Manuscript Collections - Lawrie Tatum Collection


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2 linear feet, 2 linear inches (5 LGA-S boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


Lawrie Tatum was born on May 22, 1822 near Mullica Hill, New Jersey.  At the age of nine, Tatum’s parents, George and Lydia, moved the family to Goshen, Ohio, where Tatum remained until setting out for the territory of Iowa at the age of 22 in the summer of 1844.  Initially Tatum taught school in Henry County, but soon settled in Cedar County, and has been identified as the first Quaker settler in the county.  In the fall of 1847 he returned to Ohio, and married Mary Ann Dean from the town of Winona in February 1848.  Returning to his land in Iowa near the settlement of Springdale, the Tatums raised a family that included four sons and one daughter.

During the following years, Tatum was active within the Society of Friends, helping establish the Red Cedar Meeting, and he served the church in a variety of posts.  In 1869, under President Ulysses S. Grant’s policy of selecting Quakers to fill various Indian Agency posts, Tatum was chosen to serve as Indian Agent among the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache at Fort Sill in Indian Territory (Oklahoma).  Tatum remained in this post until March 1873, and his experiences there provided the material for his 1899 book, “Our Red Brothers.”

Upon Tatum’s return to Iowa, he continued farming his land near Springdale, which he eventually transferred to his youngest son William in 1883.  As an active leader among the Friends in Cedar County, Tatum was also chosen in 1884 to be the guardian of the three orphaned children of West Branch residents Jesse and Hulda Hoover—Theodore, Mary, and Herbert.  Even after the future President and his siblings were sent away from West Branch to live with other relatives, Tatum maintained records showing how the funds from their parents’ estates were spent on the children until they each came of age in the 1890s.

Lawrie Tatum died in Springdale, Iowa on January 22, 1900.


The Lawrie Tatum Collection consists of 1.25 linear feet of Tatum’s papers that were handed down to his son, Elwood, and granddaughter Bessie Tatum Heald.  The collection was donated to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in 1982, by which time it also contained photographs and documents related to Bessie Tatum Heald’s extended family.  Also included are 26 books that belonged in the library of the Tatum and Heald families, and consist mainly of school texts and Society of Friends publications.

Significant materials within the Tatum papers include financial and legal documents from the Tatum family and other Cedar County residents dating back to 1843, records related to Tatum’s guardianship of the Hoover children (primarily Mary and Theodore) between 1884 and 1894, and correspondence and diaries documenting Tatum’s period as Indian Agent in Fort Sill between 1869-1873.  These materials are arranged in alphabetic series by type and topic, and also include family correspondence and writings by or about Tatum.  The papers also contain a series of photographs and postcards.  Although some of these are related to Tatum’s Indian Agency work, most of them depict members of the Heald family and the area around West Branch, Iowa between 1900-1920.

A related collection at the Hoover Presidential Library is that of the Hoover Legal Records,
which includes a file marked “Tatum, Lawrie” (Accession #555).  This material, donated by Bessie Tatum Heald in 1962, includes an account book of Tatum that contains additional reports and records on the guardianship of the Hoover children.  These reports complement similar records in the Hoover Family Papers series of the Tatum Collection.

The State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City also owns a collection of Lawrie Tatum papers, including copies that were made from these papers in 1976.  That collection also contains the original version of Lawrie Tatum’s 1869 diary, a photocopy of which can be found in this collection.


Box Contents   

Biographical Material

Article about Tatum, "The Cattleman," February 1958, p. 34
Biographical sketch of Lawrie Tatum, unknown author and date
Genealogy of Tatum and Dean families:  Notes
News clippings and obituaries, 1869-1900


Dean Family, Ohio, to Tatums, 1865-1899
Hobson, Belinda, to Mary Ann Dean [Tatum], 1847
Negus, Ellen Tatum: Letters to and from parents, 1868-1884
Society of Friends Meetings, 1889, 1899
Tatum, Elwood

Letters to and from parents, 1869-1878
Letters to son, 1924

Tatum, Mary Ann: 1868-1906, and undated
Other relatives, to Tatums, 1869, 1899

Financial and Legal Documents

Account book and address books-Tatum, Lawrie, ca. 1871-1873, 1882
Account book, 1869-1884
Agreements, 1887, 1902
Estate settlement

Tatum, Mary Ann, 1908
Tatum, Elwood, 1938

Funeral expenses: Tatum, Lawrie, 1900
Insurance documents

Lawrie and Mary Ann Tatum, 1878-1901
Elwood Tatum, 1919-1921

Promissory notes, 1884-1919
Publication subscriptions and contributions

Publishing Association of Friends, 1884-1889

 Friends' Review, 1848-1887
Tipton Advertiser, 1864-1881

Real estate

Abstracts of title
Military land warrant, John Young, 1850
Warranty deeds, 1848-1901

Receipts of payment and notes

Lawrie Tatum, 1843-1895 (3 folders)
Elwood Tatum, 1886-1920
Grennell, Jeremiah, 1843-1857

Records of guardianship payments

Hoover, Mary and Theodore. SEE:  Hoover Family Papers
Phelps children, 1871 and undated

Tax statements: Tatum Family

Lawrie Tatum:

1865-1867:  Federal taxes
1890-1900:  Cedar County, Iowa
1890-1892:  Plymouth County, Iowa

Mary Ann Tatum, 1901-1907


Elwood Tatum, Sedgwick County, Kansas, 1873-1874

Tax statements: Others

Cook, James, 1878
Grennell, Jeremiah, 1849-1858
Holmes, Michael, 1849
Hoover, Mary: SEE: Hoover Family Documents
Walker, Anna (Iowa County), 1856-1861
Walker, George (Iowa, Keokuk, and Marshall Counties)1856-1864
Miscellaneous, Marshall County, 1861

Will of Lawrie Tatum, 1884
Hoover Family Papers 

Estates of Jesse and Hulda Hoover: Promissory notes to Hoovers, 1874-1881
Tax invoices:

Jesse Hoover, 1873-1881
Mary Hoover, 1896

Guardianship of children

Herbert Hoover, 1884-1894
Mary Hoover, 1884-1894
Theodore Hoover, 1884-1892

Indian Agency, Oklahoma, 1869-1873, 1885

Correspondence: Tatum, Lawrie, to family, 1869-1885 (5 folders)

Tatum, Mary Ann, 1870

Our Red Brother, 1899: Publication and sales records
Typescript copied from Grandfather's book in William Penn College Library,

Miscellaneous material


To Bessie Heald, from researchers, 1953-1964
State Historical Society of Iowa, re: Tatum Papers, 1976
Death announcement and obituary, Mary Ann Tatum, 1907
Invitations received by Tatums, 1896, 1900
Notebook:  Notes from Friends Meetings, unattributed
Notes about Hulda Minthorn Hoover, copied from other sources, undated
Scrapbooks from Heald and Tatum Families

Obituaries, dated, 1891-1936
Obituaries, undated
Miscellaneous clippings, loose


Miscellaneous clippings, pasted in pages of “Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture,” 1875

Society of Friends
Documents collected by Irwin and Bessie Heald:

Half-Year's Meeting, Dublin, 1778
The Epistle from the Yearly Meeting, London, 1793

Publications, "Child's Lesson Leaf," 1900-1901
                     Receipts of donations to American Bible Society, 1892

Copybook. Contains biography of William Tennent, last testament of David Cooper, and various poetry.  Copied by Lawrie Tatum and S. Tatum, 1848.
Essay on Uncle Sam, by A.L. Tatum, ca. 1901
Pamphlet:  The Teaching of the New Testament on Baptism and Other Ordinances by Lawrie Tatum (Chicago: Publishing Association of Friends, 1889).
Historical articles

Early History of the Settlement of Friends at Springdale, Iowa, and Their Meetings, undated
Iowa Township: An Historical Sketch of the Settlement and Subsequent Growth. . ., July 4, 1876
History of Springdale Sabbath Schools, Written for 'The Old People's Day,' Nov 18, 1894
Handwritten account of death of George Tatum, father of Lawrie Tatum, 1852
Newsletters:  The Family Circle, 1860-1896, 3 issues
Writings by others, collected by Mary Ann and Lawrie Tatum, 1869-1892 and Undated
Writings by Tatum about religious themes, 1889 and undated
Writings, unattributed: Biographical sketch of Lawrie Tatum, and Fire and Prevention, undated. 

Photographs – Postcards

Downey, Iowa
Views of town, 1907 and undated (3)
Iowa City, Iowa
Lake at City Park, 1912 and undated (2)
Rochester, Iowa

Cedar River at Rochester, 1908-1910 and undated (4)
West Side Park (2)
Todd's Park on the Cedar, 1910 and undated (3)

West Branch, Iowa

Clements Café, near railroad tracks, undated
Flooding on the Wapsinonoc Creek, May 6, 1909
Friends Church, undated
Friends Church, with bell-tower and parsonage, undated
Friends Meeting House, undated
High school baseball team, ca. 1909, Irwin Heald seated in second row, Center
High school class of 1909, includes Bessie Tatum and Irwin Heald in front row, center
High school building, undated
Home of Elwood Tatum, on Downey Street, undated
Post Office building, ca. 1912
Replacement of bell on firehouse, April 25, 1911
Views of Main Street, 1914 and undated (2)

Other locations

Centerdale Church, 1910
Ira Heald’s school, Yankee Corner

Unidentified locations (3)

Photographs – Portraits


Group of Arapaho Indians, at Omaha Exposition, 1898
Tos-A-Way, Oldest Comanche chief, undated
Big Tree
Towaconie, Jim, and two women, Fort Sill, Indian Territory
Unidentified (2)

Downey High School class, ca. 1907, contains Irwin and Ira Heald
Elwood and Debbie Tatum, with Tommy and Sadie Barrington, undated
Harvey Tatum, son of Lawrie and Mary Ann Tatum, undated
Lawrie Tatum, undated (2)
Lawrie Tatum and Joseah Butler Wykes, undated
Lawrie and Mary Ann Tatum, undated, ca. 1890s
Rosa (Mrs. Harvey) Tatum, seated on steer, undated
Lydia Thompson, undated
Unidentified children, Fort Sill, Indian Territory, undated

Other photographs

Historical sites related to George Fox, postcards owned by Lawrie Tatum (5)
Herbert Hoover birthplace, undated, ca. early 1930s
Lodge made of buffalo skin, Fort Sill, Indian Territory, undated
Residence of Benjamin and Mary Hawley, West Main Street, West  Branch, undated
Residence of James Hawley, corner of College and Downey Streets, West Branch, undated
School in Downey, Iowa, class portrait, undated
Train wreck at Downey, Iowa, undated (5)
Unidentified structure



American Educational Reader: Second Reader. (New York: Ivison, Blakeman & Co.,1873)
Baldwin, James.  School Reading by Grades: Fifth Year. (New York: American Book Co., 1897)
Barnes, Charles J. and J. Marshall Hawkes.  New National Third Reader. (New York: American Book Co., 1884)
Cary, Alice and Phoebe Cary.  The Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary. (Boston:  Houghton and Mifflin, 1882)
Champlin, J.T.  Lessons on Political Economy: Designed as a Basis for
Instruction in That Science in Schools and Colleges.  (New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1874)
Day, Henry N.  An Introduction to the Study of English Literature.  (New York Charles Scribner and Co., 1869)
Dickens, Charles.  A Child’s History of England.  (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, n.d.)
Evans, Augusta J.  St. Elmo.  (New York:  Grosset & Dunlap, 1866, 1896)
Harkness, Albert.  A Complete Latin Grammar.  (New York:  American Book Co., 1898)
Harpers Second Reader.  (New York: American Book Co., 1888)
Harpers Third Reader.  (New York: American Book Co., 1888)
Harris, William T. and Andrew J. Rickoff.  Introductory Fourth Reader. (New York: American Book Co., 1884)
Hill, Thomas E.  Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms:  A Guide to Correct Writing.  (Chicago:  Moses Warren & Co., 1876)
Hodgson, William.  Select Historical Memoirs of the Religious Society of   Friends.  (Philadelphia:  J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1868)
Metcalf, Robert C. and Thomas Metcalf.  English Grammar for Common Schools. (New York: American Book Co., 1894)
Nicholson, H. Alleyne.  Textbook of Zoology for Schools and Colleges.  (New York:  D. Appleton and Co., 1874)
Quackenbos, John D.  Illustrated School History of the World (Appleton’s History Of the World).  (New York: American Book Co., 1889)
Pollard, Rebecca S.  Pollard’s Synthetic Third Reader. (New York: American Book Co., 1890)
Porter, Jane.  The Scottish Chiefs.  (Chicago:  Belford, Clarke & Co., 1888)
Randall, Anna T.  Reading and Elocution:  Theoretical and Practical. (New York: Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor & Co., 1876)
Sankey, Ira and George G. Stebbins (composers and arrangers).  The Male Chorus,  No. 1 (Chicago, New York: Biglow & Main, Co., 1888)
Tatum, Lawrie.  Our Red Brothers and the Peace Policy of President Ulysses S. Grant.  (Philadelphia:  John C. Winston & Co., 1899)
Taylor, Rev. William.  Infancy and Manhood of Christian Life.  (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1880)
Thalheimer, M.E.  The Eclectic History of the United States.  (Cincinnati:  Van Antwerp, Bragg & Co., 1880
Thatcher, Oliver J. and Ferdinand Schwill.  Europe in Middle Age. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907)
Updegraff, David B.  An Address on the Ordinances, and the Position of Friends
Generally in Relation to Them.  (Columbus, OH: William G. Hubbard & Co., 1885)
Worcester, Joseph E. A Primary Dictionary of the English Language (Boston: Brewer and Tileston, 1860)

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