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Samuel C. and Catherine M. Tanner

Buried Live Oak Cemetery Division E Lot 73

My Great Great Grandparents, Samuel C Tanner (1825-1861) and Catherine M Tanner (1833-1884) came to Selma from Whitehall, New York in 1854. He was in the field of wood workings and designed many of the Bric-a-brace in old homes, gazebos etc. He had gotten a tip from a traveling Selma native up in New York state that his talents on doing woodworking projects could be in demand by many affluent south Alabama residents He, his wife with her mother, Catherine Dyer Meacham (1810-1883) moved to Selma where their only child, Herbert Marshall Tanner (1856-1914), my Great Grandfather was born in 1856. 

Samuel died suddenly in Oct 1861 at age 26 and was buried in the Old Live Oak Cemetery. At war's end his widow, her mother and Herbert moved to Poughkeepsie N.Y. since Samuel died in state a guardian was appointed for the child and when the estate was settled after the war the money was invested for the child's education. Samuel's wife Catherine was just 28 when his estate was settled in 1866 and she gave up her dower rights from the sale of their house and money invested and guardian appointed. Catherine would send the guardian lists of the boy's expenses and would be reimbursed.

I think Catherine was viewed with suspicion from being a Yankee woman all through the war. She never re-married and only returned with her son and her Mother because she loved him and he considered Selma his real home.

At her son's request  the Mother, Grandmother and the young man returned to Selma in the early 1870's. In 1878 Herbert, their son, asked that the guardianship be ended as he was 22., I think he received the sum of $64,000 to $68,000.  Obviously that was a large sum of money in 1878.


Herbert married in 1883 Sallie Craig, daughter of the lawyer Benjamin Craig.  Herbert's Grandmother and Mother died in 1883 and 1884 and joined his father in Old Live Oak Cemetery. They are buried in Division E Lot 73.

Herbert Tanner and his wife Sallie later moved to Rome, Georgia. They had 5 daughters and 2 sons all born there and moved to Atlanta around 1900 where he died January 1914. One of the sons Ralph Marshall Tanner was my Grand-father, and his son, Ralph Jr., my father. 

I loved doing research there and at the courthouse a large folder full of legal papers were maintained and are still there.  


Submitted By:  Mike Tanner

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