Tatum family lived on Tatum Hill

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 13, 2003

The family of Harold Wayne Tatum wishes to honor his memory and family heritage on the eve of the first Father's Day since his death. His death on Father's Day, June 16, 2002, will be remembered by his wife of 50 years and his five children and their families.

Wayne and the other Tatum descendants of Covington County descend from Peter Tatum, a native of Virginia. Peter was born circa 1741 and was married in Virginia in 1765 to Rebecca Howell, daughter of John and Sarah (Parker) Howell. He died in 1791 in Wilkes County, Georgia, where a will is on file.

Among Peter and Sarah's children was a son, Epps Tatum, who was born in Virginia. He was married to Sukie Pryor, and they made their way to the Alabama-Mississippi Territory in Monroe County in 1816. There are records of two of his daughters being married in Montgomery County in 1817 and 1819. Epps's name is found on a list of the first jurors impaneled at Washington on April 12, 1820. This definitely makes his family early settlers in South Alabama.

Epps apparently moved to the area from Georgia as his son, Thomas "Tommy" Tatum was born there in 1809. Tommy was married in 1830 in Montgomery County to Martha "Patsy" Martin, daughter of William Martin. At the time of his death, Tommy was residing in Autauga County where many of his relatives settled as well as in Elmore County.

Tommy and Patsy reared the following children: Edwin Jasper, b. 1830, d. 1892, m. Sarah Jane Louisa Roy; William Lewis, b. 1832, d. 1862, m. Sarah Scott; Rebecca, b. 1834, d. 1872, m. ? Moore; Margaret S., b. ca 1835, d. 1903, m. (1) Joseph B. Webb (2) Hansford Duncan Roy; Epps, b. 1837; Frances, b. 1839, m. ? Nummy; Martha, b. 1842; Mary, b. 1842; Adelade, b. 1845, m. ? Webb; and Peter James "Jimmy," b. 1850, d. 1934, m. Martha Frances "Mattie" Scott.

The oldest son, Edwin Jasper, and his wife, Sarah, were the parents of the following children: Sarah J. Beulah; Martha A., b. 1854; William L., b. 1858; Josephine; Mary Jo; Edward (or Edwin) Jasper, b. 1862, m. Katie Manning; Eugenia, m. William Goolsby; and Joseph Thomas, b. 1869.

One of the youngest sons, Edwin Jasper, is the one who brought the Tatum family to Covington County around the turn of the century. He purchased land, reportedly as much as 160 acres, on the Prestwood Bridge Road where he farmed to support his family. He built a large frame house with a porch on at least two sides where he and Katie reared their children who had been born in Autauga County. Eventually, a son, Morris, acquired most of the land.

Edwin and his wife, Catherine Louise "Katie" Manning, daughter of James Millage and Mattie Elizabeth (Goolsby) Manning, reared the following children: Edward Jasper "Bud" Jr., b. ca 1891, d. 1945, m. Emma Dee Nixon; Janie Louisa, m. Arch Parrish; Daisy, m. Elbert Dillard; Merritt, d. in WWII, single; Ressie Lula, m. John Riser Glenn; Joseph Dewey, b. 1901, d. 1963, m. Lottie Louise Wallace; Irene, m. (1) William Stuckey (2) Edmond H. Browning; Theodore "Ted," m. Willie Pearl Whitehead; Benjamin Morris, m. Annie Ruth Williams; William Thomas "Bill," m. Thelma Brooks; Gladys Ruth, m. Ennis Caton; Mattie, d. as child from burns; and Lawrence.

The oldest son, Edward Jasper, reared his family in Autauga County area. He farmed for years and then went with the L & N Railroad. He worked from Deatsville to Birmingham until he was appointed overseer of the line from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa. He and Emma reared the following children: John Dovard, b. 1916, m. Nellie Holley; Mary Maude, b. 1917, m. (1) Oliver Timmerman Chapman (2) Cecil Samuel Davis (3) James Thomas Brown; James Edward, b. 1919, m. Rebecca Turnipseed; Katherine Lee, b. 1922, m. James Davis; Mildred Inella "Nell," b. 1924, m. Frank Tomley; and Frances Roberta, b. 1930, single.

Joseph Dewey lived and reared his family on the homeplace in Andalusia. He and his wife, Lottie Wallace, daughter of Eli Wallace, reared the following children: Frances Louise, b. 1929, m. Frederick Uptagrafft; Harold Wayne, b. 1932, d. 2002, m. Beulah Catherine Lawson; Myrtle Patricia, b. 1938, d. 1976, m. James Milton "Jimmie" Mullen; and Willard Merritt "Bill," b. 1938, d. 2000, m. Jeanenne Eileen Morhlman.

Dewey's children were reared on the Tatum homeplace, built by Edward Jasper Tatum. It was located on Prestwood Bridge Road on the south side of the hill, Tatum Hill, west of the Andalusia Country Club. The children were reared similar to most rural families of the time. They were taught to work around the house and each had specific chores. They walked to and from the local schools in the downtown area.

Living near the golf course, Wayne and Willard were drawn to it at an early age and became regular caddies. Wayne often recalled getting paid $1.25 for carrying two golf bags all day. He also helped Stacy Floyd, the greens-keeper maintain the course. Around 1940, he helped plant the four large water oaks, which are located along the fairway parallel to Prestwood Bridge Road.

When old enough, Wayne joined the Alabama National Guard, which was mobilized when the Korean War began. His skills were utilized when he was stationed at Camp Attiberry, Indiana, to help in building and maintaining the camp golf course. He remained at this station until he was discharged in September 1952.

In 1951, Wayne had marred a neighbor, Catherine Lawson, whose family resided near him. They reared the following children: Brenda Gail, m. Thomas Gary Petty; James Harold, m. (1) Mary Ellen Phillips (2) Michelle Leonard; Farrell Wayne, m. Shirley Jean Lucas; Rebecca Catherine, m. Allen Dobyne; and Pamela Joyce, m. Kevin Davis. Wayne continued to enjoy playing golf throughout his life and he became a master plumber and electrician.

Wayne's brother, Willard, followed his interests in golf and joined the navy at an early age. He came to reside in California where he was married to Jeanenne Morhlman. They had one daughter, Cindy Jo. Willard died in 2000 and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, Chatsworth, California.

Wayne's sister, Frances Louise, and her husband, Fred Uptagrafft, reared the following children: Frederick Jr., m. Donna Jean Carmack; Linda, m. Brent Jay Thatcher; Dianne, m. Jeffery Dean Rhodes. Most of this family resides in Huntsville.

Wayne's sister, Myrtle, and her husband, Jimmie Mullen, lived in Covington County and reared the following children: Frances Patricia, m. (1) Jimmy Hallford (2) Douglas Schofield; James Milton, m. Althea Veasey; Morris Russell, m. Rita Denise Cobb; and Lisa Kaye, m. Benji Gunter.

The sources for today's column include Catherine (Lawson) Tatum and Fred Uptagrafft, Sr. and other genealogical records. Appreciation is expressed to them and others who have contributed family information.

Anyone who might have a correction to the above or additional information is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 21361 Rabren Road, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email: chthom@alaweb.com.