- [Adapted by Alaric Faulkner from reminiscences of Lizzie Tait Gallaher, Notes of Stella Fox Beam]
Joe was 20 months older than his sister Lizzie. He went to school at Babcock [in Bradford, PA]. He worked about the family farm, and like his father, he eventually learned blacksmith trade and set up shop in Littleton (Bradford's early name). He married Johann[a] Edison. Joe boarded at Mrs. Walker’s where Johanna helped out. Son Leroy Tait was born in ' 75 or ' 76. Joe kept his blacksmith shop opposite Mrs. Walker's.
They stayed at Mrs. Walker's some time and then she wanted to move to her mother's farm up Kendall Creek. Joe didn't want to quit his blacksmith business, and furthermore he was in business deals with Mrs. Walker. He rented a house for his wife in town and she stayed there with the baby. Joe went to take the baby riding every day, but his wife wouldn't go along with them. Then she moved to Cuba [NY], even farther from Joe. Joe furnished the place. Ultimately they divorced. (Johanna’s mother and Mrs. Walker were probably to blame.) Johanna’s mother sold out and they all went west. The grandmother died in a dugout in Nebraska where they homesteaded.
Later the family moved to Omaha and Leroy grew to be a nice looking man. He was married and had four girls at Omaha last hearing [before 1930]. He wrote to Uncle Joe at times and even came to Bradford to see him once. Joe lived at Anderson and Leroy visited him there with his family. Joe always seemed to care for him. He refused him a bicycle once, but gave him $500 another time. But Joe left his son Leroy nothing after his death.
Uncle Joe was to marry Grace Henderson, a teacher (Alfred Center [Alfred Station, NY?]) but after a house was built and all, Mrs. Walker caused trouble between them, and said she had another beau at home. She was a beautiful girl.
A Mrs. Kram also set her cap for Joe. She sent for two new silk dresses--to be wedding or funeral dress--went to meet Joe at junction [Bradford Junction, NY, Just north of Bradford, PA]. Joe always kept fine team and two-seated surrey. He went to see Grace with his team and driver. The driver was killed in accident right at start--near St. James [St. James Place, Bradford, PA]. The horses ran into creek [West Branch, Tunungwant Creek which joins with Kendall Creek], and smashed up. Joe was sick abed over this disappointment. In the long run Grace proved untrue.
Mrs. Walker sent for Kate Batelle to take Joe's mind from Grace. She was a dressmaker. Mrs. Walker never dreamed he would marry again. Romance started and ended in marriage to Mrs. Walker's disappointment. They were married and lived in house in Corydon [township formed from Bradford, PA in 1829]. Glenn was born there and Clara 12 or more years later.
*Like most others at the time, Joe went into the oil business. He left Bradford for Alexandria, Indiana--gas and oil wells. He lived at Alexandria several years and then went to Anderson, Indiana to live. Clara (sister) stayed with them.
Mrs. Walker stayed in Bradford till she [Mrs.Walker?] married to Will Boyleston. She worked at Emen's [?]. Will was off most of the time and enjoyed life. He visited the west, seeing Andrew Tait at Vancouver and Estella and Frank Beam at Aberdeen, Washington.
Joe had gold mine in British Columbia and a ranch in Alberta that he gave to Glenn. His back was hurt in auto wreck, and he suffered internal injuries. He went to Mayo Brothers and thought he was getting on fine when peritonitis set in and he died.
Elizabeth was living in Joe's house when he died--probably in August of 1912. She dreamed Uncle Joe came in with a bunch of flowers from Scotland—he had been all over the old places in Scotland. She cried and cried—had not been able to shed a tear since Joe's death but felt so badly.
*About J.M. Tait and the Oil business: “In May 1880, Book and Rhodes’ No. 15 Tank, on Rutherford run, was struck by lightning and 600 barrels of oil burned, and Stewttheimer’s engine house on East Branch, destroyed. J. M. Tait lost the rigs and tanks at his wells on Foster Brook.”
1851 Scotland Census
Name: Joseph Tait
Estimated birth year: abt 1842
Father's name: Thomas
Mother's name: Elizabeth
Where born: Kirkpatrick Durham, Dumfrieshire
Parish Number: 823
Civil parish: Durisdeer
Occupation: At Home
John Brown 25
Agness Tait 6
Elizabeth Tait 35
Elizabeth Tait 8
Jannet Tait 1
Joseph Tait 9
Marrion Tait 4
Thomas Tait 35
1870 United States Federal Census
Name: Joseph M Tait
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1842
Age in 1870: 28
Home in 1870: Bradford, McKean, Pennsylvania
Post Office: Bradford
On July 1, 1870 Joseph M. Tait (28, Black Smith) b. in Scotland was living in Bradford, PA apparently in the household of and Irish family Michael Caray (54, Day Laborer) and Michael's wife Mary. Joseph had real estate worth $400 and a personal estate worth $200.
Listed next is the family of Darius Foster, who married Helen McMurray, Q.V.
1880 United States Federal Census
Name: J. M. Tait
Estimated birth year: <1845>
Occupation: Oil Producer
Relationship to head-of-household: Something other than a direct relationship
Home in 1880: Bradford, Mckean, Pennsylvania
Marital status: Divorced
Father's birthplace: Scotland
Mother's birthplace: Scotland
The 1880 U.S. Federal Census Lists J. M. Tait (35, Oil Producer) as divorced. He was born in Scotland of Scottish parents, and was boarding in the house of Sylvira (?) Walker (60) in Bradford, PA.
1900 United States Federal Census
Name: Joseph M Tait
Home in 1900: Bradford, Mckean, Pennsylvania
Estimated birth year: 1844
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Immigration year: 1853
On June 6, 1900 Joseph M. Tait (56, oil producer) b. May 1844 in Scotland and emigrated to the US 47 years earlier in 1853 and was naturalized, was living with his family in Bradford, PA. With him was his wife of 20 years, Katherine A. Tait (43) b. Aug 1856 in NY of NY parents, who has given birth to two children, both of whom are living. Children, both b. in PA are Glen M Tait (13, at school) b. Feb 1887 and Clara A Tait (2) b. July 1897. Also living with them is a servant Flora Banghust [?] (18, housework) b. Jan 1882 in NY of NJ parents.
1910 United States Federal Census
Name: Joseph M Tait
Age in 1910: 66
Estimated birth year: abt 1844
Home in 1910: 2-Wd Anderson, Madison, Indiana
Neighbors: View Results
On April 15, 1910 Joseph M. Tait (66, driller, wells) b. in Scotland of Scottish parents, was living with his family on 421 Eleventh Street, Anderson, Madison Co. Indiana. With him was his wife of 27 years, Katherine A. Tait (53, none) b. in NY of NY parents, who has given birth to two children, both of whom are living. Living with them is mother-in-law Laura A. Batelle (89 [?], widowed, none) b. in NY of NY parents who had given birth to four children all of whom were living. Also daughter Clara A Tait (12, none) b. in Pennsylvania., , , , , , [3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13]