Written by Dr. Julian P. Tatum, Jr. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”
Born April 15, 1887 in Percy, Illinois, J.P. Tatum was of English, German, and Scottish decent. His father was Rev. J.L. Tatum, a baptist minister, and his mother was Susan Emma Stephens, a devout ministers wife and President of her Baptist Missionary Society. The Tatums were said to be related to Henry Clay, an early Secretary of State. J.P. Tatum, was the first of four Tatum sons and an older half-brother, C.R. Robbins. Tatum graduated as Valedictorian if his class at Percy High School in 1903.
Intrigued by Colorado in 1907, Tatum was employed by Western Stores at Hastings, a Victor American Mining Camp. In 1909 he was cashier at the Colorado Supply Store in Starkville, and in 1914 he went to Walsen in a similar capacity. In 1918-1919 he served as a company auditor for over twenty Colorado Supply Stores. He was ambitious and had an unusual flare for accounting and mathematics. He was one of the first CPA’s in Colorado.
From 1919-1930 Tatum served as store manager for Colorado Supply Stores in Berwind, Tobasco, and Tollerberg. Later he was credit manager for the Colorado Supply Wholesale and served as an auditor for the Railway Savings and was associated with Safeway. At the time of his death he was Deputy Treasurer of Las Animas County.
Tatum, a baptist, belonged to Trinidad Lodge No. 89, A.F. & A.M. and served as a Trustee at the Berwind Community Church. He was an avid reader and fisherman. On June 13, 1913, he married Myrtle McElfresh. Their two sons were Julian P. Tatum, Jr. and Lt Robert McElfresh Tatum. Mr Tatum died prematurely at age 46 on August 5, 1933 in Trinidad, Colorado. He is buried in the family lot in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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