Tatum is a city in Panola and Rusk Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 1,385 at the 2010 census.
Location of Tatum, Texas
|Coordinates: 32°18′53″N 94°31′8″W|
Tatum is located at (32.314853, -94.518875).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km²), all of it land.
Tatum was settled in the 1840s by Albert Tatum and his second wife, Mary C. (Rippetoe) Tatum. In 1848, they built a large plantation there. In 1885, the Santa Fe railroad came through, and the town was divided into individual lots. One of their sons, Paul "Uncle Fox" Tatum, who studied architecture in New York, laid out the streets. He became the postmaster in 1886. The city of Tatum lies along Trammel's Trace, an old trade route. A marker at the south end of town commemorates it. In the city park stands the restored Santa Fe depot.
Albert Tatum was born on August 12, 1810, in Hancock County, Georgia, the son of William Tatum and Alice B. (Dent) Tatum. Albert Tatum first married Rebecca Elizabeth Ann Menefee about 1837 in Chambers County, Alabama. They were the parents of one son, William C. Tatum, who was born on June 25, 1838 in Chambers County, Alabama.
After the death of his first wife on December 31, 1840 in Chambers County, Alabama, Albert Tatum married Mary C. Rippetoe on September 22, 1841, in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. At one time, Albert Tatum owned over 4,000 acres (16 km²) of land around the current town of Tatum.
After the town's first bank was established in 1903, things got bad early in the 20th century as a tornado destroyed part of the town in 1904. The next year, a fire destroyered almost all of the north side of town.
The City of Tatum is served by the Tatum Independent School District. A very small portion of the town is also within the Beckville ISD.
Martin Creek Lake State Park is located four miles (6 km) southeast of Tatum. The park was deeded to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by Texas Utilities and opened to the public in 1976. The park is located on 5,000-acre (20 km2) Martin Creek Lake, constructed to provide cooling water for a lignite-fired power plant. Martin Creek Lake State Park provides excellent, year round fishing, camping, wildlife observation and photography, picnicking, boating, water skiing, unsupervised lake swimming, backpacking, and hiking. An annual perch fishing contest is held for children ages 4 to 12 the first Saturday in September.