William B. Tate, Sr.
William Brown Tate (1819-1903) was the son of David Tate (1789-1868) and Mary (Polly) Chamberlain (1788-1872), of Grainger Co. He served as a private in the Confederate army during the Civil War. A prominent farmer and slave owner, he amassed a sizable fortune and in 1889 donated one fifth of it to maimed Confederate veterans of E. TN, an act which brought him wide acclaim. (The Morristown, TN, chapter of the United Confederate Veterans adopted the name "W. B. Tate Camp" as its official designation.) Originally buried in the Chamberlain family cemetery in May Spring, TN, his body was removed with others in the early 1940s to Martha Sunderland Cem., Hamblen Co., in order to make way for Cherokee Lake. Although he never married, William assumed the designation of "Sr." after the birth of his brother David's son, who was also named "William Brown Tate." Wm. B. Tate, Sr., is said to have fathered at least one child out of wedlock. In his later years, he became a major stockholder in the Mossy Creek Bank, of Jefferson Co., and, with a group of investors, founded a steamboat company to construct and operate riverboats on the Holston River and other regional waterways. The first such craft, launched in 1897, was called the "Bill Tate."
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