirt roads time to dry. There was hardly anything worse than having to get out of the buggy or wagon in your “going to town” clothes to get your ride out of the mud.


In 1918, Roy’s father noted on his World War I draft registration that he was living at Route 1, Taylor, on or near Samuel Wibell’s farm. The 1934 Land Plat Map of that area shows the Wibell Farm just to the left and slightly above the property Fred Tate purchased.

According to Dennis Tate, Roy stated that he went to Oak View school when he was seven or eight until he was twelve, and didn’t go to any other school. That would be the period from 1918-1923. His father, and presumably his mother, lived on or near the Wibell Farm during those years, so then they were not living at the Homeplace in September of 1918, but Roy and Emma were, which helps validate that the family got spread out between the residences. Roy may have lived with older sisters, who were tending to chores at the Homeplace, so he could attend school.

Suddith School District Map.png

The bottom of the above map had these handwritten notations:

  • Land in the District  – 5700 acres
  • Assessed Valuation – Personal Property $35,000 / Real Estate $35,000
  • Enumeration, School Age – White 42 / Colored 5
  • County Roads in District, Miles – 14
  • Of which are graveled – 2

This area was south of Hester, north of Smileyville, West of Taylor and West Quincy

1920 Census

The 1920 Federal census shows “Fred J Tate,” age 46, living in Fabius Township, with wife Amanda, age 42, Earl W, age 18, Charley, age 16, Amanda E, age 14, and Emma, age 11, and Roy, age 9. Fred, and his father, George, apparently worked on the local farms of all three neighbors, Earl Dearing, Charles Johnson, and Frank Harsell, as well as raising hogs and chickens at the homestead.

These farmer’s names were often affectionately mentioned by Pauline Tate as places Roy and Charles worked. Roy and Pauline both worked for Harold Guardhouse; he as a farmhand and her as a housekeeper.

Roy and Emma Tate at Suddith School 1923.jpg

Roy and Emma – 1923 – Oak View School (Note the handwritten “Xs”

Roy and his sister Emma attended the Oak View School nearby. The school was about a mile and a half by road, but Roy and Emma would take a shortcut through two farm fields from the Homeplace. Roy finished the fifth grade, and then quit to go to work. According to his youngest son, Dennis M Tate, Roy could barely read or write. In fact, he said, Roy would put an X on his paycheck, and then have Pauline sign it, and cash it at the neighborhood store.

Uncle Charlie Leffert handled much of the family business dealings, such as keeping track of payments made and amounts owed, to help Roy purchase materials and building supplies, and Pauline kept track of the bills, traveling to all the merchants once a month to make the payments in cash.

1930 Census

The census was taken in April of 1930, and shows Fred, age 56, Amanda E, age 52, and Roy D, age 18, living on Bay Island in Liberty Township. Neighbors included George W Palmer, farmer, and George W Otten, grain farmer. Other surnames in the Bay Island area included Wagner, Spires, Culpin, and Curtiss. It also shows that Fred was 20 when he first married, and Amanda was 17. Fred, Amanda and Roy all indicated that they could read and write. 1930 census shows Charles F, Clara, Albert and Delbert lived in Liberty Township, Marion, MO.


Roy’s brothers and sisters had all moved out and started their own families by 1934. His dad, Fred, was working as a farm laborer on the adjacent Earl Dearing farm. Fred always had a couple of hogs they were raising for meat and fat. Amanda tended chickens, and knew how to use a rifle to protect them from foxes and racoons. She also maintained the household and their personal garden.

Fred, Roy, Charley, Lizzy’s husband Harry Cook, and Emma’s husband “Bill” Jennett,  were working as laborers on the nearby farms that could afford to hire hands, though the work was drying up.. This was during the Great Depression, and was likely the year Fred decided to hire on with George W Palmer, who had a large farm in Liberty Township, just north of Hannibal, MO. They moved from the Homeplace, and Maggie’s husband, Tom Reddick, who was down on his luck moved his family in.

The census also shows that John W Leffert, 67, Charles W Leffert, 13, and James J Leffert, 11 were living in Fabius Township, possibly at the Homeplace, although it is known to the family that he also once had a house on the gravel road just a quarter mile from the Homeplace entrance. Remains of the burned down home could still be seen from the nearby gravel road when this author first visited the Homeplace in 1961.

George W Palmer Farm2.png

The Bay Island House

Pauline related that the house they rented on the Palmer Farm was merely a pole barn entirely covered with corrugated tin roofing. There was no insulation of any kind in the house, and the walls were always as hot or cold as the outside airCardboard nailed up between the poles formed the interior walls.

In the winter time, snow would blow through gaps between the sheets of tin and actually pile up on the dirt floor inside the house! When those piles of snow melted, they created muddy spots in the dirt floor.

The years Fred and his family spent on Bay Island were significant for many members of the family. In 1998, Charles Wesley Leffert wrote of his recollections of the house and times on Bay Island, and other family memories. The letter is reproduced here, except I believe the last line of text was missed in the digital file given to me.

Memories of Uncle Charles Leffert

I heard Charlie tell this snipe hunting story, and he said he and Roy would make noise as though they were trying to flush one out, while making their way back to the house. They would then get some distance away, but still within earshot of the person holding the bag, and then say in a hushed voice, “Quiet! There’s one!” Then they would sneak back to the house for a cup of coffee, leaving their victim holding the bag!

Tate Homeplace

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Like his father and grandfather, Roy was a farm laborer, working on area farms as work was available, as well as raising a hog or two, chickens, fruits and vegetables at home. In the winter, when there was more free time, attention was turned to hunting game to be butchered and preserved for the coming year, gathering and chopping wood for cooking and heating, and making improvements on the property.

“Egg money” helped some families survive, so taking care of chickens, and taking the eggs to the market to sell, was a very important chore. Many times the spare egg money was all families had to pay for the children’s education at the local school, or to buy those little luxuries that helped make life easier. The family farm continued to be the basic social and economic unit for many years, and life revolved around the yearly cycle of farm work.

The Outhouse


The Homeplace, still at this writing, has no electricity or running water, and no bathroom; only an outhouse, which was common practice before indoor plumbing became available. First time visitors to the Homeplace are usually fascinated by the outhouse, and how it works.

Some families had more than one outhouse. Sometimes there was one for gals and one for guys, while others had a double outhouse, sometimes with two seats in each compartment for large families. Vent holes were cut near the top to let fresh air in and stale air out. One always hoped there was a little breeze when they headed to the outhouse.

The structure was located over a deep pit in the ground, and was used until the pit was near being filled, and then the outhouse would be moved to a new location, the previous location being covered with odor-reducing lye powder, and then filled with topsoil.

The primary purpose of the building itself was not only for privacy and human comfort. It did, of course, prevent the user from being exposed when it was raining, cold, or windy. However, the building has the secondary purpose of protecting the toilet pit from large influxes of water when it is raining, which could flood the pit and flush untreated wastes onto the lawn before they could decompose.


These outdoor toilets are referred to by many terms throughout the English-speaking world.  “Outhouse” is used in North America, while “Privy”, an archaic variant of “private”, is used in North America, Scotland, and northern England. In Australia and New Zealand, an outdoor toilet is known as a “dunny”.

Homeplace Photos ca 1931

Robert Jennett Jr, Emma Tate Jennett, Clara Stover Tate, Mabel Taylor Tate, Myrtle Hunter Ellis at Homeplace 1931.png

It must have been family picnic and photo day at the old Tate Homeplace, circa 1931, and the ladies decided to make it a theme day. They fashioned scarves to wear with a light colored blouse and their best pair of denim jeans, if they had a pair. If not, a good pair of overalls would work, too. These photos came from Charlotte Jennett Barrickman and Delbert Tate collections.

Mark Bottoms Twosome.png

For many years we thought the photos from Charlotte’s collection were of the CB&Q row houses in Mark Bottoms, until we were given some photos to digitize by Delbert Tate. In his collection was a photo of his family standing in front of the same house, when he was about three-and-a-half or four years old. His mother noted on the back of the photo that it was the “Tate old home place,” and on the front, noted, “Hester, MO.”

Charles F and Clara Stover Family 1931_2.png

We didn’t initially think it was the building we now call the Homeplace, but research by ancestor and part owner Dennis M. Tate indicates that it probably is. Notice the homemade wood shingles on the roof.


Dennis did a tremendous amount of work to restore and maintain the property over his lifetime, and said, “The construction technique is right, the door and window are right, and the hole in the roof is where the worst interior weather damage was when dad (Roy) and I started restoring it. You have to keep in mind that the house was empty more than it was used after dad (Roy) and his family moved out (to the Palmer farm).”

It would have been empty from 1923 until the out-of-work Reddick family moved in during the 1930s Great Depression, and then empty again from 1940(ish) until Dad and his brothers-in-law, Uncle Charley Tate and Uncle Charlie Leffert started making some repairs in the mid-1950s.”

Dennis also related that the cabin frame is constructed of cedar sapling poles and rough sawn timber. It had a wooden shingle roof, probably cedar, that was replaced with tin roofing, probably in the mid-1950s.

“The two room addition was added in the mid-1930s by grandpa John Leffert,” Dennis continued, “and that was removed, and the addition rebuilt in the mid-1950s. That could have been when the tin roof was added, because the family started going up there again.” Perhaps that first two-room addition was the reason for the photos of the family in 1931 . . . they were on a mission.

Another revitalization effort got underway in the early to mid-1970s when Roy wanted to start spending more time there. A large bedroom was added to the two room cabin, which itself got significant repairs and structural upgrades. Roy, Uncle Charlie Leffert, and Dennis Tate, spent a lot of time and money improving the property with financial assistance from other family members.

Roy Supervises Construction 6-76.png

Death of Blanche Roberts Leffert

When Blanche Roberts was born on March 21, 1888, in Indiana, her father, Civil War veteran Dudley Roberts, was 40 and her mother, Margaret, was 36. They had been married just two years. Blanche married John Wesley Leffert on June 22, 1922 at the age of 34. They had four children during their ten year marriage, Pauline, Elizabeth, Charles and James. Elizabeth died in infancy in 1925.

Blanche died October 23, 1933 on the operating table at Indianapolis City Hospital  at the age of 45. According to family tradition, Blanche had always had chronic stomach pain. The surgeons reportedly told the family that when they opened her abdomen, it was so full of cancer nothing could have been done.

Her death certificate lists the cause of death as “Perforated duodenal ulcers and generalized peritonitis.”  She did not survive the operation. Her burial was in Farley Cemetery at 106th Street and Keystone Avenue.

Farley Cemetery 2017.png
Farley Cemetery 2017 courtesy Google Earth
John Leffert Insuance Receipt_5.jpg
Insurance Policy Payout $172.60
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Blanche Roberts Leffert Headstone

This marker was purchased and placed in Farley Cemetery by May Pauline Leffert Tate and Charles Wesley Leffert in 2003.

Blanche Roberts

1925, Dec 11 – Postcard from Floyd Taylor, “Your respectful Nephew”

Postcard to Blanche Roberts 1923.jpg

John and Blanche had three children:

  • May Pauline, who married Roy Davis Tate,
  • Charles Wesley who married Betty Lou Majors, and
  • James J, who married Betty Renner.
John W Leffert family 1929.jpg
John, Blanche and children, Pauline, Charles and James circa 1929

Seven Steeples Asylum

Seven Steeples.jpg

One of the challenges John Leffert had to face following Blanche’s death, was to arrange care for Rose Roberts, Blanche’s mentally challenged sister who had lived with Blanche since their mother died in 1926. Blanche and Rose are both listed as “Laundress” in U.S. Census records of the period.

Rose was placed with the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane, in Indianapolis, where she remained the rest of her life.

The hospital was locally referred to as “Seven Steeples” due to the prominent design features on multiple buildings in the complex. It had its own graveyard, in two sections. The interments are a matter of record and available on line.

The hospital covered 160 acres, and was nearly 150 years old when the city sold the property to a developer in 2006. It had closed in 1994.

Rose Roberts Death Certificate

Rose Roberts Death Certificate.png

Great Depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place starting in 1929, and lasting into the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century, and originated in the United States, after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday).

Many families lost their homes and had to live in their car, a makeshift trailer, tents, or under bridges. Many used whatever lumber they could get their hands on to build a shantyboat or more spacious houseboat, and took to the river to find sustenance. Thousands were said to have been built in the upper Mississippi Valley and floated downstream to more industrialized parts of the Midwest and south. Many were pulled up on the banks of the river to become homesteads.

In addition to the Depression, nature loosed a drought in the plains states. The Dust Bowl was the name given to the drought-stricken Southern Plains region of the United States, which suffered severe dust storms during a dry period in the 1930s.

As high winds and choking dust swept the region from Texas to Nebraska, people and livestock were killed and crops failed across the entire region.

The Dust Bowl intensified the crushing economic impacts of the Great Depression and drove many farming families on a desperate migration in search of work and better living conditions.

The Reddick Family

Tom and Maggie Tate Reddick moved their family into the Homeplace cabin during the Great Depression, there being scarce work available. Farms weren’t hiring, and farm laborers had to find alternative means to provide for their families.

According to census data, Tom was 52 years old and had six children ranging from age 10 to 2 at that time. He had a third grade education. His wife, Maggie (Margaret Tate) was 42, and had a sixth grade education.The family lived off the land by hunting the extensive woods, fishing the nearby South Fabius River, and raising what fruit and vegetables they could muster. He eventually found work as a WPA tractor operator, repairing gravel roads in Marion County.

Tom’s family lived on the Homeplace property from 1939 to 1946. During their time there, lumber was apparently removed from the deteriorating two-room extension that had been added in the mid-1930s, and used for firewood. The old fence rails for the livestock pens, and the rotting outbuildings across the ravine also were consumed. Even the ceiling was stripped, leaving only a skeleton of what the cabin once was.

At one point an old wooden boxcar was moved to the Homeplace with teams of mules and horses in the fall, so it could be dismantled and used for firewood the following winter. In the years following, the vacated property was further vandalized several times, and stripped of everything of any value, leaving only the shell. The window frames visible in the cabin walls are those salvaged from the wooden boxcar.

John Wesley Leffert

John Wesley Leffert was born in 1872 at Quincy, Illinois to Charles Leffert and Sarah Lewis.


  • Born December 5, 1872 Quincy Illinois
  • 1880 Census: Resided Union, Lewis, Missouri
  • 1900 Census: Resided Fabius, Marion, Missouri
  • 1906 Receipt from Hopi Tribe 416, Improved Order of Red Men, Broad Ripple IN
  • 1910 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided as a lodger with James Hoffman, Broad Ripple IN
  • 1913 – Postcard from Ella – Resided 808 E 62nd Street, Broad Ripple IN  
  • 1918 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided with uncle James Leffert at 808 E 62nd Broad Ripple
  • 1920 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided with his aunt Jemima Michener in Broad Ripple IN
  • 1924 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided at 578 Laverock Road in Indianapolis IN
  • 1925 Letter from Emma Tate: Resided at 578 Laverock, Indianapolis IN
  • 1925 Letter from Metropolitan Life Insurance – 578 Laverock Road in Indianapolis IN
  • 1926 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided at 578 Laverock Road in Indianapolis IN
  • 1930 Census: Not listed
  • 1930, Sept 25 – Letter from Uncle Jim Leffert – no envelope – John’s address unknown
  • 1931 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided at 732 E 64th, Broad Ripple, with Blanche
  • (According to the same directory Uncle James Leffert lived at 808 E 63rd)
  • 1931, Jan 29 – Letter from Uncle Jim Leffert, Ely MO – John resided at 732 E 64th
  • 1932 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided at 732 E 64th, Broad Ripple, with Blanche
  • 1933, Feb 20 – Resided 732 E 64th St, Broad Ripple, with Blanche Leffert
  • 1933, Nov 8 – Life Insurance Check for death of Blanche Leffert ($172.61)
  • 1934 Indianapolis City Directory; Resided at 732 E 64th, Broad Ripple
  • 1935 Census: Resided in same house as listed in 1940 Census: Fabius, Marion, MO
  • 1935, March 20 – Resided R.R. 1, Taylor MO
  • 1935, Sep 10 – Letter from Frank Kalb – Rt. 1 Taylor MO
  • 1935, April 24 – Insurance bill – R.R. 1, Taylor MO
  • 1937, March 19 – Insurance bill – % R.E. Jennett, Route #3, Palmyra MO
  • 1938 Postcard addressed % R.E. Jennett (Bill)
  • 1940 Census: Resided Fabius, Marion, Missouri
  • 1941 Hunting & Fishing License – Resided Maywood Drive, Maywood, MO
  • 1942, Letter: Resided R.R. 1, Maywood MO 2APR
  • 1942 Letter: Resided R.R. 1, Maywood MO 3 SEP
  • 1950, February – Resided 311a Main Street, Hannibal, MO
  • Died Saturday, February 4,1950, 4:30 a.m., Levering Hospital, Hannibal, MO

Other John Lefferts

There was another John W Leffert living in Fabius Township at the same time our John was there. In fact, the other John occasionally got our John’s mail, and marked on the envelopes, “Opened by mistake. John W Leffert.” The other John is believed to be John William Leffert, born 1872 in Indiana, as were both of his parents.

He was a farm laborer, and rented his home at the corner of Hester and Maywood roads in rural Fabius Township according to the 1920 federal census. He was married to Elizabeth, age 53 in 1920, born 1867 in Wisconsin. Her father was born in New York, and her mother in England. They were parents to 10 year old Corlee, born 1910 in Oklahoma. They, incidentally, were neighbors with Robert E Harsell, born 1890 in Colorado. He is also listed as a farm laborer.

There was a third John Leffert, a laborer, who lived in Quincy, Illinois in 1903. His wife’s name was Fannie. This may be the John and Fannie buried in Farley Cemetery, Indianapolis. Also listed in the city directory that year was Miss Ora I Leffert. They lived at 204 Lind in Quincy.

Letters to John Leffert

Below is a compilation of the contents of letters written to John Wesley Leffert. These were a surprise find by his grand niece, Gayle, years after her father Charles’ death, while cleaning out old “stuff.”. Many more letters were probably lost to fires, floods, and relocation, and many of these that have survived show evidence of water damage.

Letter from James Leffert

(John’s uncle who lived in Ely, Missouri):

Letter from Uncle Jim 29JAN1931_env.jpg

29 Jan 1931

There was no letter in this envelope, but the return address on the back shows that John’s Uncle Jim, brother to his mother, was in Ely, Missouri at the time of this writing. It was common at that time to have mail addressed to the town’s post office where you would then pick it up. Hence, no street address was needed.

Letter from Uncle Jim 25SEP1930.jpg
Letter from Uncle Jim 25SEP1930_2.jpg

The date in the above letter is 25 SEP 1930, and James’ return address is Hannibal Rural Route #2, at the home of Fred Tate. Rural Route was short for Rural Free Delivery (RFD), a service which began in the United States in the late 19th century.

Rural Delivery’s purpose was to deliver mail directly to rural farm families. Prior to RFD, individuals living in more remote homesteads had to pick up mail themselves at sometimes distant post offices. RR#2 was that area generally west of Hannibal.

Editor’s Note: I believe this address to be the Palmer farm on Bay Island.

At the time of Mable Maudell Taylor’s visit, her 1st cousin Roy would have been 18 1/2 years old. She was 19, and would be turning 20 in a few days. She was pretty. He was handsome. This is one of several visits back and forth.

She married Roy in 1936, divorced him, married him again in 1938, and he divorced her about a year later. She returned to her home in Indianapolis, married additional times, but never had any children.

Notes from Emma Tate’s letter of January 9, 1925 (to Indianapolis):

Emma was in the eighth grade at school, and knew the lady that ran the Broad Ripple post office, Rose and her mother Jemima, indicating that she traveled there and was familiar.

She inquired about Aunt Mymie’s folks and cousin George. She missed going to the dump pile with Uncle Jim. (Mimmie is pronounced MY-me. It is an endearment for Jemima [Juh-MY-muh])

Emma and Roy walked 2 ½ miles to get to school. There were 21 children that attended. The teacher’s name was Emma Cary. When Bill (Robert E Jennett) wasn’t working, he would take Emma and Roy to school and pick them up.

Jim Schultz and his wife ran the Hester store. Mrs Schultz recently died just before the date of Emma’s letter.

Fred and the older boys apparently did some occasional labor for the railroad.* Fred was leaving the next day for Taylor, to stay with Aunt Maggie for a few days, likely looking for work.

Uncle High came for Christmas 1924, and stayed through New Years.

The Quincy, Omaha and Kansas City Railroad, more commonly known as “The OK Railroad”, started out in 1897 as the Omaha, Kansas City and Eastern Railroad; it was mainly a steam-powered operation; passenger service was provided by Doodlebugs. There were once many terminals and shops along the route.

Notes from Emma Tate’s letter of June 16, 1925 (to Indianapolis):

Emma graduated from Common School April 17, 1925, and Roy passed 4th grade, age 13, six days before his 14th birthday.

Bill (R.E. Jennett) was working on the railroad*

Emma asked John to say hello to Lula.

Lizzie’s sweetheart came back from Decatur, Illinois. He, Earl, and Charlie were working on the railroad. Her father, Joseph Frederick, was plowing corn. Her mama, and brother Earl’s sweetheart, were working for Rosa.

She asked how Rose and her mother were doing.

Notes from Pauline’s letters to John W Leffert:

28 JAN 1942: “Cousin” Roy went to St. Louis for his military exam, and was put in class 4 (Ineligible). Both their cats had been caught in traps. The black one lost his hind toes, and the other one looked like it was going to lose its front foot.

20 Feb 1942: Planned to travel to Maywood to visit as soon as the weather got warm enough to take Bobbie outside. James was living with John. Her return address was Palmyra MO.

2 APR 1942: Easter approaching. They got 36 ½ dozen eggs from their chickens in the month of March. They had 4 hens setting at the time of writing. The seed store was out of tobacco seeds, but would send some to John as soon as it comes in. Charles said that he couldn’t write in the daytime because he is working for George Palmer.

Mr Palmer lets him take a tractor out into the field by himself. Charles couldn’t write because he had something stuck in his eyeball. Nellie was there the night before and got something out of his eye, but he might have to go to the doctor.

29 APR 1942: Made plans to go to Maywood on the following Sunday morning, but would have to return home to milk cows. Bobbie had five teeth, and was trying to talk. They had 49 chicks and 5 more old hens sitting on eggs. They had completed planting their potatoes.  

7 MAY 1942: Couldn’t come visit because of the rain. They would have had to walk, and Pauline couldn’t because she had dislocated a knee the previous Saturday night. Uncle Fred put it back in place, but she had to go to the doctor and get it bandaged.

The doctor said that the joint water was out, and if it didn’t go back, she would be stiff legged from then on. She was told to stay off the leg as much as possible, but promised to come visit as soon as she could stand to be on her knee. They had picked a mess of mushrooms, a mess of greens, and a mess of wild onions. Bobbie had six teeth at the time of writing.

She inquired whether her father remembered to go to the schoolhouse to register for sugar.

NOTE: by Sarah Sundin:

World War II Rationing

When the Japanese conquered the Philippines in the early months of 1942, the United States lost a major source of sugar imports. In addition, shipments from Hawaii had to be curtailed 50 percent as cargo vessels were diverted for military purposes. The supply fell by one-third.

To ensure adequate supplies for manufacturers, the military, and civilians, sugar became the first food item to be rationed. Manufacturers initially received supplies at 80 percent of pre-war levels, but that was reduced over time.

Registration for Rationing

On April 27, 1942, families registered for ration books at their local elementary schools. One book was issued for each family member and had to be surrendered upon death.

The sale of sugar was halted for one week to prepare for the program. To discourage hoarding, each family had to report how much sugar they had in stock – over a certain amount – and the corresponding number of stamps was removed from the book.

Ration Books

On May 5, 1942, each person in the United States received a copy of War Ration Book One, good for a 56-week supply of sugar. Initially, each stamp was good for one pound of sugar and could be used over a specified two-week period.

Later on, as other items such as coffee and shoes were rationed, each stamp became good for two pounds of sugar over a four-week period. The ration book bore the recipient’s name and could only be used by household members. Stamps had to be torn off in the presence of the grocer.

If the book was lost, stolen, or destroyed, an application had to be submitted to the Ration Board for a new copy. When entering the hospital for greater than ten days, the ration book had to be brought along.


Home canning was encouraged during the war – however, canning requires sugar. To provide for this patriotic need, each person could apply for a 25-pound allotment of canning sugar each year. Each local ration board determined the quantity and season of availability based on the local harvest.

A special canning sugar stamp in the ration book had to be attached to the application. In 1944, confusion arose when “spare canning sugar stamp 37” was called for – but many people mistakenly used the regular sugar stamp 37, invalidating it for normal household purchases.

World War Shortages

Just because you had a sugar stamp didn’t mean sugar was available for purchase. Shortages occurred often during the war, and in early 1945 became acute. As Europe was liberated from Nazi Germany, the US took on the main responsibility for providing food to those ravaged countries.

On May 1, 1945, the sugar ration was cut to 15 pounds per year for household use and 15 pounds per year for canning – a total of eight ounces per week. Sugar was the last product to be rationed after the war. The program was discontinued in June 1947.

Housewives learned to be creative, using saccharine, corn syrup, and even packets of Jell-O as sugar substitutes. Women’s magazines featured recipes with reduced sugar or creative substitutes.   -end-

8 JUN 1942: Bobbie had a little cold, but everyone else was fine. She related that it was raining very hard at the time she was writing the letter. She said that they would try to come visit in a couple of weeks. She related that they didn’t have any more flats until they got to the edge of Palmyra, and had to call Uncle Charlie and Clara to bring them a tire and a tube.

It was eight o’clock before they got home, but Charles had already gotten the chickens in the coop. She wrote that Everette was very sorry that he couldn’t take John and James home, but that his tires were in too bad a condition to make the trip.

11 JUL 1942: She had not canned anything yet. They had gotten one mess of potatoes out of their garden that were about teacup size. She mentioned that she had chickens almost big enough to eat. Bobbie was cutting his jaw teeth. The brown dog came home again, and they planned to bring it to them next time they come to visit.

17 AUG 1942: They planned to go get John and James the following Saturday afternoon, and have them taken back home Sunday evening. She asked that they drop them a card right away if they couldn’t stay Saturday night. “Be sure to be ready, but we’re not sure we will be there or not.” Included was a penny so they could write back. She closed with; “Looking to come get you Saturday afternoon. Don’t know exactly what time, but will try to be there.”

28 SEP 1942: Everyone in good health. Winter was approaching. It had sleeted Thursday of previous week. They had set up their heating stove that same day. Bobbie had his stomach and eye teeth now. She stayed busy trying to keep the house clean.

She got herself a big horse with George Washington on it, and Charles got one almost like it. Rosa and Bill Schenck moved to Hannibal the previous Sunday. She was keeping busy sewing Bobbie some winter clothes with six yards of outing flannel she had gotten.

6 OCT 1942: (No envelope) Cousin Roy wasn’t feeling too well. James would be having a birthday soon and everyone would be sending him a birthday card. She inquired about John’s health.

19 OCT 1942: Pauline mentioned that she had been busy sewing baby clothes for the coming winter. Bobby (new spelling) was sure growing, and Charles had bought him a pair of shoes; size 6 ½.

27 OCT 1942: Everyone in the household had colds, it was quite cold outside, and it was sleeting that morning. She had bought her another ring and was planning to purchase one more. She inquired of James how he liked the dog they had given to him, and remarked that they had no dogs.

3 FEB 1943: Everyone is well except for colds. Bobbie had a cold, too. It was 19 degrees below zero recently. Earl is staying with Harry and Lizzie. Roy bought him a new suit of clothes. He bought Pauline a new dress, slip and pair of silk hose. The dress was powder blue and made of silk. It cost $4.50, but was reduced from $9.10. The slip and hose cost another $2.00. Roy’s suit cost $13.50.

31 DEC 1942: She inquired whether they had received the box. Bobbie got up at 4:00 Christmas morning, so she got his toys from under the tree. Charles and she had gone together and got him $4.00 worth of toys; a tricycle, two large trucks, mandolin, top, ABC blocks, and a little train with cars. He had a great deal of fun. She told her daddy and James that they didn’t need to get them anything for Christmas as they didn’t need anything.

Earl Tate’s wife died of spinal meningitis December 23rd. They planned to take the children as soon as they got over the whooping cough, but Earl already had homes for them. They believed that Walter Wiseman’s daughter took the girls and Walter Stover and wife took the baby. She didn’t go to the funeral for fear Bobbie would get whooping cough. She tries to avoid going into town because Hannibal was alive with whooping cough.

Notes from Charles’ letters to John W Leffert:

28 JAN 1942: He forwarded a letter from the Gamble store to John. He told James that he had bought an airplane kit but didn’t know how to put it together. He also bought a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste, and was washing his teeth every night before bed. He also bought a pan for “$.09” at Ben Franklins. He was reading some western books, and liked them a lot. He recently spent the night with Delbert and Albert Lee Tate.

20 FEB 1942: John had installed an oil-heated cook stove. Roy had bought some type of beans that John had told him about, and he liked them better than any other. They had a new cat. He related to James that his bicycle brakes had frozen, making it difficult to pump his bike.

29 APR 1942: Bought a new suit of clothes, including a straw hat, which he got wet in the recent rain. Mentioned that he would bring John’s steel traps on his next visit to Maywood. Bobbie was getting big and would soon be walking.

He got caught out in the rain with the tractor and plow. Pauline and Uncle Fred had brought in a mess of mushrooms, and a second mess of greens. They had gotten another puppy. He didn’t know whether Edgar and Mary Lou had passed, but supposed that they did.

7 MAY 1942:

It had been raining for several days and Charles had not been able to get in the field, so he had been cutting Sour dock and Burdock. He did disc after dinner on Tuesday. He commented that he wasn’t going swimming that night because it was almost winter again. Also, that it was too late to plant tobacco seeds.

He inquired whether James had gotten his fender and luggage carrier for his bicycle. He thought he was going to have to get some bearings for the crankcase, and that Bill was having a lot of trouble with his. He also asked how much James had sold his goat for.

8 JUN 1942: It rained really hard last Sunday. He has been disking and harrowing with the tractor as often as they could get in the fields. Cousin Roy got the Farmall tractor and disk caught in a mudhole and took a lot of work to get the tractor out. The water gasket had broken on the W-30 tractor, so Charles had been driving the big tractor.

He was sending some songs to James. He related that coming home from work on Saturday he had caught a turtle. He cleaned it Sunday, and found two dozen hard shell eggs in it. He commented that his dad should have been there Sunday to enjoy the eggs.

11 JUL 1942: Charles hoped that daddy’s arm was better. He comments that his daddy had sent for four dollars, but he just didn’t have it to give. He said that he had several things he needed himself, and that he hadn’t been able to get any of the harvest in that week. He related that the combine was broken and the tractor had a broken cylinder shaft.

He asked if his dad could share what he needed the money for, and if it was necessary, thought maybe he could borrow the four dollars. He told James that he was thinking about having knee action put on his bicycle, and that he had fixed a slow leak in one of the tires.

17 AUG 1942: They had lost seven chickens in an attack by a weasel. Uncle Fred dug around the area and finally spotted the weasel. Charles shot it with a rifle. He told James that he should see Bobby playing, rolling around. He had bought himself three new records, and had spoken for a Victrola that would cost him three dollars. He wasn’t sure he would buy it. He had to close because breakfast was about ready.

20 JUL 1942: Registered Mail. Envelope, only.

28 SEP 1942:  Old Jack is dead. Has been for about two weeks. Bobby is sure playing. Charles hauled a load of wood Sunday morning. He had started getting some winter clothes; two pair of overalls, two shirts, one pair of underwear and two pair of stockings. He planned to get two new sweaters, a pair of overshoes, more socks, some gloves and a winter cap. He paid $.79 for overalls, $.59 for shirts, and $.69 for underwear.

6 OCT 1942 10:10 P.M.: (No envelope) A calf had mashed his hand against a board last Sunday while helping Roy with the milking. It was swollen and quite sore, but hadn’t kept him from working. He informed James that he now had twenty-four little books, as he had just recently bought three more.

He passed along greetings from Cousin Roy and Uncle Fred. He inquired whether they wanted to come down for Christmas, and, if so, they would start working on a plan to get them to Palmyra. He also inquired whether his dad was through with his rifle as he wanted to get another mess of squirrels before the season closed for the year.  

15 OCT 1942: Tells his dad to break down his rifle and wrap it in paper so it can be shipped, and to put the screw and magazine in a matchbox for shipping. Charles said that he would send twenty-five cents to pay for shipping, and that it should arrive by Tuesday. He asks his dad to ship the rifle Wednesday or Thursday so the rifle would arrive Friday or Saturday, and not have to be in the mail over Sunday. He instructed his dad to tell the mailman that if twenty-five cents wasn’t enough, Charles would pay the balance due upon receipt.

He inquired whether his dad wanted to exchange three dollars for that dozen steel traps. Pauline was not feeling well, and promised to write in the next letter. He also told James that he was going to paint his bicycle green with yellow trim before Christmas, and was going to get several accessories for it. He and Pauline were buying chances on a war bond at the school house.

19 OCT 1942: Misdated his letter 1941. Sent a quarter to have his dad ship his rifle. He asked that he ship it Wednesday or Thursday, as he would be looking for it. He also asked for instructions on what to do with his dad’s steel traps.

He mentioned some pending plans for Christmas and that they would be making effort to get John and James to Palmyra for the family gathering. He mentioned that he bought a six volt battery for his bicycle headlight and that he was going to have to get a wheel aligned at a cost of “$.50.”. He added a P.S. “Will be expecting my rifle.”

27 OCT 1942: (Mailed Special Delivery) Everyone in the household had colds. He inquired why what was wrong with John that he hadn’t sent his rifle. He said that he had been looking for it to arrive all week, and that it wouldn’t cost John anything to ship it.

He said that they had about 30 bushels of potatoes, which would be handy that winter. He related that he had bought another pair of overalls and another shirt the previous Saturday. He sent a three-cent stamp for the reply or an answer, and remarked that he would be looking for the rifle.

3 FEB 1943: Charles had a big birthday cake for his special day. He replaced his broken Aladdin lamp with a rayo lamp which cost him $1.30. He had mounted a picture puzzle on a piece of cardboard and had it hanging on the wall. He asked again for his daddy to send his rifle. He had already gotten a rifle for his dad, as he had promised.

He was working every day, and expected to start plowing for corn before long, unless he was assigned to do the chores rather than plowing. He commented to James that he couldn’t hardly keep an Eversharp (pencil) to carry and work every day. He had already purchased two since returning from St. Louis.

Charles Wesley Leffert

Residences from Postmarks:

  • Jan 1945 – 619 Ely St, Hannibal MO
  • Sep 1946 – 619 Ely St, Hannibal MO
  • Dec 1949 – Resided 311 ½ East Main, Hannibal MO
  • May 1951 – 1205 Leffard, Hannibal MO
  • Feb 1953 – 1303 Fulton Avenue, Hannibal MO
  • Jun 1953 – 1303 Fulton Avenue, Hannibal MO
  • Apr 1954 – 1303 Fulton Avenue, Hannibal MO
  • May 1955 – 905 Ely St, Hannibal, MO

Charles, “Uncle Charlie” to those of us who had the privilege of knowing him, was a very talented and capable person who worked hard and played hard all of his life. He and wife Betty Lou Majors had one child, Gayle Lynn Leffert.

There were many occasions when the family would go to the Homeplace, north of Palmyra, Missouri for the weekend just to camp out in the two-room cabin originally built back in the woods by George A. Tate. Those weekends were only about being together as a family, away from town town and all its distractions. .


The Leffert Children Arrive

1925 Chevrolet Farm Truck.png

In April 1934, Fred and Amanda met the Leffert children at the train station in Hannibal. Fred and Amanda were brought to town to meet the train by Roy’s employer, Harold Guardhouse, in his farm truck. With a couple of bales of hay in the back there was enough seating for everyone, and plenty of room for luggage, too.

The Leffert children were were met by the families who had agreed to provide them homes until their father could make arrangements to relocate himself to Missouri. Pauline was to stay with Fred and Amanda. Charles went with Emma & Bill Jennett.

It had been arranged for six-year-old James to go live with Roy’s sister Rosa Lee, and her husband, Willie Schenck, on their farm in the Bay Bottoms. But, he threw such a fit when he discovered that Pauline was not going to be living with him, and persisted with such fervor and passion, that Fred & Amanda agreed to let him stay with them, too.

According to Mabel Taylor Tate, Fred & Mandy lived at the Homeplace at that time. Roy and brother-in-law Harry Cook, were working for Young and Guardhouse, two farmers in the area. Charley, Roy’s brother, had married Clara and had two sons. They lived on George Shear’s farm.


When John Leffert moved to Missouri in 1935, he took up temporary residence at the Homeplace, to which he added the two room addition and replaced the wood shingle roof with tin roofing. In the 1939 snapshot of the Homeplace there was tarpaper roofing that was in pretty bad shape, so, he made have added that to serve as a wind blocker.

In a short while, John was able to find a farm labor job on the Stewart farm in the Bay Island Bottoms, between Hannibal and Palmyra. He rented a house on that farm, and he, his children, and Bill & Emma (who at that time had no living children), took up residence. Bill’s children by a previous marriage stayed with their mother. The Leffert boys attended Marion City school, walking about 1 ½ miles each way.


Passing of Roy’s Mother

Roy’s mother, Amanda Elizabeth Leffert Tate, died in 1938, so the residents of the home at that time would have been Joseph Fred Tate, Roy’s dad, Roy, Pauline, Charles, Pauline’s younger brother, Charles, and, perhaps, for a short time, Roy’s wife, Mabel.

Pauline’s youngest brother, James, lived with their father, John Wesley Leffert, a carpenter, in a house just a short walk down the dirt road from the Home Place.  The 1940 Federal census indicates that they had lived there in 1935-1940.

In the 1940 census, Joseph F and Roy Tate, and Pauline Leffert, were shown living in Liberty Township, on the George W Palmer farm, and that they had lived in the same location in 1935. Fred and Roy were employed in those days as laborers on Palmer’s farm in the Bay Island Bottoms, on the River Road, north of Hannibal, and had worked there for several years.

1940 Census

The 1940 census shows Joseph F, age 66, widowed, living with Roy D, age 28, and Pauline Leffert, age 16, in Liberty Township, and that they had lived there for at least five years. Since they were at this same location during the 1930 census, we know that they were there on the farm for at least ten years, and that they were there at least three more years before moving to the Donaldson farm.

Neighbors of George W Palmer included Henry Wagner, William M Schenck (spelled Shanks on census), his wife Rosalie (sic), and sons Albert and Orbert. Another neighbor, William E Schenck, (spelled Shanks on census), his wife Rosabelle E, and son William R were nearby.  


Robert and Roberta Births

Roy and Pauline’s firstborn were twins, Robert Leroy and Roberta Lucille Leffert, who were born 22 Feb 1941 at Emma Ann Tate Jennett’s residence in Palmyra MO. Lucille was a “blue baby,” a baby with a blue complexion from lack of oxygen, and lived only three days. She was buried in a simple, velvet-lined wooden box fashioned by Pauline’s father, John Wesley Leffert. The burial took place on a knoll behind the Homeplace garden plot at the edge of the woods.

Missouri Death Certificates 1910-1965 LEFFERT.png


In the summer of 1942, while World War II was raging, Roy and Charles were employed by George W. Palmer to work on Palmer’s farm in the Bay Island Bottoms, on the River Road, North of Hannibal.

Roy moved his family to what Pauline described as a “shack” on Palmer’s farm to be closer to his work. Bill Jennett was working for Warren Head at the Estelbrook Dairy in Palmyra. His wife is listed as Mrs R.E. Jennett in the city directory.


Charles Wesley Leffert at Bay Island2_sml.png


In 1944, Roy and Charles found work on the Donaldson farm on West Ely Road nearer Hannibal, and Roy rented quarters for his family in a small house on the farm. It was shortly after they located there that a full time position opened up on CB&Q. In June, Roy’s brother, Charles Frederick, got Roy hired full-time onto the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad as a switchman, working in the yards where trains were made up for distant locations.

Roy moved to Hannibal near the CB&Q RR yards, where he would be working, and rented a dry-docked houseboat on the banks of Bear Creek at 619 Ely Street in Hannibal to serve as his residence. It was located across the street from relatives, and was close enough he could walk to work.

The houseboat was within hearing distance of the switch yards, where Roy reported for work, and since he did not want to learn to drive an automobile, he was able to walk, ride with other crew members, or take a taxi to work from this location.  Shortly after moving to Hannibal, Roy’s second son, James Wesley Tate, was born, in August of 1944.


In June of 1945 Roy’s older brother, Charlie, had become a section foreman and got Roy hired onto Charley’s track gang, which was dispatched out of the CB&Q switch yard in Hannibal.  

Rear of Hannibal MO Union Depot, ca 1945.png
Rear of Union Depot, Hannibal MO, 1945
CB&Q Track Gang 2.jpg

Christmas Eve Night Shift

On Christmas Eve, 1945, Roy was working as a switch tender in the CB&Q switching yard in Hannibal. His job was to keep the coal oil lamps on the switches filled with oil, and burning, so the switch locations could be seen in the dark, and then throwing the switches so the engine could sort through the cars and make up trains.

It was so cold that night that his weather toughened skin was numbed to the bone. He had already spent several hours building and maintaining small fires to warm the switch points and throw-bars to melt the ice that relentlessly gripped the switches in locked positions throughout the yard, preventing the make up of trains. The switch levers had to be freed so they could move back and forth to direct freight cars onto the desired tracks.

Switchyard afire.png
Railroad tracks covered in snow with little fires at each movable switch

Walking in the rail yard was always tough. At night it was even worse. Roy carried a kerosene switchman’s lantern to illuminate his way. The gravel crunched, shifted and scattered as he walked.

Evidence of track maintenance laid strewn about the ground in the deep shadows between tracks. Abandoned rail joiners, tie plates, and chunks of old ties lay precariously in the dark. Roy had to watch his step closely to avoid tripping and falling.

The only other light in the rail yard was given off by the wicks of dim coal oil fired switch-marking-lamps, casting red and green pools of light over the switches they guarded. The green and red lenses indicated whether the switch was aligned to the desired track.

The huge switch engine moving the boxcars around the rail yard to make up tomorrow’s freight trains, chuffed and spewed huge clouds of steam into the crisp air, often blinding Roy momentarily as the engine’s brilliant headlight sliced through the darkness.

Roy had to concentrate to quickly readjust his eyes to see obstacles on the ground, but couldn’t waste any time getting to the next switch, or everyone would have to wait for him. While walking alongside a string of moving cars to get to the next switch he had to throw, he felt a crushing blow to his left jaw.

Reeling dizzily from the blow, he quickly regained his balance, and realizing that he had been struck by something hanging from a boxcar, instinctively raised his hand to his face.

Something didn’t feel right. At the same time he pulled his gloved hand away to see if the blow had drawn blood, he thrust his tongue into his cheek. Just as he realized that his tongue had gone through his cheek into the freezing night air, his eyes were focusing on his gloved hand, which was completely covered with blood. He glanced down at his jacket and saw blood running down his chest.

He walked as quickly as he could to the yard office where he examined the injury in the mirror. The deep wound started at the back corner of the left eye, made a fishhook curve to the front of the cheekbone, and then ran down to behind the corner of his mouth. It was cut to the bone. It needed stitches.

He took a taxi to the hospital to get the wound treated, but wouldn’t let them give him a sedative, because he wanted to go back to work. He got about forty stitches in the wound, and said that it was so cold that night, once he got back to work, the cold numbed his face, and he didn’t feel any pain the rest of his shift.

Roy’s scar on his left cheek

CB&Q Construction Sites

Helton Station

Helton Station MO bunk cars_a.png
Handwriting of Delbert Tate

Helton is an unincorporated community in Marion County, Missouri. A variant name was “Helton Station,” the railroad name for the site. Helton is the first station north of Lamb on BNSF Railroad, according to the 1925 map of the area. It is situated in Sec. 35, Twp. 58 N, R. 5 W on 168 north of Mungers. It has no population.

The converted chair cars shown above were situated on the siding at Helton Station in 1927. Charley and Clara Tate were living aboard the cars at the time of Delbert’s birth. One can only imagine how cold those concrete floors were during a Missouri winter!

Mark Station

At one time, some of the Tate’s extended family lived in portable housing at the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad’s Mark Station, near West Quincy. We know this was prior to 1938, because Roy’s mom, Amanda was in one of the photos that has survived.  Mark is now an extinct town in east Marion County.

Mark was the first CB&Q RR station north of North River and just west of the Mississippi River in Marion County, Missouri. Mark is now an extinct town. A post office called Mark was established in 1914, and remained in operation until 1927.

The community was named for an investor in the site which kept experiencing disastrous spring floods.  Later it was known as “Dunsford,” and railroaders called it “Moody” for the frequent spring flooding that played havoc with their schedules.

Mark Station Wye.png

Mark Station was situated at a CB&Q double-tracked wye, or reversing loop, with east and west sidings for storage of railroad equipment, or passing of trains. It was 13 miles NNW of Hannibal, on the west side of the Mississippi river. The railroad wye is a triangular junction that allowed trains to switch from one track to another, or reverse direction, while keeping the locomotive at the head of the train.

The Mark wye was strategically placed a little under four miles south of the Missouri-Illinois bridge at West Quincy, and joined the CB&Q rail lines from Kansas City with those from St. Louis and the Chicago area.

The Mark wye had a two mile long double-tracked siding on the west side, leading to Kansas City through Monroe City, Shelbina and Macon. The east leg was also double tracked for 1.5 miles, starting two-tenths (.2) of a mile north of the two-section Warren Truss bridges over North River, and joining nearly four miles south of the Mississippi River bridge to Quincy, Illinois.

There was also a ladder-track switching yard on the south side of West Quincy, and another, much smaller, 1200 foot long wye to the north, just on the Missouri side of the Mississippi. That wye is so small that it was probably used only for turning engines around and routing trains.

It’s also interesting to note that the Mark wye was located 5 miles south of Taylor, and about six miles east of the Homeplace, so it was fairly easy for the family to get together occasionally.

Mark Bottoms

Mark Bottoms Trio.png

The Mark Bottoms was an area on the west side of the railroad tracks that created the wye, and in the bottom land near the South Fabius River. CB&Q RR had constructed a what appears to be a parallel work-gang siding with a long row of of portable houses along the track.

Traces of the long gone siding can still be seen in satellite images of the area. The housing was very close to the track, and this was in the era of steam engines, which sent large billows of scalding hot steam out to the sides. A locomotive stopped here waiting to throw the switch giving access to the siding, would have huffed and chuffed and exhausted a lot of steam to get underway.

Railroad bunk car interior.png
Goldie Miller Cook Death Record.png

Harry Cook, who married Amanda Elizabeth “Lizzy” Tate, worked at times on various track gangs for CB&Q, and he and Lizzy also lived in the converted chair cars at Mark Station. Their daughter, Goldie, was born at Mark Station as shown on her birth certificate. Harry later became a member of Charley Tate’s permanent track gang based in Hannibal.

Mabel Maudell Taylor


Mabel Taylor, a cousin to Pauline Leffert, was married six times during her lifetime, twice to Roy Tate, who was her second and third husband. Roy married Mabel in 1936, and again in 1938. She had first been married in Marion County, Indiana to Vernon Barlow in 1929. Evidently that relationship didn’t work out, as she moved in with her uncle John Leffert, to take care of the children after John’s wife, Blanche, died in 1933.

Mable remained in the Leffert home until John and the children moved to Missouri. She remained behind to keep her job, which were difficult to come by during the Depression. In 1936 she went to Missouri to visit John and the family, and met Roy. She told Leona, Roy’s daughter, in later years, that she married Roy because he was handsome, and divorced him because she got bored living out in the country. According to Pauline Leffert Tate, Roy and Mabel lived together for six years before getting married. The marriage lasted only six months, and she returned to Indianapolis..

Roy Mable Divorce Decree.png

Mabel returned to Missouri in 1938, and rekindled her romance with Roy. After a short courtship, they were remarried at the Palmyra courthouse by a judge. After only a couple months, Mabel miscarried a pregnancy. This time Roy divorced her, and again received a divorce in Common Pleas court.

Mabel Taylor Tate Interview

The following is a written statement submitted to Larry E and Leona M. Tate Vaughn while researching the Roy Tate family history March 27, 1994. The original, in Mabel’s handwriting is digitally preserved and attached as an addendum. Answers to questions regarding the history of the Pauline Leffert/Roy Tate family given by Mabel Maudell Taylor Farlow Tate Johnson Feese, Roy’s first and second wife.

“My mother and Dad separated when I was only 14 years old. My Dad moved to Florida after their divorce. My mother died in June 20, 1926. I was practically “an orphan” at 15 years old. Since the Lefferts and Tates were close in family ties, I thought my life would be reasonably happy, but I didn’t find it so after I moved to Missouri for that short time.

Probably had too much AMBITION in younger days? High school probably was partly the cause for the drastic change. Because I can look back over the years and think of all the good things I have accomplished. I even surprised myself as to how far up I have climbed since I moved back to Indianapolis, Indiana and Florida.

P.S. I do remember several skeletons in the family closet that I could tell you about. But, since I can’t prove any of it for sure I would rather let the “bones” rattle by themselves. I never did have a sister of my own, either living or dead. But, Pauline has seemed like a little sister to me and I did have that pleasure in life. My mother and her mother were sisters, though.

I always liked our Grandma Roberts. She was a small, feisty, woman. I have white hair exactly like hers now. I have gone to Spiritualist Churches and received messages from Grandma Roberts, my mother and Pauline’s mother. They were always in a group together. Someday I hope to see them again (when I get over to “the other side.”)

What was your maiden name? Mabel Maudell Taylor

What was your date of birth? September 29, 1910

Where were you born? Indianola, Illinois

What was your father’s full name? Van Buren Taylor (his mother was born in England)

What was your mother’s full name? Luella Roberts Taylor

Where did you live when you first met Roy Tate? Indianapolis, Indiana

How did you and Roy first meet? I made a trip to Missouri.

How old were you when you met him? About 18 years of age

Where did Roy live when you first met him? With his mother and Dad in Missouri

Where did the Lefferts live? Some in Indianapolis and some in Missouri

Did the Tates and Lefferts work together? As far as I know

What events brought the Tates and Lefferts together? Probably when Uncle Fred and Aunt Mandy married.

What was Roy’s occupation when you met him? Farming

Where did he work when you met him? Can’t remember

What did he do that attracted you to him? He was nice looking and very polite and about the same age as me

Did you date very long before becoming engaged? no

What was your courtship like? Very nice

What were your favorite things to do together as a couple? We lived on a farm and went to town occasionally

When and where did you get married? Can’t remember the date, except in Hannibal, Mo

Who performed the ceremony? I don’t remember

Who was present at the ceremony? no one except Roy’s mom

Where did you live after your marriage? with Roy’s parents

How did you spend your time in those early days of your marriage? At home or in Hannibal, Mo

Where were your favorite places to go? to Roy’s kin folks

Do you remember visiting any cemeteries where Tate relatives were buried? At Hester Cemetery (Near Palmyra Mo)

Do you remember where they were? North of Hannibal Mo

Did any pregnancies result from your first marriage to Roy? No

Why did you and Roy first divorce? There was jealousy in Roy’s family. Also in the Leffert family for no good reason. Always did think the cousin part of their When and where did that divorce become final? I don’t remember. It was after I went back to Indianapolis, In.

Where did you go, and what did you do after your first divorce? I went back to Indianapolis after the 1st time and I went back to work.

What did Roy do after your divorce? Stayed with his Dad & Uncle John Leffert.

How long were you divorced the first time? Not very long

Why did you get back together? I thought I loved Roy, and we would always love each other

What was the date of your second marriage to Roy? I don’t remember

Where did the ceremony take place? I don’t remember the name of the Justice of the Peace in Missouri

Who performed the ceremony? I don’t remember his name

Where did you live after your second marriage? A short time in Missouri

How long were you married the second time? Not very long

Did any pregnancies result from the second marriage? No

What circumstances brought Roy and Pauline together? Living together in the same house in Missouri. We lived with Uncle Fred and Uncle John Leffert.

Were there any factors other than Pauline’s pregnancy that contributed to the second marriage’s failure? I didn’t know she was pregnant until after the twins were born. I knew by Bob’s picture that he is Roy’s son.

What was the family’s reaction to Pauline’s pregnancy? I don’t know. I had moved back to Indianapolis.

Where did the Lefferts (Pauline’s family) live at the time? In the Bay Bottoms

Were the Tates and Lefferts socially active with each other? No. Aunt Blanche and her folks lived in Broad Ripple (Indianapolis, In)

Were there animosities between the Tates and Lefferts? Not that I know of.

Why were the twins born at Roy’s sister’s home, rather than in a Leffert home? I don’t know. Aunt Blanche died around 1934 before Pauline and her Dad and brothers moved to Missouri.

Where were Pauline’s mother and father during this period? Pauline’s father was living in Mo. Her mother was dead.

Why were you and Pauline able to continue through the years as friends? I felt rather guilty leaving Missouri, and Pauline, as she was so young – she was about 16 years old)

When were you divorced for the second time? I don’t remember

What did you do after your second divorce (where did you go, etc.)? I went back to Indianapolis to live, as I could not see my through living in Mo. Besides, Pauline and Roy were in love with each other.

Roy’s father was FREDERICK JOSEPH TATE. Is this correct? Yes

Did he have a nickname? Not that I know of

What did he do for an occupation? mostly farming

Do you remember his father’s name? No. I don’t think I ever knew.

Do you remember his mother’s name? No

What do you know of Roy’s Dad’s background? Nothing

What do you know of Roy’s mother’s background? Nothing

Do you know where the Tate family came from before settling in Missouri? No

Are there any other comments or thoughts that should be included in the family history? I feel that Tate is an English name. My maiden name was Taylor and it is English. A lot of information was destroyed by floods. Also there was a fire that destroyed Pauline’s and my grandmother Roberts family bible in Missouri when she and her Dad and brothers went back to Missouri to live after Aunt Blanche died in Broad Ripple (Indpls) Indiana, in 1934, I think.

Pauline and I are the only 2 granddaughters in the Roberts family. Pauline had a baby sister, Elizabeth, born between her and her brother Charles Leffert, but she died when only six months old.

I lived with her (Pauline) and her mother and Dad in Broad Ripple (Indpls) Indiana when Pauline was only about three years old. Pauline always called me “Sis.” I think of her as a little sister, but she is a first cousin of mine. Her Dad used to tell her that I was cousin Mabel.”

2nd Interview with Mabel Taylor

Interview 8:00 a.m. April 23, 1994 with Mabel Maudell (Taylor) Freese, age 83, at Comfort Inn, Orange Park, Florida. Interviewed by Larry Vaughn, Tate family researcher, accompanied by Lea Tate Vaughn, his spouse. This was a rambling conversation, intended to gather general information. The conversation has been reorganized into general chronological sequence.

James Leffert, 808 E, 63rd St., Indianapolis, who was John Leffert’s uncle, lived with his widowed sister, Jemima (Aunt My’me) (Leffert) Michener. It is unknown where Henry Michener, Jemima’s husband, is buried. (Editor’s Note: His grave has been located in Farley Cemetery)

John Leffert, Indianapolis, & Nellie Michener, Jemima’s daughter of Carmel, Indiana, were first cousins. They wanted to marry, but were not permitted to by the family.

Jemima lived on 63rd St in Indianapolis. She smoked a clay pipe all of her life. Nellie, Jemima’s daughter, was sick for many years of an unknown illness, and died at age 17 or 18. She wore her hair parted in the middle, slicked back, tied in a bun. After Nellie’s death, Jemima kept Nellie’s clothes in a trunk at the foot of Nellie’s bed in her vacant bedroom.

I (Mabel) went to visit Aunt Jemima one sweltering summer day, intending to spend the night. “Aunt Mymie” told me that I could sleep in Nellie’s room. We got to talking about Nellie, and Jemima opened up the old trunk to reminisce. We sat on Nellie’s bed looking at the old, crumbling, clothing . . . old fashioned floor length taffeta dresses, petticoats, pinafores, stiff collars. After the conversation, “Aunt Mymie” left the room and closed the door behind her as I prepared to retire for the night.

The single window in the bedroom was open to admit any cool breeze that might stir. There wasn’t much hope, however, as the heat had been sweltering all day, and the night didn’t look like it was going to be any cooler. There wasn’t a wisp of air moving. I lay upon Nellie’s bed and eventually fell to sleep. I was awakened during the night, and felt very cold. I felt a freezing cold draft move across the bed. I looked at the curtain at the window. They hung motionless. There was no breeze.

I had a fear come across me, and thought I had maybe taken sick. I sat up. The draft stopped, and the sweltering heat returned. Then the freezing cold returned. Frightened, I got up and hurried to Jemima’s bedroom. When awakened, Jemima asked me, “What’s wrong with you child?” I told her, “I’m freezing. Can I sleep with you?” I slept with her that night, and never slept in Nellie’s room again. I know that Nellie was in the room that night, and she didn’t want me sleeping in her bed.”

Mabel attended a Spiritualist Church where she was part of a Spiritualist Session, She sat on the end of a rectangular table at which several other persons were seated. She was skeptical, and wanted to look under the table to see if anyone was playing tricks.

The table commonly lifted up off the floor during “spirit contact,” tilting once to signal “no” and twice to signal “yes.” When it was her turn, she asked how long she was going to live. The table tilted 92 times. She looked under the table, and saw no one playing any tricks. She stated that she had gotten messages from her Aunt Jemima, her mother, and Pauline’s mother at various times during these sessions. The three ladies, Luella, Jemima and Blanche, are always together, it seemed.

The Carmel, Indiana American Legion used to hold a special military ceremony at the Farley Cemetery on June 1, decoration day. They have a lot of the Farey history. Mabel used to attend the festive ceremony regularly.

Amanda Leffert, Roy’s mother, was 5’8”. . . as tall as her husband, Fred. Pauline and Mabel’s mothers, (sisters), were fairly short. Pauline’s mother was Blanche Roberts. Mabel’s was Luella Roberts. Pauline’s father was Roy’s mother’s brother. Roy and Pauline were first cousins. Mabel and Pauline were also first cousins. It is believed that Fred & Amanda’s marriage first brought the Tates and Lefferts together in marriage.

After Blanche died, John moved his children to “Uncle Fred and Aunt Mandy’s” in 1934. He joined them in 1936. Pauline was about 9 or 10 years old when John sent her to Missouri.

Elizabeth, Pauline’s sister, was born between Pauline and Charles. She died at the age of six months, in about 1926. She is buried at Farley cemetery, beside Blanche, in an unmarked grave.

When John took his children to the train station in Broad Ripple, bound for Missouri in 1934, he knew that Uncle Fred and Aunt Mandy were going to meet them at the station in Hannibal. John bought identical suits for the boys to wear on the trip.

They caught the train in Broad Ripple, near their home on 64th street. Fred & Mandy lived at the Homeplace. Roy and Harry (Cook) were working for Young and Guardhouse, two farmers in the area. Charlie, Roy’s brother, had married Clara and had two sons. They lived on George Shear’s farm.

Pauline’s brother, Charlie, went to live with Bill & Emma. Her brother James was supposed to stay with Fred & Amanda, and Pauline with Rosie & Willie. But Jimmie, age 4, cried at the thought of Pauline being gone, so Fred & Amanda let Pauline stay with them, too.

Mabel, age 14 or 15, went from her home in Indianola, Indiana to Broad Ripple to live with her Uncle John and Aunt Blanche, when her parents divorced. She stayed with them until Blanche died (1933) and John moved to Missouri (1936).

Mabel made a vacation trip to Missouri to see her Uncle John and “the kids,” (Pauline, Charles and James). She met Roy at that time. Mabel is September to April (7 months) older than Roy Davis Tate, her second and third husband. She was married first to Vernon Barlow, Indianapolis. They stayed married only a few months. After their divorce, Mabel lived and worked in Indianapolis.

Asked why she married Roy, she said that she was young, dreaming of having her own home, and being around her relatives. She married Roy, even though he didn’t have a good job. He was doing farm labor for farmers around the Home Place, and lived with his mother and dad, during their first marriage.

During Mabel & Roy’s second marriage, Mabel and Roy lived with Roy’s dad and Mabel’s Uncle John Leffert, who now lived at the Home Place. The two had come to live together after losing their wives. Fred’s wife, Amanda, died of “tomato poisoning” (gangrene) and John’s wife died of cancer.

“The Tate & Leffert families living together at the Home Place is what was wrong with the whole thing. Pauline was crazy about Roy. He was handsome, with his curly hair. She was 16 or 17, quite pretty, and sat in his lap all the time, just to be close to him. He was my husband, but she was really in love with him. You could just see it. I thought it was cute at first, but I didn’t think it was right.”

May Pauline Leffert Age 14 blue - Copy.jpg

“I wanted Roy to move away to town, but we couldn’t, because he didn’t have any work. By then Pauline and Roy were really in love. That’s why I had to leave.” After I left, Rosie sent me a picture of Bob, and I knew it was Roy’s baby; he looked just like him.”

“At one time the Tates and Lefferts lived on the Willie and Rosie Schenck farm, on Bay Island, in a two story house. Three families lived there: Fred & Roy Tate, John Leffert and kids, and Harry & Elizabeth Cook; Emma and Bill lived on the nearby Kennedy farm (Bill’s son, Raymond, from Iowa, lived with them for a short time). Raymond was by Bill’s first wife.”

“Harry & Lizzie (Roy’s sister, Elizabeth) once lived at the Home Place with Fred & Amanda in the 2-room cabin where it is now located. Fred & Amanda, Roy, Harry & Lizzie all lived in the cabin. Harry & Elizabeth Tate Cook had a daughter, Goldie, who was Carolyn’s (Carl Tate’s wife) mother. Goldie was part Leffert, and part Tate, just like Roy, and now Carolyn and Carl are the latest cousins to get married.”

“Earl married Elsie in a wedding in the Mark Bottoms. Maggie & Tom, Rosie & Willie, Harry & Lizzie, Bill & Emma, were all married and gone from the farm, and most had their own kids by then. Some of the family worked repairing CB&Q track at Helton Station, Mark Switch, West Ely, and other places around. I think Roy’s brother Charley was the first one to get full time work on the railroad.”

Clara and I used to pal around a lot in Missouri. One time Clara came to visit me at my home in Indianapolis. I had to work all day, and left Clara at home alone. One evening I returned home to discover that the clothes hung in my closet appeared to have been moved around.”

“I didn’t mind that, but upon closer inspection, saw that my favorite blouse, red-white-and-blue, was missing. I had planned a trip to Missouri on American Airlines, which had a red-white-and-blue color theme back then, and I thought my blouse would make the trip really special. I was looking forward to it, and had my heart set on wearing it.”

“When I asked Clara, however, she denied having seen or taking the blouse. Only Clara could have taken that blouse, and I knew that she was lying to me. I knew she didn’t have anything as nice as that blouse, and that she probably just couldn’t, resist it. I was very hurt, and very upset. Clara stood her ground, so I told Clara to leave and never come back. She wasn’t welcome any more. I never saw the blouse again, and l never forgave Clara, either.” -End of Interviews –

Mabel was a strong-willed and outspoken person. When she related the above story to us, she was still visibly angry over the disappearance of that blouse. Yet, her personality lit up the room, and she was instantly likeable, though she was not one to mince words. We enjoyed knowing her during the few years we corresponded and visited her at Moosehaven. She died 2005 at the age of 95, and is buried in the Moosehaven cemetery.

May Pauline Leffert Tate

Pauline Tate Interview April 27, 1994

NOTE: This information was derived from a prepared interview with May Pauline Tate, April 27, 1994. Handwritten notes taken by the interviewer, Larry E Vaughn and Leona M Tate Vaughn, were transcribed into typewritten form, and submitted to Pauline for revision or correction. This transcript is the result of that process. Additions by the editor are shown in italics.


May Pauline Tate was born to John Wesley and Blanche (No Middle Initial) (Roberts) Leffert in 1923. The birth took place in their home in Broad Ripple, Indiana, overlooking the shipping canal that ran into downtown Indianapolis. That home no longer stands.

John was a carpenter by trade, and had moved to Indianapolis from the Quincy, Illinois area several years before to find work. He worked at a variety of sites, and for a number of employers. It is not known how he met Blanche, nor any history of their marriage, as of this writing.

John Wesley Leffert’s parents, Charles Leffert and Sarah Lewis resided in the Quincy IL area. Pauline believes she remembers her father commenting that his parents are buried in unmarked graves at Hester Cemetery. The Cemetery’s records were lost when the Christian Church building burned.

Blanche Roberts’ parents, Dudley and Margaret (Farley?) Roberts were from the Indianapolis area, and are buried in Farley Cemetery, Carmel, Indiana. Charles Robert’s brother, James Robert, and sister, Jemima ( Roberts) Michener, also lived in the Indianapolis area in 1930s. Jemima is buried at Farley Cemetery. Her daughter, Nellie, is buried beside her. Pauline knew these relatives as “Uncle Charlie” and “Aunt Mimie (My’me).” Pauline’s “Great” Uncle James Michener, age 90 at date of death, is interred next to Aunt My’me (Jemima).

Mabel Taylor’s parents, divorced in 1925, when she was fifteen years old, and Mabel found herself at liberty to follow her own path. She moved to Indianapolis to live with her mother’s sister, Aunt Blanche and Uncle John Leffert. Mabel Taylor was a niece to John Leffert, as her mother, Luella and Pauline’s mother, Blanche, were sisters. In 1925Pauline was 2 years old. She came to call Mabel “sis” although John, her father, kept telling Pauline that Mabel was a cousin. Pauline still called Mabel “sis” throughout her lifetime.

Luella Roberts Taylor and Blanche Roberts Leffert had a sister, Rose, who never married. Pauline recalled that Aunt Rose might have been retarded. She had a separate entrance to their house on the canal, and the children did not interface with her much. She never married, and is buried in Farley cemetery.

Pauline attended school in a building right across the canal from their home. She recalls dreading crossing the canal to go to school. The mean boys on the other side of the canal always picked on her and the younger boys. She had, however, fond memories of the motorized canal boats plying their wares past their home on a daily basis, and the steam-operated trains stopping at the depot near by.


Pauline’s mother, always seemed to have a burning pain in her stomach. It was unknown what caused the pain, and no treatment seemed to quiet it. The pain, as Pauline remembers, centered just below the heart, at the top of the abdomen. Doctors were unable to stop the discomfort. In 1933, when Pauline was ten years old, her mother went to an Indianapolis hospital for exploratory abdominal surgery, and died on the operating table.

Pauline recalled hearing that when the doctors opened her mother, they discovered that she was terribly diseased, and that nothing could be done to save her. Death is believed to have been a result of intestinal cancer. Blanche is buried in the Farley family cemetery in Carmel, Indiana.

A man by the name of Frank Cobb helped John a great deal after Blanche’s death. It is not known whether he was just a friend, or an official involved in settling the estate.

After Blanche died, Mabel Taylor, age 23, gave up her home in Indianapolis to come to stay with Pauline, her father, and Pauline’s younger brothers, Charles and James. She helped care for the children while John worked. Pauline has fond memories of walking along the banks of the canal to pick flowers with Mabel, whom she called “Sis.”


In mid-April of 1934, John Leffert put his children Pauline, Charles and James on a passenger train at the depot near their Broad Ripple home, and sent them to Missouri where they would live with relatives. Charles and James wore matching suits purchased especially for the trip. Mabel, age 23 in 1934, was working in Indianapolis, and chose not to move to Missouri. This was mid-depression, and a good job was very difficult to find.

John had made arrangements through his sister, Amanda (Leffert) Tate, for his children to stay with Tate family members for a period of time, until he could settle his affairs and relocate back to the Missouri area. It was arranged for James to stay with Amanda’s daughter Rosie & husband Willie Schenck. Charles would stay with Amanda’s daughter Emma and husband Bill Jennett. Pauline would stay with Fred & Amanda.

Guardhouse Farm

All three families worked as farm laborers, and lived in close proximity to each other in the Taylor, Missouri area. Fred and Amanda had a two-room house on a small plot of land Fred owned near Taylor, Missouri. Roy was the youngest of Fred & Amanda’s children, working as a farm laborer for Harold Guardhouse. Pauline worked for several years as a housekeeper and baker for the Guardhouse family.

Earl Dearing Farm

Roy’s brothers and sisters had all moved from the Homeplace by 1934. Fred was working as a farm laborer on the Earl Dearing farm, and raising a few hogs of his own in the ravine below the house. This property was the birthplace of Roy Davis Tate, and contains a family burial plot with several unmarked graves of infants, including Roberta, Pauline’s firstborn. The property is still in the Tate family, and is known today as the “Homeplace,” or, “The Camp.”

Fred and Amanda met the Leffert children at the train station in Hannibal when they arrived. Fred and Amanda were brought to town to meet the train by Harold Guardhouse, for whom Fred & Amanda’s son, Roy, worked. Fred & Amanda had no automobile. Transportation for farm laborers in that era was either by foot, or horse and wagon.

The Leffert children were brought back to the Homeplace where they were met by the families who were to provide them homes. Charles went to Emma & Bill’s home, a small house overlooking the Fabius River, just 1/4 mile down the gravel road from the Homeplace. This home was later destroyed by fire.

Six-year-old James threw a “regular fit” at the prospect of Pauline leaving him alone in his strange, new home to go live with Rosie & Willie. He persisted with such fervor and passion, that Fred & Amanda agreed to let Pauline also stay with them. The 2-room house was then home to Fred, Amanda, Roy, Pauline, and James.

It is unknown what arrangements John made for his sister-in-law Rose, who lived in his home during Blanche’s lifetime.


When John Leffert moved to Missouri, he took up temporary residence at the Homeplace with Fred, Amanda, Roy, and two of John’s children, Pauline and James. In a short while John was able to find a farm laborer job on the Stewart farm in the Bay Bottoms, between Hannibal and Palmyra. He rented a house on the farm, and he, his children, and Bill & Emma (who at that time had no living children) took up residence. The children attended Marion City school, walking about 1 ½ miles each way.


In 1936, Mabel Taylor and Roy Davis Tate were married after having lived together for six years. The ceremony was performed at the Palmyra Courthouse by a judge. The marriage only held brief interest for Mabel, however, as she quickly grew tired of rural life, and could not convince Roy to move into town. She left her husband behind after only two months of marriage, and returned to Indianapolis. Roy filed for divorce.

Stewart Farm

The John Leffert and Bill Jennett families lived on the Stewart farm for two years, while John and Bill labored on the farm. John paid the rent on the house, and often complained that Bill was not paying his fair share of the bills. This friction fueled frequent quarrels, and grew into a major disagreement by 1938, which concluded when John told Bill to move out of the house.

Raeger Farm

Bill moved his family to the Raeger farm, later moving to Huntington, where Charlotte was born, and then to Palmyra, then Frankfort, where Donald was born, and finally to Hannibal, where Sharon was born. Emma lost eleven babies, including Thomas, who died at the tender age of two. Family tradition holds that he ate or drank rat poison, but everyone said he died of Whooping Cough. He is buried in Hester Cemetery.


Kenneth Jones Farm

In the winter of 1938 John went to work for Kenneth Jones, and moved himself, Charles and James to the Maywood Farm. Pauline graduated 8th grade, along with the other two girls in the 1938 class, from Suddeth school.

Palmer Farm

That summer Pauline & Charles moved in with Fred & Amanda and Roy, into the tin house on the Palmer farm in the Bay Bottoms. The house, much like a pole barn, had four rooms, and a total of 2 windows. Although the house was formed only of wooden poles with tin roofing sheets attached to them, it was larger than the old cabin at the Homeplace.

Pauline related that there was no insulation of any kind in the house, and the walls were always as hot or cold as the outside airCardboard nailed up between the poles formed the interior walls. In the winter time, snow would blow through gaps between the sheets of tin and the poles. The snow would actually pile up on the dirt floor inside the house.

When the heat from the cook stove was enough to melt the snow on the inside of the house, it created a spot of mud. When it got real cold in the winter, the single little wood cook stove couldn’t keep the cabin warm. Pauline recalled that when she was cleaning up the kitchen after a meal on those cold days, she kept the dish water pan warmed on the stove. She would wring out the wash cloth in the warm water, and by the time she turned around to wipe off the kitchen table, the wash cloth would already have started to freeze!

Lennard Jones Farm

Pauline’s father, John, and brother James moved to the Lennard Jones farm. In Maywood (?) Pauline, age 15, refused to move with her dad away from Roy. She was in love with Roy, twelve years her senior, and was determined to stay with him. John objected violently to Pauline’s affection for Roy, but could not convince her to change her mind.

He and James moved to their new home, while Charles and Pauline stayed with the Tates. John’s house caught fire about a year after taking up residence, and all the family photos and memorabilia were lost. Among the items lost was Aunt Jemima’s family bible.

Donaldson Farm

In May of 1944, Roy and Charlie Leffert  left Palmers and moved to the Donaldson farm on West Ely Road near Hannibal


Death by Lockjaw

While working around the farmhouse garden spot on the Palmer farm, Amanda contracted “tomato poisoning” on her legs, an allergic reaction to the tomato vine, which progressed into immense sores, and later into gangrene.

Since doctors would no longer come out to the Bay Bottoms to see a patient, Amanda had to be taken into town for treatment. Her daughter, Rosie, took Amanda by horse and wagon to see a doctor. Treatment evidently came too late, since Amanda contacted “lockjaw” and died in Rosa Lee’s home in Palmyra. She is buried in Hester cemetery.

Amanda Leffert Tate Death Certificate.jpg

The residents of the Bay Island home after Amanda’s passing would have been Joseph Fred Tate, Roy’s dad, Roy, Pauline, Pauline’s younger brother, Charles, and Roy’s wife, Mabel. Pauline’s youngest brother, James, lived with their father, John Wesley Leffert, a carpenter, who had moved to Maywood, a few miles north of Hester.

The Bicycle Story

Roy and Pauline’s brother Charles used to work together when they lived on the Palmer place, and used to ride to work on a bicycle. Charles would sit on the seat and steer the bike, while Roy sat behind him and peddled. On day, Roy decided to learn to drive the bike by himself. He got it going, but found that coordinating the steering and balance at the same time to be a problem. He started off from the small yard, and got headed down the bank, and rode right into the Bay!

Roy earned $9 a week working for Palmer, and Charles earned $2 a week. Roy was older, much brawnier than Charles, and was able to perform heavy work all day long. But, Charles was a hard worker, and always felt that he should earn more than he was getting. Late in 1944, Donaldson offered Roy $20 a week, and Charles $9 a week. That was motivation enough for them to move from Palmer’s Farm to Donaldsons’.

Mabel (Taylor) Tate returned to Missouri after the Tate family moved to the Palmer farm, and rekindled her romance with Roy. After a short courtship, they were remarried at the Palmyra courthouse by a judge. After only a few months, Mabel she returned to Indianapolis. Roy again received a divorce.


Robert & Roberta were born to Pauline, February 22, 1941, at Emma & Bill’s house in Palmyra. Pauline had gone into Palmyra to deliver her child, because doctors no longer traveled into the Bottoms to treat patients. Pauline had no idea that she was going to have a multiple birth, and the doctor, too, was surprised to discover the second child.

Roberta, a “blue baby,” was born first, at 3:00 p.m., followed fifteen minutes later by Robert. Roberta weighed just 3¼ pounds, while Robert was 5¼ pounds. Roberta lived only three days. Pauline’s father, John, fashioned a wooden box lined with white satin to bury Roberta. She was interred without ceremony in the Tate family plot at the Homeplace.

Roy’s brother Charles, and another brother, Earl, married sisters. Charley married Clara M. Stover, and Earl married Elsie Maude Stover. Clara and Charley had taken Earl’s children, Lula Belle, age 7 Dorothy, age 10, and Roy Lewis, age 3, after Elsie died. Earl became an alcoholic, and could not provide an appropriate home for the children.

Lulubelle and Dorothy Tate 1943.png

In 1941, Clara & Charles asked 17 year-old Pauline Leffert, herself a new mother, to care for Earl’s children for a couple of weeks for them. Pauline agreed, but the two weeks extended to three years, and Clara & Charles never did take the children back.

Earl Tate collected his children from Pauline in 1944, feeling that he could provide for them. He established a home in Hannibal. Earl was later accused, and convicted, of molesting his daughters, Dorothy, age 13, and Lula Belle, age 10. He was sentenced to two years in the Missouri state penitentiary.

Earl’s children were sent to the Hannibal Orphan’s home in 1945. His son, Roy Lewis Tate,later moved to the home of a Smith family in Palmyra, where he lived through high school. The girls were sent to St. Louis where they worked in a family’s private home.

Earl Leffert

There was a man in the area named Earl Leffert who stayed with a lady named Johnson at Maywood, MO. He was a brother to “Little John” Leffert, who was no known relation to our Grandpa John Wesley Leffert. They could have been cousins, but no one remembers the family connection any more.

Earl may have had a brother, Arthur (Art) Leffert. When Roy & Charles first got Roy’s ‘29 Model A, they went to visit Myrtle and Art Leffert, who lived in Maywood, past Hester. Hester was 9 miles from the Homeplace. So, there may have been some connection, but it is no longer recalled what it was.

The Model A

The 1929 model A Ford truck has a story behind it, too. Roy and Pauline’s brother Charles went in together to buy the old truck from Betty Leffert’s dad, Clayton Majors, for $50. The old truck had last been used as a wrecker, and had been scrapped. Majors, who ran a salvage yard, had purchased the truck as junk, as it had been severely scrapped.

Charlie, the adventurous one, normally did all the driving, because Roy had never felt comfortable behind the wheel. One night, Roy had been drinking, and decided he was going to master that old truck. He started it up, and was successful in getting it moving, but then found it difficult to steer. He went off the road “at a pretty good clip,” and wedged the truck in between two trees. Disgusted, he turned off the motor, walked away from the truck and resolved that he was never going to drive again.

1971 Family in the Model A.png

The Model A was driven to the Homeplace to be used to haul water from the fresh water spring. A wooden box was built on the back to hold a 8-gallon milk can. Later, Charlie Leffert built the trailer seen above for additional hauling as construction projects kept popping up. In the background is the author’s 1971 American Motors Gremlin.


Roy and Pauline were married by a judge in his Hannibal, Missouri office. Members of the wedding party included Joseph Frederick Tate, father of the groom, Dorothy and Lula Belle Tate, daughters of William Earl Tate, and Robert Leroy Tate, son of the bride and groom. John Wesley Leffert, father of the bride, and younger brother James did not attend.

Jimmy & John Leffert 1944_2 - Copy.jpg
Jimmy and John Leffert ca 1944


L_R (Back) Fred Tate, Charles Leffert, Roy Tate
(Front) Lulu Belle & Dorothy Tate with Robert Leroy Tate

The Roy Tate family continued to live at the Palmer farm until May, 1944, when they moved to the Donaldson farm on West Ely Road near Hannibal. Later, in June of 1945 Roy went to work full time for the CB&Q railroad, later Burlington Northern, in Hannibal, Missouri. He was a switch maintainer, and later a track laborer. Roy’s brother Charles worked for CB&Q, and got Roy the job. Roy’s other brother, Earl, also worked for the CB&Q railroad, in the Mark Bottoms.

Roy & Pauline w Dennis Homeplace 1958-sml.png

The Homeplace in this photo includes the tin roof believed to have been first installed in about 1957 when Charley F Tate and Charles W Leffert helped Roy Tate get the building back into shape for use as a getaway spot for the family.

Roy Tate Family at Homeplace 1957 .png

View of the Homeplace original kitchen/dining area circa 1958. Notice the wood fueled kitchen stove bottom right and coal oil lanterns on the shelf. The original bedroom is the next room to the right. That bedroom also had a wood burning stove for heat.

Standing left to right- Roy Davis Tate and wife May Pauline Leffert Tate holding son Dennis Merrill Tate, and to her left is Charles Wesley Leffert, Pauline’s oldest brother. Seated left to right is Carolyn Leffert, daughter of Pauline’s younger brother, James J Leffert, son James Wesley Tate, behind the table is daughter Leona Marie Tate, son Carl Wayne Tate, Charles Leffert’s daughter, Gayle Leffert, and Roy’s sons Larry Davis and Robert Leroy Tate.

Sunset Valley Troubadors

For many years, Charles (Uncle Charlie) and James (Uncle Jimmy) Leffert had a country and western band styled after the Ozark brand of country vaudeville, with lots of silly jokes woven into the musical program.

Charlie and Jimmy played guitar, and both were vocalists. Their band, Sunset Valley Troubadors(sic), played at many rural social activities such as ice cream socials, community festivals, and church bazaars.

Often one or more of their band members would join us at the Homeplace, and sooner, rather than later, they would break out in song. It always made it a special evening when they “picked their way through a few tunes.”

Sunset Valley Troubadors.jpg

Sunset Valley Troubadors Matchbook

Sunset Valley Troubadors Matchbook.png

Flood of 1973

This panel depicts the spring flood of 1973, and may be some of the most recent photos of the house at 905 Ely Street, which was the Tate home in 1961 when Larry Vaughn courted Leona Tate. The gold color house is 905 Ely. The photo at top left shows the flood water above the concrete porch on the front, while the top right panel shows the back entrance, on the side of the house, which opened onto the kitchen.

More of Charles Leffert’s Memories

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Random data collected about other township and towns, villages and hamlets in the Hannibal, Palmyra, Taylor area. Many no longer exist other than in historical records.


Lamb was the first CB&Q RR station north of East Hannibal.


Mark was the first CB&Q RR station north of North River. It was situated in Sec. 23, Twp. 59, R. 3 W near the Mississippi River.


Mungers was situated on Sec. 6, Twp. 57 N, R. 5 W on 168 north from 61. Mungers is no longer listed in Marion Co. There is a Munger Street in Hannibal

NORTH RIVER – Fabius Township

North River was located on the Hannibal & St. Joseph R.R. at the crossing of the North River. There were station houses here and not much else. It was a post-office in the forks of North River, nine miles southwest of Palmyra.

This section of country was known as “Turkey Shin,” and “Turkey Run” because wild turkeys abounded, and regular hunting excursions were made by the early inhabitants.


It was a station on the H. & St. J. R. R., nine miles from Quincy (Ill.), and five miles north northeast of Palmyra.


South River is situated on Sec. 1O, Twp. 58 N, R 5 W on BNSF Railroad.

  • It has no population.
  • RAND MCNALLY, 1974.


In 1836, with the establishment of the preparatory or the Lower College, as it was called which was connected with Marion College, the village of West Ely was established. Rev. Dr. Stiles Ely was its founder and in his honor it was named. Despite its name, West Ely lies east of Ely, Missouri. The village stands on the east side of the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 27. A

mong the first settlers in and about West Ely, including some who were connected with the college were Rev. W. P. Cochrane; Rev. Dr. Ely from Pennsylvania, and Rev. Allan Gallaher, from Tennessee. In 1884 West Ely was little else than a trading point with two stores, churches, etc. It is situated on Sec. 27, Twp. 57 N, R. 6 W north from 24/36. Mail is via Hannibal–rural; no population.


White Bear was the first station south of Wither’s Mill.


There was a station house at Wither’s Mill, as well as a post-office, a general store, half a dozen dwelling houses, etc. It was irregularly laid out, and while it was a trading point of considerable advantage to the people, it did not expect to ever become a place of much importance.

The location of Wither’s Mill was on the northeast corner of Section 22. Formerly John Withers had a mill on Bear Creek, at the location of the hamlet, but it was burned some years after 1884.

The mill was built in 1855, but the station house was not erected until about 1867. It is situated on Sec. 20, 29. Twp. 57 N, R. 5 W on an extension of KK south of 61. Mail is via Palmyra and Hannibal; population 25. The author’s great grandfather, Tony Matthew White, was born at Withers Mill.

WOODLAND     Liberty Township

The village or station of Woodland, on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad (center of Section 8, Township 57. Range 8) in the southwestern corner of the township near the line of South River, had a post-office and a railroad station.

On nearly the same grounds was a station called Nettleton, in honor of George H. Nettleton, of the Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R., was established. In 1884 Mr. Nettleton was superintendent of the Kansas City, Springfield and Memphis Railroad (K. C., FT. S, & M.), and had another station and village named for him on that road in Oregon County.

Woodland (Caldwell), on the H. & ST. J. R. R., 5 miles south of Palmyra, had one store, one school-house and a Baptist Church. Mail is via Palmyra–rural; no population. Highway K runs through this section.


Editor’s Note: Liberty Township is an inactive township in Marion County, and was established in 1827.

L-R: Betty Majors Leffert, Link (Lawrence Eugene, III) Vaughn, Carolyn Leffert, Pauline Tate with back to camera, Leona Tate Vaughn stooping to retrieve something from a cooler, Betty Renner Leffert, Katherine Tate David, Steven Lance Vaughn.

This is the “eating place” Uncle Charlie Leffert mentioned in his handwritten notes earlier in this chapter. The structure was one of two that were arranged end to end. They were erected with a picnic table situated between four 4X4 weather-treated posts, and was covered by a hood, or, the top cut out of a junked truck, used as a roof.

In the background, the “Badger Killer,” a 1929 Ford Model A truck, that as the time of publication, was still in the possession of Dennis M Tate, who has been the primary caretaker for all these many years.

Letters from Delbert Tate

to Uncle Charlie (Charles Wesley Tate)

29 SEP 1945: Delbert was at a new address on the army base, where he would be for eight weeks of basic training. Then they would go to a week long evaluation to a camp about a hundred miles away. There will be live shooting over their heads.

He had been issued his rifle that day, and with his pack, he thought it weighed about thirty pounds. He wished he was going back to school, but said that the army was his boss now, and they were going to start drilling with full gear Monday. He related that the food was terrible, like powdered eggs for breakfast, and not enough of it.

3 OCT 1945: Delbert mentions that he hasn’t heard from Charlie more than that once, and quips, “don’t you know my address, or are you too busy dating that one and only? Ha ha!” He had K.P. (kitchen “police”) duty in the morning and had to get up at 5:00. He mentioned that they were drilling all day every day, and that he was worn out at night, but still had to clean his M1 rifle.

He said the rifle was an automatic and would fire eight .30 caliber bullets in a burst, and the range was about five miles. He asked if Charlie was still working, and how much he was earning now. He mentioned that he had a cold, but that it was getting better, and either the food was getting better or he was just getting used to it.

NOTE: KP duty is “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol” is work performed under supervision of the kitchen staff. Usually assigned to junior U.S. enlisted military personnel, the term “KP” can be either the work itself,or the personnel assigned to perform such work.

The image of enlisted soldiers peeling potatoes in an army camp’’s kitchen was once associated with the popular culture image of KP duty due to its frequent appearance in mid-twentieth century movies and comic strips about life in the armed services for Americans.

8 OCT 1945: Delbert mentions that he writes to his girlfriend Mary, but hasn’t received a single letter from her since he left for the army. He was concerned that she might not be faithful. Charles, (Albert) Lee and James were going to go to the movies together. Delbert tells them to keep their eyes off the girls, but if they look, take a few extra looks for him.

Dorothy told Delbert that James got another photo of his girlfriend, and that he and Charlie were already hooked. He asks how Charlie liked working in the factory, and whether he was working nine hour days. He hoped to get leave so he could be home in about eight more weeks.

17 OCT 1945: Delbert was in his third week of basic training with the U.S. Army, at Camp Lee VA. He stated that the following week they would be going to the range to get familiar with firing their M-1 rifles and M-1 carbines. He related that so far they had learned to put up their tents and sight their rifles properly. They had done a three mile hike with 40-pound backpacks and gas masks.

16 NOV 1945: Delbert states that they had made a two-hour six-mile hike with full gear that afternoon, to a distant campground where they set up their tents, camouflaged them, dug their required trench, then filled them in, took the tents down, and hiked back, arriving at about 7:00 p.m.

He said that they were going to have their final test the next week, and then would be going to A.P.Hill for maneuvers on the 26th. He mentioned that they were going to get the day off on Thanksgiving, and that they were going to have a turkey dinner. He wished he could have fried chicken, and be back home to eat it. He mentioned that he had had a lot of girl trouble, and advises Charlie to take his time before taking the big step.

24 OCT 1945: He has been on the range for three days, marching 4 ½ miles to and from the barracks. Tuesday it rained, and they got soaked. They had to carry their packs with a work uniform, gas mask and rifle, and the packs were “twice as heavy as usual, due to being soaked.”

3 DEC 1945: Delbert stated that he would have written sooner, but all that week they were going through Hell at A.P. Hill during war games. They were hiking, firing blanks, taking houses, charging camping places. They had packs that weighed about eighty pounds, and had to carry their rifle and gas mask at all times, as they were gassed two or three times.

Once, his campsite was gassed and his gas mask was by the tree outside his tent. He had to hurry and get it to avoid the tear gas. It had rained most of the time they were there, and he got two blisters because he had to wear wet socks. He said he didn’t want to ever go through that experience again.

He mentioned that he would now be going to school to learn a trade, but didn’t know what school he would be sent to. He said that he would get ten days off for Christmas and would be coming home. The round trip ticket was going to cost him $27.00.

24 JAN 1946: Delbert was writing to respond to Charlie’s letter received the previous day. He stated that he had a slight cold and a small headache from drinking three beers at the PX (Post Exchange [store]).  He said that he was not going to drink any more, had quit smoking, and was trying to quit cussing so he would be a nice man. He was planning to go to church in the morning and then into town for some roller skating with a bunch of the guys hoping to meet some girls; one in particular that had caught his eye.

24 SEP 1946: Delbert had been promoted to sergeant. He arrived back at Camp Lee VA at 2:30 in the afternoon, and was on a six-month assignment there. He wished he had been assigned somewhere else, but said that he had stood it for a year already, and thought he could make it another six months.

He commented that Charlie had a girlfriend that was cuter than a pink eyed rabbit, and she would make a good cousin. Delbert said he didn’t know where he stood with the girl situation, but would probably have to wait for his discharge to pursue it.

24 FEB 1953: Letter from Emma Tate Jennett, Perry MO, asking Charles to come to repair their car. As they tried to back out of the shed, and the gears locked up. Bill had to work the other farm that day, so had to get up early to walk there. Emma said to pick up Roy, Pauline and the babies and bring them along. She enclosed a stamped envelope for Charlie to respond. It is still folded, and unused, with her letter.

4 JUN 1953: Letter from Emma Tate Jennett, Perry MO, asking when they were going to bring their new baby for a visit. She had almost a hundred baby chicks and one hen still setting. Bill needs Charlie to come up and fix his car. It wouldn’t turn to the right without backing up a few times. Bill asked Charlie to get him a key switch for his 1936 Chevrolet, and that he would pay him when he got there. She inquired what they named their baby.

9 APR 1954: Letter from Emma Tate Jennett, Perry MO, letting Charles and Betty know that they had gotten moved okay. They moved the hen house the day before the move, and going to work on it later that day. It was going to be a nice big one. They had just been using the cook stove for heat, but now also had a heating stove. She planned to hang curtains that day.

4 APR 1955: Letter from Emma Tate Jennett, Perry MO, asking Charles to come to repair their car. No envelope. She mentioned that the weather had been nice, lots of rain, and mushrooms would be sprouting up soon. Bil had just gotten over a bad cold. Sharon had just one more week before spring break. She enclosed another stamped envelope for Charles to send a reply.

19 MAY 1955: (Envelope postmarked 14 May 1955) Letter from Emma Tate Jennett, Frankford, MO – Bill is working every day and really likes his job. She was expecting Charlie and family the coming Sunday and would find him some rags. Bill asked if he could bring some gear grease for her washing machine and he would reimburse him Sunday. She was anxious for “they” to get there with the tractor to plow her garden. She had two gallons of onion sets to get planted. She was hoping Pauline and kids would come with Charlie’s family on Sunday.

Birthday Card from Pauline

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Larry Davis Tate Letter

to Charles Wesley Leffert

Larry D, as he was called, served in the U.S. Army during the conflict in Viet Nam. Below is a letter he wrote to his Uncle Charlie, which was passed on to Larry’s mom, Pauline.

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Roy, Charles & James Leffert and families, Homeplace 1960

There were frequent card games at the Homeplace that ran into the wee hours of the morning before everyone retired. Soon they would be awakened by the smell of a few pounds of bacon being fried in large cast iron skillets on the kitchen wood stove, or in fair weather, on the outdoor fireplace.

Large cast iron skillets held Pauline’s own recipe for fried potatoes with carrots and onions, cooked, of course, in bacon grease. Eggs were at hand nearby, ready to be scrambled, fried, or basted to order.

All of that would be topped with a big scoop of peppered milk gravy fresh off the fire, and homemade rolls or buns made from the living yeast starter passed down in the family for generations.

We know the yeast starter was passed down by Emma Rogers Tate to Amanda Leffert Tate who split it and passed starters to all the daughters and daughters-in-law as they began their own households.

It isn’t known where the starter originated, nor how many “split starters” are still in use today. But, for those who are lucky enough to be eating bread, buns and cinnamon rolls made with them, they are enjoying flavors that far surpass those in manufactured products.

Out standing in their field
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Issue of Roy Davis Tate and May Pauline Leffert Tate

  • 17-i. Robert Leroy Tate, b 22 Feb 1941, Taylor, Marion, Missouri
  • 17- ii. Roberta Lucille Tate, b 22 Feb 1941, Taylor, Marion, Missouri d 25 Feb 1941
  • 17- iii. James Wesley Tate, b 07 Aug 1944, Liberty, Marion, Missouri
  • 17- iv. Leona Marie Tate, b 29 Jan 1946, Hannibal, Marion, Missouri
  • 17- v. Larry Davis Tate, b 03 Dec 1949, Hannibal, Marion, Missouri
  • 17- vi. Carl Wayne Tate, b 26 Mar 1952, Hannibal, Marion, Missouri
  • 17- vii. Katherine Ellen Tate, b 19 May 1955, Hannibal, Marion, Missouri
  • 17- viii. Dennis Merrill Tate, b 01 Mar 1957, Hannibal, Marion, Missouri

The sprinkling head was a rubber stopper with a round metal cap, with small holes in it. We filled the bottle with water, and then sprinkled the item until it was covered with dots of water. Then we rolled the article of clothing, and placed it in a cloth bag. After everything was sprinkled, rolled up and placed in the bag, it was put in the refrigerator overnight, which made the clothes easier to iron and helped avoid burning the fabric with the hot iron.

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My brother Bob always wore black pants and starched white shirts. Mother would starch the shirts . . . no, not with spray starch. She mixed a powder with cold water and then cooked it on the stove until it was bubbly and clear. She then poured the starch into a sink filled with cold water and stirred it together. The starch smelled really good . . . so fresh and clean!

His shirts, and a few other things like my school dresses, got swished around in the solution, and then Mother would twist the shirt with her hands to remove the excess moisture before hanging them up to dry on the clothesline. Mother let me help with the ironing. At first I only ironed the pillowcases and  handkerchiefs. I don’t remember ever having facial tissues around until after I was married. Daddy always carried a big red

bandana handkerchief and Mother kept a pretty flowered one in her purse.

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I also ironed the dish towels and such, and became quite good at ironing shirts. Mother would always brag about how nice I could make them look; even better than her! When I got older, she admitted she’d rather iron anything other than shirts!

As I got older, and taller, I could reach the clothesline and would help hang the laundry up to dry. Weekly washing took the entire day, which explains why we always had bean soup on wash day; mom didn’t have time for cooking anything complicated. Ironing took up most of Mother’s time the next day. I guess doing laundry nowadays really isn’t as much of a task as we sometimes think it is.

Roy and Pauline doing laundry at Homeplace with a gasoline engine powered wringer washer, 1974. Notice the size #2 washtub used to catch the clothes after wringing.

Every spring there was an albino Robin that nested in Uncle Charlie Tates’ backyard on Munger Street. We always watched for it, and were quite excited when it returned. It was snowy white and had blue eyes. It would sit and chirp at us across the fence. I have never seen another bird like it. It was one of God’s special creations.

Thanksgiving Gatherings

Thanksgiving day was always a special day for me. Each year we would spend the day with Mom’s brothers and their families. Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Betty Leffert, Uncle Charlie and Aunt Betty Leffert, and Mother and Daddy took turns in hosting the event at their homes.

The host family would cook the main entree, and the other families would bring sides, salads and desserts. There was always lots of food, but the best part was the fun and games.

Uncle Charlie loved to tell stories and jokes, and usually had everyone laughing. He and Uncle Jimmy would bring their guitars and play for us, and we would all sing along. We would all get together other times each year, but Thanksgiving was always the best.

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In the 1957 Thanksgiving photo, taken at  Uncle Jimmy‘s house, are, at the table, Left to Right, Carl, Larry, cousin Carolyn, Kathy and Leona, Gayle, and Wesley. Back row: Uncle Jimmy, Bob, Dad, Jim, Aunt Betty Renner Leffert, Dennis, Mom, Aunt Betty Majors Leffert.

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This Thanksgiving photo is at our house at 905 Ely. At the table, left to right, were Gayle, Carolyn, Kathy and Wesley. Behind them are Larry, Carl, and Aunt Betty R. In the back are Bob, Leona, Jim, Aunt Betty M, Uncle Jimmy, Mother holding Dennis, and Daddy.

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Thanksgiving 1960, again at 905 Ely Street. At the table, left to right, Wesley, Gayle, Carolyn, Carl, Kathy and Dennis. In back, Leona, Larry, Betty M, Betty R, Barbara Taliaferro, Bob, Mom, Uncle Jimmy, and Dad.

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Thanksgiving 1961 at Uncle Charlie and Aunt Betty’s house on Park Avenue. Left to right in front: Dennis and Kathy. Behind them, Wesley, Gayle, Carolyn, Larry; next row, Carl and Barbara Taliaferro; Back; Uncle Jimmy, unknown, Jim, Aunt Betty R, Leona, Aunt Betty M, Mother, and Dad.


Every Christmas we would take a roadtrip to the Homeplace to search for the perfect cedar tree to cut down and take home. This we decorated with colored lights and some candles that actually bubbled when they got warm.

Mother had a few very fragile glass ornaments, but mostly the tree was covered with decoration we kids had made at school. Paper rope garland cut from colored construction paper, and glued with paste, and lots of silver strands of tinsel. The silvery tensile star topped our beautiful tree.

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Each of us would receive one toy for Christmas, plus socks and underwear, and sometimes pajamas or clothes for school. I usually got a doll. One year I got a doll house and a high chair for my dolls. When I was in the 4th grade I got a bride doll. That is the only doll I still have. Most of my toys I actually still had when my sister was old enough to give them to her several years later.

I also still have my Cinderella watch I received when I was in the second grade. It was a prized possession, and I guess it still is, since I have kept it so many years. It’s amazing to think, but today, at this writing, that was over 50 years ago! The only other small thing I have managed to keep is a miniature lamp from my doll house. I would sit for hours and play with the house and all its miniature furnishings, rearranging the pieces in hundreds of different settings.

Paper Dolls

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Another of my favorite pastimes was playing with paper dolls. Paper dolls are figures cut out of paper or thin card, with separate clothes, also made of paper, that are usually held onto the dolls by paper folding tabs. Paper dolls have been inexpensive children’s toys for almost two hundred years. I kept mine in an old shoe box, and was always very careful to put the many pieces of paper clothing away so they would not wrinkle, or, accidentally tearing off one of the tabs that hold the clothing in place. Many hours had been spent carefully cutting each small garment

I remember Mrs. Mitchell, my first grade teacher, was very impressed at how well I could cut things out. She would let me help her decorate the wall board in our classroom. That was how we would spend a lot of our special lunch hours together.

913 Ely Street

It was in the spring of 1955 that the life I had grown to love was to end, when Mother and Daddy told me we were going to move! I was shocked! I could not imagine life anywhere else could ever be as wonderful. I would have to go to a new school where everyone would be a stranger! How would I ever survive without my friends and the family members that I had become so used to being around everyday?

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I was devastated! I cried, and Mother told me that everything would be okay. She said that we would have family close by, and that I would make lots of new friends. When I asked, “But why do we have to move!? She hugged me, and said, “We will really need more room.” “But, why?” I managed to say between my sobs.

“I have a surprise,” she said, and I learned that I was to have yet another brother or sister. Of course, I was very happy then, but can also remember thinking, “How many more brothers am I going to have?” No one else I knew had four brothers, like me, and soon I might have five!

I was 10, and in the 4th grade. It was my last year at Eugene Field School. They were special years. I remember how sad I was the last day of school, knowing I would never return to attend classes at this place that had been such a large part of my life. How would our new school, Stowell, ever take its place!?

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We moved in March of 1955 to the house at 913 Ely Street, Hannibal, at the top of what seemed to be a really big hill. My Uncle Charlie and Aunt Betty Leffert lived just one house away at 905 Ely, which we would later live in.

913 Ely was a four room house, and it was, indeed, much bigger than our home on Ledford. Uncle Charlie, Daddy, Mother, my brothers, and I, spent days peeling wallpaper from the walls. Uncle Charlie papered each room with fresh new wallpaper, after painting the old wood work. Mother washed the windows inside and out until they sparkled in the sunlight.

The curtains at the kitchen windows, and on the back door, were white, with ruffles all around, and trimmed in red. The wallpaper was white, with dishes and pots and pans trimmed in red. I don’t really remember the wallpaper we put in the other rooms, but do remember how happy Daddy was that he no longer had to look at those big roses!

The floors were covered with shiny new linoleum. New curtains were hung, some of which were made with a new thing called plastic. I’m not sure if that was the fashion at the time, or just economical. Whichever it was, it was beautiful to me!

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Electric Coldspot Refrigerator

The thing I remember most, was the shiny smooth tabletop, which was also marbled red and grey. I had never felt anything so slick and smooth!

The kitchen/dining room was so much bigger than the one we had before! Sears delivered a brand new white refrigerator and a white kitchen range. There was also a bright shiny new kitchen table and chairs! The 8 chairs all matched, and were covered with gray and red plastic. Each chair had chrome studs all around the back and the seats. The chair and table legs were shiny chrome.

Several family members gave us furniture. We actually had a living room with no beds in it! There was a big soft sofa and chair, and even end tables with lamps, and a beautiful floor lamp that made the room feel very cozy.

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Gas heating stove

We no longer had a big black coal stove sitting in the corner! The living room had a gas heating stove with panes of asbestos through which you could see the blue and orange flames. The bedrooms and kitchen had smaller versions of gas stoves.

The boys were very happy that they would no longer have to clean the ashes from the stove or keep the coal bucket full. Of course, Mother was happy she would not have to clean up the mess from the ashes and the boys tracking through the house with the coal bucket. I was happy that I could lay on the couch, be warm, and watch the flckering fire.

Riding Bicycles to School

Bob, Jim, Larry and I, didn’t go to our the new school until the fall of that year. We were allowed to ride our bikes to Eugene Field to finish the current year, which made us very happy. I don’t remember how long it took to get there, but Ely Street was about 10 blocks from our old Ledford address, so to Field school was a total of 15 blocks. The spring weather was very cooperative that year, and most days the ride was enjoyable.

Katherine Ellen Arrives

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Only six weeks after we had moved to Ely Street, Mother went to Levering hospital to give birth. On May 19th, 1955, my sister Katherine Ellen was born. I was so thrilled that I finally had a sister!

When Mother arrived home with Kathy, I could hardly wait to unwrap the blankets to see her! She had dark skin, dark eyes, and dark hair. She looked very different than my brothers, Larry and Carl, did when they were first born. Kathy was very tiny, and had long skinny arms and legs. Mother said she got her dark complexion and hair from Daddy.

I immediately started helping take care of her. I distinctly remember her first bath. Mother had made a pan of warm bath water, which she then carried into the living room next to the stove. She said little babies love to be warm, and would always like to be bathed if they were kept warm.

I ran to get a towel, which Mother put on her lap. She undressed Kathy and lay her across the towel. I stood right next to her, and when she removed Kathy’s diaper, she pooped, and it squirted all over me and the floor! Mother laughed, and told me perhaps I should stand in front of her. After that, I knew you had to be careful when the baby was without a diaper!

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That summer, and the summer that followed, on Ely Street, were full of new adventures. Aunt Emma and Uncle Bill Jennette had moved to Hannibal from the farm in Frankfort, and lived just two blocks from us. We could actually see their house from our front porch, because the street curved at the bottom of the hill.

Taliaferro Grocery Store

Up the street from us was the Taliaferro grocery store. It was very similar to Hamilton’s store. It soon became the place to gather, just as we had done on Ledford Street. Mother always had an account at the store, and we were each allowed to charge $0.50 a week on candy, ice cream, and soda. We thought this was a pretty good deal! This served as our allowance for helping with the chores around the house.

Jim and Bob cut the grass, took out the trash, and swept the porches and sidewalk. I set the table, did the dishes, and entertained the little ones while Mom cooked and cleaned. There were always toys and games to pick up, clothes to fold or hang up, and after dinner each night, the kitchen had to be swept and the table cleared and wiped down.

It didn’t take long to meet all of the kids in the neighborhood. There was a ball field right next to the Taliaferro store, and we would gather for a baseball game almost everyday. It seemed there were always more boys than girls. We managed to keep up, even when they played their  roughest.

Barbara Taliaferro

Barbara Taliaferro lived across the street from the grocery store that was run by her Uncle Henry and Aunt Helen Taliaferro. They were brother and sister, and grandma Taliaferro lived with them. The store was attached to the front of their house, which was a common design for neighborhood groceries.

Barb and I became very good friends. Her parents were Red and Beulah. Red was brother to Helen and Henry, and there were two other brothers who lived in the same block. They were a very close-knit family. Barb was two years older than me. Her Mom would often let us bake cookies and treats for everyone at the ball field. I remember making popcorn balls. What a mess we made!

Barb later dated my brother Bob, and she would go with us on most of our family outings. Uncle Charlie and Aunt Betty Leffert would take us to the Homeplace a lot. Barb and Bob later married.

Limestone and Campfires

Ely Street was surrounded by limestone hills and bluffs. There was a big hill behind our house that had lots of trees. My brother Jim made a path through the woods to the top of the hill where we found limestone cliffs and a big open area. This became one of our favorite places to hike to.

We would build a fire on the flat rocks at the bottom of the cliff, and cook hot dogs and marshmallows. Sometimes we would pack a skillet, potatoes, and a jar of Mother’s homemade chili sauce. We would fry the potatoes over the open fire and cover them with the sauce. Mom made the best chili sauce! We had old tin plates and cups to eat and drink from. I recall thinking as we ate those delicious potatoes, while sitting on the big boulders, that Ely Street was really okay. Life was good!

At the top of the hill, on the opposite side of the street, was Park Avenue. This is the route we took to school. There was a path through the woods that came out on Park Avenue. From there we walked down a very steep hill to Terrace Street, then to Union Street, through the playground, across Fulton Avenue, to Stowell School. By the time school started that first year, we were accustomed to our new surroundings, and were actually excited about attending the new school.

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Although there was no one in our neighborhood that would be in the 5th grade, like me, I had decided that making new friends was not nearly as hard as I had thought, and it might even be fun.

Mrs. Shipley was my teacher that year, and she was very nice, however, very strict. I was amazed at how everyone wanted to meet the new girl, and after a few days it was like I had always been there! It was a good lesson for me. One that helped me throughout my life, making friends, and adapting to new locations. This came easy after that experience.

Academically, however, fifth grade proved to be my most difficult year of school. I was very sick, and missed over 100 days of school. I had hepatitis, twice, and lots of bad throat and ear infections. Four times I had to go to the hospital and stay several days. I just couldn’t get my strength back before I came down with something else.

My brothers would bring my assignments home, and I worked really hard to keep them done, but sometimes it would be days before I felt well enough to work on them. Not being in class, and not being able to make up tests, really hurt my grades. Mrs. Shipley was very understanding, and would tell me that I would do better next year.

She said I couldn’t help it if I was sick. I was really skinny, and the doctor put me on a weight gaining diet. Everyday I had to eat two peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Because of the hepatitis, he did not want me to eat any fried foods, chocolate, or nuts. I remember that Mom made me lots of strawberry milkshakes during that time.

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Peanute butter & banana sandwich

My classmates couldn’t understand why I missed so much school, and often asked me if I had really been sick. Most of them had never been in the hospital, and we were very curious about my stays. The two things I remember most were the number of shots that I had, and how much I missed my family.

Children, back then, were not allowed to visit patients, so I didn’t get to see my brothers or sisters for long periods of time. During one of my hospital stays, I counted 115 shots they gave me. My butt was really bruised when I got home!

Mealtime At Home

My Mom’s meals were never fancy but she was a very good cook. We ate lots of potatoes;  there were fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, buttered boiled potatoes, creamed potatoes, and potato salad. There was also lots of gravy, too. My favorite was white cream gravy, but Mom’s dried beef gravy was really good, too! She never made gravy with sausage in it, but, she did sometimes make gravy with hamburger. It had no milk . . . only water, flour, and hamburger. I really didn’t like it, but, if that is what you were given, that’s what you had to eat!

She always made a large pot of beans every week on wash day. There were pinto beans, butter beans, my favorite, Great Northern beans, or navy beans. Mother’s bread and dinner rolls were the greatest! Made from a 100-year-old yeast starter passed down in the family for generations.

That bread, hot out of the oven with real butter, was so delicious, the yeast starter was split and portions given to the Vaughn family. Mother sometimes made cornbread. Daddy liked to eat leftover cornbread in a bowl with buttermilk poured over it. I never could figure that one out!

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Manual meat grinder

The only spicy foods I remember her cooking was chili or hot tamales. She used a frozen chili brick which she purchased in the refrigerated section of the store to make chili soup. Her tamales were the best, and took an entire day to make.
She boiled beef and pork roast together in the morning. When they were done, she would grind them together with saltine crackers in an old hand-operated metal meat grinder that screwed to the end of the kitchen table. It was a lot of work!

Once the grinding was done, she added chopped onions spices and tomato juice. Then she cooked cornmeal in the broth from the roast to make mush. After that was done, we all pitched in to help roll the tamales. She used white tamale papers. We would  put a tablespoonful of the mush In the center of the paper, leveling and spreading it out with the back of the spoon. In the center of the mush, we placed a spoonful of the meat mixture.

Bringing the opposite edges of the paper together, you folded them together a couple of folds, squeezing the contents into a long hot tamale. The ends of the paper were folded into a point and then tucked to the back. When we had emptied the pots we usually had about a hundred twenty tamales. These were everyone’s favorite, and we always had fun sitting around the table rolling tamales and sharing stories.



If our friends or family knew we had made tamales, they would always drop by to have a couple. Mom’s tamales were everyone’s favorite. She usually had navy bean & bacon soup with them. Yum!

After we finished the tamales we would always compare them to see who had wrapped the most, who made the longest, fattest, shortest, or who had the neatest wrappings. Of course, Mother always wrapped more than anyone. Daddy wrapped the least, and his varied the most in size. He always said his fingers were too big. Bob seemed to make the neatest, Jim the biggest, and mine were the smallest of the bunch.

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When we had meat, it was usually purchased at Buehler’s Meat Market on Main Street. It seems we ate more pork than beef, perhaps it was less expensive. It was often pork steak cutlets and roasts. We had noodles, dumplings, and macaroni a lot. Dressing, stuffing, and bread pudding were made with any stale bread we had. Salt and pepper was about the only seasoning mother used.

Eggs, pancakes, and oatmeal were served for breakfast. My favorite cereal was Puffed Rice, which Mom bought in big clear plastic bags. My brothers liked corn flakes. Our lunches were usually sliced bologna, fried egg, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on mother’s homemade bread.

Mother made very few desserts. My favorite was her graham cracker pie. The graham cracker crust was baked crisp, filled with homemade vanilla pudding, and topped with meringue sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs. Her attempts at making cakes for birthdays were usually not very successful. They almost always turned out too flat and too dry. But, the birthdays were always special, no matter how good the cake was.

We never ate at restaurants, of course. I’m sure my parents could barely keep enough food on the table at home, so eating out as a family was just something we never did because of the cost. Back then there were no McDonald’s or Burger Kings, Wendy’s or Hardee’s.

The Badger Chaser

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Daddy bought an old 1929 Ford Model A truck from the junkyard, which we kept at the Homeplace. It had been used as a wrecker in its final years, with a winch and associated accessories. The tow equipment had been removed and the frame had been cut off right behind the rear wheels, rendering it useless as a work truck. There was none of the original metal body work or flooring behind the dash. There was no seat, top or fenders.

My brothers loved to drive that old thing! They would sit on a bucket or milk can, because there was no seat. They boxed in the area over the rear wheels to make a cargo space, and threaded a piece of chain around the worn-slick rear tires to get some traction on the hills.

They would put the big metal milk can in the back, and go over the hill to the spring to get water. Uncle Charlie later made a trailer to pull behind the truck. We would all pile into the trailer, and he would drive us all over the countryside. What fun!

Daddy let me drive it once. I managed to get it into first gear after several attempts, and drove straight for a tree! Daddy kept saying brake! Brake! Brake! He finally reached over and turned the ignition key off, killing the motor, and we stopped about six inches from the tree!

He had forgotten to tell me to use the clutch when braking, but, the biggest problem was my legs were neither strong enough, or long enough, to push the brake pedal down far enough to stop.

We painted the truck red, blue and yellow, and wrote funny sayings all over it. The guys were always tinkering with the motor to keep it running. At one point, we named the truck “Badger Chaser,” and repainted it whenever we took a notion.

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Dennis, driving, with Dawn and Scott Tate, and Homeplace neighbors, 1977

Bob, The Family Driver

Bob was sixteen now and had saved his money he earned mowing lawns to buy a car. His first car was a brown 1941 Hudson Hornet. His second car, as I recall, was a 1949 grey Pontiac. The Hudson was a big car, and the seats were soft and deep.

Everyone would fit in comfortably, and Bob would drive us into town, sometimes to school, often times to the Homeplace, and surrounding small-town festivals where Uncle Charlie and Uncle Jimmy would be performing. The first car, a Pontiac, he bought when he was in high school.

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1954 Hudson Hornet

My favorite though, was his 1954 Hudson Hornet. It was bright yellow, had lots of chrome, and wide white sidewall tires. I remember he put curb feelers on the front fenders to avoid scraping the whitewalls on the tall sidewalk in front of our house.

They were just wires that extended about 12 inches from the car, but they would make noise when they hit the curb, scraping along as he was parking. Curbs along Ely Street were about 8 inches high, probably to help carry away the heavy rainwater that flowed down the steep hill.

Bob loved that car, and was always washing and waxing it. It would  shine like the sun he had every gadget available on it: I recall mud flaps, running boards, visor, steering wheel knobs, fender skirts, doodads on, and hanging from, the rearview mirror, and turn signals, in addition to the curb feelers.

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He also had a Model A pickup truck, much smaller than the Model A we had at the Homeplace. He used to drive it all over. We would all pile in the back, and have fun going wherever he was going, just to take a ride and get away from the ordinary.

Having a car and the driver in the family changed our lives tremendously, of course. Bob loved to drive his beautiful automobile and was always looking for excuses to take it for a spin.

Going to the A&P grocery store on Broadway was almost a daily event. I can still recall the smell of the fabric of the seats! They were dark gray mohair, I believe. The car was so big the whole family, now 6 children, and Mom and Dad could easily fit into the two seats! There were no seat belts in cars those days, so everyone could crowd in, sitting on someone’s lap if they needed to, or even sit in the floorboard!

Sunset Valley Troubadours

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Uncle Charlie on left, Uncle Jimmy on right

We often went on trips with Uncle Charlie and Uncle Jimmy and their families. We would go to small-town festivals, Steam Thresher shows, and county fairs. My favorite trips were when we would all go to country school socials, where Uncle Charlie and Uncle Jimmy would perform with their country and western band, The Sunset Valley Troubadours. Each family in the community would bring covered dishes, and there would be tables full of delicious food. Those country folks sure do know how to cook!

Everyone would eat and while the ladies were cleaning the tables and rounding up the kids from the schoolyard the band would tune their instruments and warm up for the show. And, what a show it was! The members of the band dressed in Western attire. Their shirts were beautiful, with embroidered flowers and fringe. My favorite shirt was a black one, with bright red roses, white fringe, and pearl buttons.

They sang the songs of Ernest Tubb, Jim Reeves, Minnie Pearl, and many other country stars of the day. They told corny jokes that always made everyone laugh, sometimes just because they were so silly. They also did songs they invited the crowd to join in. All in all, it was a great time for everyone. Everyone was so nice! We would stand around the school yard, visiting, long after the music had stopped.

The St. Louis Zoo


A few times, we packed a picnic lunch and drove to Saint Louis to go to the zoo. Admission was free, so it was a perfect place to take all of us. Gayle and Carl were toddlers, and Cathy a baby, so there were three strollers to push. I liked watching the monkeys the most. Uncle Charlie would always get them riled up by mocking them and making silly noises. I was also fascinated by the giraffes. How do they keep those long necks upright?

I remember one time at the zoo when we paused to have our lunch, Daddy said he really wasn’t hungry, but sure could use a cup of coffee. And, of course, Uncle Charlie had brought a big thermos filled with hot coffee. He rarely went anywhere without his coffee.

He poured Daddy a cup, and Daddy walked over to the shade of a big tree to enjoy his favorite drink. But, before he even got his first sip, a bird pooped right into his cup! I thought Uncle Charlie was going to die laughing! He doubled over in pain, his stomach hurt so much from laughing, and tears ran down his cheeks! The rest of the day, he kept asking Daddy if he wanted some more cream in his coffee.

The Newspaper Route

The summer of 1956 I had my first job. Barb Taliaferro and I delivered the Hannibal Courier-Post newspaper. We shared the delivery route of about 15 houses up and down Ely Street after school. This part of the job was actually fun. However, on Saturday mornings, we had to collect that weeks subscription money.

We knocked on doors for half of the day. It seemed, sometimes, waking grumpy people who just wanted to sleep a little longer, waiting in the cold while the old ladies gathered up their coins, and then make polite conversation while they stood in the warm doorway. And, we were freezing our butts off!

We also had to shove off the bad dogs and play with the cute ones. A lot of the time we found no one at home and had to return, sometimes several times, before we could collect. But, the experience was very worthwhile, and Barb and I benefited not only financially, but spiritually as well.

There were many times that we helped individuals along our route. Whether it was moving a flower pot, running to the store to get a loaf of bread, sweep the porch, rake the yard, take the trash out, or deliver a message to a neighbor, each person we got to know helped us to understand more and more about the responsibilities you inherit as you grow older. Of course, a lot of these tasks I had already adopted, because in a large family, everyone has responsibilities, and sometimes, I had to do someone else’s share.  

When possible, I would go to school functions, church parties, or to a friend’s house. However, this was not often, because Daddy simply liked for us to be at home. And, that wasn’t bad . . .  we had a lot of fun as a family.

My Taffy Pull

When I was in junior high school, I took a class called Domestic Arts, which taught girls how to be homemakers. A part of the class was cooking. Mother often let me experiment in the kitchen, and would even clean up my messes. I remember one night I decided I wanted to make vanilla taffy like I had just learned at school. Taffy is basically corn syrup, sugar and water heated together to a certain temperature. Mother showed me how to test a bit in a bowl of ice water until the candy was just the right consistency.

When I got it finished, and it had cooled enough to be handled, Daddy and I pulled and pulled on that big blob of taffy, stretching and folding it over and over again. We had to keep putting butter on our hands so they wouldn’t stick to the candy. Just as we were about to give up, thinking the blob would never be more than a blob, it began to get those necessary little air bubbles in it, and they would pop as the taffy was folded and twisted. Daddy and I kept stretching it out and it began to stretch into the snow white strands of candy. When the strands were stretched out, and begin to sag, I would take my end back to Daddy, folding it in with the rest. Then I would pull another strand out and repeat the process.

We did this for more than an hour, when finally Daddy said that it was just not right. We put powdered sugar on the table and rolled the taffy into a long snake about an inch in diameter and 4 feet long. Daddy begin cutting inch long pieces, rolling them in the sugar, and placing them on wax paper. Mother had cut squares of wax paper to wrap each piece. The taffy was delicious, however, no one ever chose to repeat the process and make more. If Daddy wanted taffy, Mother said she would go to the Sweet Shop and buy it!

Aggravating Daddy

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One of the things we loved to do to aggravate Daddy, was to be really quiet so he wouldn’t know we were in the house, and call him on the phone from the living room. We could do this because at that time there were no touch tone or even rotary dial telephones.

You picked up the phone handset and a live switchboard operator would say, “What number please?” We would give her our own telephone number, 5270, then as soon as she would say, “Thank you,” we would hang up.

She would not get a busy signal because she already had the line open. Then, she would ring our phones; one in the living room, and one in the kitchen. Daddy hated to answer the telephone, because he might be called back to work, and as soon as it would ring he would yell for someone to answer it. Daddy was almost always sitting at the table in the kitchen and after yelling 2 or 3 times, and not knowing we were in the house, he would finally get up and go around the kitchen table to answer the telephone hanging on the wall next to the door.

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When he said, “Hello,” we would ask silly things such as, “Is your refrigerator running?” He would say, “Yes,” and we would say, “Well you’d better catch it before it gets away!” Or, we’d ask, “Do you have Prince Albert in the can?” That was a brand of smoking tobacco for his pipe. It was packaged in a pocket-size tin can, and, was usually found in Daddy’s bib overalls pocket. When Daddy said, “Yes,” we would say, “Well, let him out!” Then we’d hang up the phone, and run.

By the way, “can” was a slang term for jail in those days. Being “in the can” meant being in jail. Of course, every time we did this prank, Daddy would slam down the phone, hurry towards the living room, and start yelling, “I’m going to get you kids! You’d better get outside and play!” All the time we were giggling, running out the front door, and long gone before he could get to the living room in the front of the house.

On weekends when the phone would ring, Daddy would always say, “I’m not home!” This we knew that if it’s the railroad calling, it meant, “I’m not going to work.” I would not usually answer the phone when he said this,because I didn’t like to lie. Of course, nine out of ten times he would then yell out, “Okay, I’m here, and I’ll go to work if they need me.”


I babysat for a lot of the neighborhood kids on weekends during the school year, and during the summer months, I would babysit all week. During the day, often times, the whole summer for one family when both parents worked days. Mother was always close by should I need anything or have questions. Most of the money I made, I spent on clothes, or shoes, for school. But, occasionally, I bought a piece of jewelry, nail polish, or candy.

Sixth Grade

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Can-can skirt

My sixth year of school was better, because I did not get sick so much. We had lots of fun school activities. I was in the Glee Club, and we sang at several performances. The school had sock hops where they played records of current hits, and everyone came wearing socks creatively decorated. Jim played football and basketball, so we attended a lot of games. Our lunch hours were spent at a small grocery store across the street from Stowell School. Everyone gathered for much fun and joking around.

The most popular hairstyle that year was long and flipped up at the end.
I wore mostly very full skirts with can-can slips and white tailored blouses. We wore penny loafer shoes, ballerina flats, or saddle oxfords, which were brown and white with white shoe strings.

Keds sneakers came out about that time, and they were not very expensive, so I had several different colors. We liked them because we could still wear our bobby socks and change the shoelaces to make colors match our outfit

My best friend at school was Wilma Michaels. She lived up the hill behind the school. We spent hours looking for four leaf clovers and talking about everything. This was the first year I became interested in boys. Vernon Sheets was really fun to be with, and I would always try to find out if he was going to a party or game before I said I would go.

Ruby & Pete Kindle

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Our cousins, Ruby and Pete Kindle, who lived in Moline, Illinois, came to visit us a lot on weekends. We played cards and games day in and day out. Pete would often cook fried fish or chicken, with all the fixin’s. It was amazing the fun and joy we shared! The weekends were always too short!

Of course, we continued our trips to the Homeplace. Daddy loved to be there, and we kids would always have fun. Uncle Charlie and Aunt Betty Leffert would go with us, and Uncle Charlie almost always had a Homeplace project going that we had to help with.

We spent many happy and memorable hours hiking through the woods, collecting holey stones in the brook, swimming in the Fabius River, bringing water up from the spring, cooking huge meals on the outside fire pit, playing cards and games of all types, telling jokes and stories around the fire at night, and seeing who could stay awake the longest so as not to miss any of the never ending fun.

Saving Cousin Mary

My cousin, Mary Ellen Constable, tells about one time I “saved her life.” My brothers, cousins,  and I were all swimming in the river, and Mary Ellen, being the smallest, got caught in the swift current and was being carried away. She panicked, and said she just knew she was going to drown. The current brought her right toward me, so I reached out and pulled her to calmer water.

It seems that I have been a hero in her eyes since that day. When I saw her, after many years, at her Dad, Everett Constable’s, 90th birthday party, she was telling friends that she wouldn’t have been there had I not saved her from the raging river that day so many years before!

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Leona (in tube), Roy and Kathy Tate, South Fabius River, circa 1959
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Back L-R:Joseph Frederick Tate, Charles W Leffert, Roy Davis Tate Front: Lulu Belle and Dorothy Tate with Robert Leroy Tate – 1943


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1951 – Above L-R: Katherine Ellen, Leona Marie, Robert Leroy with Larry Davis, James Wesley


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Leona Marie with Katherine Ellen 1955
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Next Chapter 25 – Boonville, Missouri