Among old letters and photographs retrieved in 1992 from an abandoned family trunk in Webster Groves, Missouri, was the miniature likeness of Hattie Robinson. For years, I’ve wondered who she was and how she might be connected to the family.
Given the date penciled on the back “2 / 7 / 92” I supposed Miss Hattie was likely a friend of my great aunt Mabel Moore, as she seemed she would have been about the same age as Mabel who was born in 1877. I easily located a Hattie Robinson born about this time in both 1880 enumerations. The first enumeration was taken on the 3rd of June, and the 2nd was taken on the 11th of November. She was listed as the 3-year-old daughter of Dr. A.C. and May Robinson who lived at No. 1527 North side of Papin Street. According to the General Alumni Catalogue of Washington University, Anselm C. Robinson had been an 1874 graduate of the Medical School.
Mabel’s mother Clarissa V. (Pilcher) Moore had also gone to medical school and had graduated in 1886 as a homeopathic doctor. I thought perhaps that might have been the connection to the family. Then I located an envelope addressed to Clarissa’s son (Mabel’s brother) with a return address in Chicago which I discovered had been the Greco-Roman structure originally built for the Fifth Christian Science Church. I knew from previous research that the wealthy implement dealer Lewis Bates Tebbetts had been a member of this faith. He owned the Tebbetts and Mansur Co. which had once been Deere and Mansur, and in 1895 his daughter Rebecca had eloped with Mabel’s brother, Tom A. Moore.
As with Tom and Rebecca’s elopement, the marriage of Hattie to Dr. Abe Leggat had also made news in the society column. The Sunday morning St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper dated September 12, 1897, included drawn sketches with the following headline: "Six St. Louis Belles Who Will Become Brides Before the Snow Arrives." The accompanying text read: “Miss Hattie Robinson, whose wedding to Dr. Abe Leggatt occurs in November, is the eldest daughter of Dr. and Mrs. A.C. Robinson of No. 2402 Pine street. Miss Robinson has been for some time the most popular girl in her set and since the announcement of her engagement last spring, there has been much "weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth" amongst the jeunesse dorée in her particular circle of acquaintances.”
|"Hattie Robinson now Mrs. Dr. Leggat"|
If the newspaper is correct, Hattie and Dr. Leggat were married on the 10th of November 1897 in St. Louis and made their home in Butte, Montana where Dr. Leggat’s twin brother John A. Leggatt had located and acquired mining properties including the Gambetta and Champion mines. Since their daughter Ruth was born in St. Louis in November of 1898 and in February of 1899 Hattie and her daughter Ruth had been visiting Hattie’s mother in St. Louis, it’s likely that they spent the winter months in Missouri and the summers in Montana as indicated by the 1900 census taken June 2nd in Butte.
In March of 1902 Dr. Leggat was offered a position with the St. Louis Rapid Transit Co., and from this time, the family appears to have kept their residence in Missouri.
Tom A. Moore and Rebecca (Tebbetts) parted ways in about 1909 and shortly thereafter she married Lloyd Rickarts, Secretary of the Browns baseball team. According to a newspaper article dated August 15, 1908, Dr. A.C. Leggat was a physician for the same team.
Although I don’t know if Hattie became acquainted with the Moores through the tobacco industry, the Christian Science Church, or even the Brown's baseball team, I was able to learn a little about her life and imagine her social relations with the Moores.
Hattie was just shy of her 91st birthday when she was laid to rest at Bellefontaine Cemetery on December 22, 1967, next to her husband. She had been the mother of Ruth, Dorcas, and Robert. However acquainted she might have been to Tom or Mabel, she was without a doubt, long remembered.
Thanks to Maggie Curry and Jean Farrell for sharing their Farrell-Curry Family Tree on Ancestry with me. Most especially, my thanks to my good friend Connie Nisinger, Bellefontaine Docent, for her assistance and headstone photos.
Tom A. Moore was born Thomas Anthony Moore on 15 Oct 1867 in St. Louis to Thomas Anderson Moore and Clarissa Vanbergen (Pilcher). He was married to Rebecca Homer Tebbetts, daughter Lewis Bates Tebbetts and Ellen Elizabeth (Mansur) on 27 Apr 1895. They were granted a divorce in 1909, and Rebecca married Lloyd Hopkins Rickart, then Secretary of the Brown's baseball team. Previously married to "Mazie" Saygers, she and Lloyd were divorced in 1908. On 2 Feb 1910 Tom A Moore married Eleanor M. (Chase) in Chicago, Illinois.
Mabel Grace Moore, the daughter of T.A. Moore and Clarissa V. (Pilcher), was born in St. Louis on 19 Jun 1877. She married Samuel Elliot Jones, the son of John W. Jones and Mary M. (Rather) in St. Louis on 19 Dec 1901.
Hattie Robinson, the daughter of Dr. Anselm Clark Robinson and Maria (Duffer), was born 28 Dec 1876. She married Dr. Abram Chittenden Leggat (also spelled Leggatt in various records) in St. Louis on or about 10 Nov 1897. Dr. Leggat was the son of Alexander J. Leggat and Ruth Frances (Benton) and was born in St. Louis on 28 Jan 1873.
- Envelope postmarked March 10. 1937; return address, 4840 Dorchester Avenue, Chicago, IL; addressed to Mr. Tom A. Moore, 1453 E. 54th Place, Chicago, IL - Personal Collection of P. Davidson-Peters
- Farrell-Curry Family Tree on Ancestry
- Find A Grave Memorial #133658867 created by randal nichoalds, headstone photo by Connie Nisinger.
- Gould's 1908 St. Louis, Missouri Directory
- The Liggett and Myer Tobacco Company, an Early St. Louis blog by P. Davidson-Peters, 2014
- Medical Herald, Vol 16, 1897, p.421
- Medical Record, W. Wood., 1904, p.305
- Medical Sentinel, Volume 10, 1902, p.187
- Progressive Men of the State of Montana, Volume 1, p. 711
- Sporting Life August 15 1908, p.6
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 12 1897, p.26
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 14, 1897, p.7
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 9, 1899, p.5
- United States Census, 1880, database with images, FamilySearch: Hattie Robinson in household of A C Robinson, St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, United States; citing enumeration district ED 115, sheet 243A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0722; FHL microfilm 1,254,722.
- United States Census, 1900, database with images, FamilySearch: Hattie R Legget in household of Abraham C Legget, Butte city Ward 2, Silver Bow, Montana, United States; citing sheet 2A, family 36, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,914.
- United States Census, 1920, database with images, FamilySearch: Addie Leggat in household of Abram Leggat, St Louis Ward 28, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri, United States; citing sheet 15B, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,953
- United States Census, 1930, database with images, FamilySearch: Hattie R Leggat in entry for Abram C Leggat, 1930.
- United States Census, 1940, database with images, FamilySearch: Hattie R Leggat in household of Abram Leggat, Ward 1, Ferguson, St. Ferdinand Township, St. Louis, Missouri, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 95-283, sheet 3A, family 52, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 2154.