Dr. Bud and Harriet Tatum


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”



Dr. Bud Tatum and Harriet Gordon Tatum were lucky to be born in Colorful Colorado-Bud in Starkville, a mining camp, and Harriet in La Junta.  Bud went to school in Berwin, Trinidad High School, Trinidad State Junior College, Colorado State College, Colorado College, and received his doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado.  Harriet attended school in La Junta, Trinidad, the College of Emporia, and received her Master’s in Home Economics at the University of Wisconsin.

During the depression, Bud worked 70-90 hours a week for Safeway.  Later, he was associated with  the Trinidad and Colorado Springs schools, and was Superintendent of the Myron Stratton Home–a home founded by a Cripple Creek millionaire, Winfield scott Stratton, for needy elderly and homeless children.  Harriet was associated with schools in Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois and Colorado Springs.  She was a Home Service Director for Oklahoma Gas & Electric and Indianapolis Light and Power.

Bud’s father, J.P. Tatum, Sr., was of English, Scottish and German heritage.  He worked as an auditor and Colorado Supply Store Manager at Berwind, Tobasco and Tollerberg, CF&I mining camps.  Bud’s mother, Myrtle McElfresh, a daughter of a hotel and mortuary owner, attended Kansas University and taught school in Starkville.  She was of Scotch, Irish, and English descent.

Harriet’s Scottish father, Rush Gordon, a\came to Colorado from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  He worked for the Railway Mail Service for 35 years.  Harriet’s wonderful mother, Florence Gilliam Gordon, a most dedicated Presbyterian, came to Colorado from Indiana.  Harriet had two sisters, Mary Loofboro and Helen Bechtel.  Harriet lost her brother, Dr. Don Gordon, in a swimming accident near Kitty Hawk in 1973.

In 1953, Bud lost his only brother, Lt. Bob Tatum, and his wife Ann, in an auto accident.  Bob, a Annapolis graduate, was well known for his writings on petroglyphs.  Bud’s family had English, Scottish, and Norman ancestry that go back to David I of Scotland and a Norman branch that was related to William the Conqueror.  Some of Myrtle Tatum’s family came from England in their own ship in 1746.  This family presented 330 acres of land to General Washington in 1792.  Our government buildings in Washington and the Nations Capital now stand on this land.

Bud and Harriet have been interested in the Presbyterian Church, Rotary, P.E.O., York Rite and Scottish Rite Masonry, the Shrine, Sun City Scots, genealogy, the Senior League, High Twelve, The Aviation Nite Club, and other organizations.

Bud and Harriet like to travel and have enjoyed trips in the U.S., England, Scotland, European countries, the Caribbean, and the Holy Land.  They both think the world of the Friends of Historical Trinidad.

And now, two guarded secrets: Bud, a Presbyterian, comes from a long line of Baptists!  Another secret:  In winter, Bud and Harriett love to shovel snow in Sun City, Arizona!

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