301. ESTHER ELIZABETH5 JOHNSTON (LARKIN SLAUGHTER "DOCK"4, JAMES FRANKLIN3, GEORGE GREGORY ("G.G." OR "GREG")2, LEWIS1) (#375) was born in Randolph County, Arkansas, May 28, 1899. ESTHER died March 2, 1970 Ardmore, Oklahoma, at 70 years of age. Her body was interred in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Rose Hill Cemetery.
She married ERNEST FREDERICK "FRED" LEGATE in Carter County, Oklahoma, February 29, 1920. (ERNEST FREDERICK "FRED" LEGATE is #462.) ERNEST was born in Randolph County, Arkansas, August 21, 1889. ERNEST died October 7, 1935 Ardmore, Oklahoma, at 46 years of age. His body was interred Ardmore, Oklahoma, Rose Hill Cemetery.
Notes: Ernest Frederic "Fred" Legate was born August 21, 1889, in Randolph County, Arkansas. He had one brother, Samuel Legate, who was born in May 1885, also from Randolph County. Very little information has come to light on the Legate family. The 1910 Randolph County census finds the two boys living with their mother, Minnie (maiden name unknown) Legate, who is listed as "Head-of-Household." Other info in that census shows that she was born in Arkansas, probably right there in Randolph County. She is shown to be a 34 year old widow, born in February 1866. It shows that her mother was born in Arkansas and that her father had been born in Mississippi. It also reveals that her husband, Mr. Legate, the father of Samuel and Fred, had been born in Tennessee. Early Randolph County records show a Legate family living in the Pitman Community, which was about 10 or 12 miles northeast of old Albertha. They had reportedly moved there from Tennessee in the 1840's or early 1850's. The Reverend John Tarpley Legate (1818-1871) and his wife Isabella Jennings Reeves Legate (1822-1860) might have been Fred's grandparents. The census reports also show that Fred and Samuel were the only children born to Minnie prior to 1900. The column, "number of years married" is not filled in, so we have no idea when her husband died, except that it must have been between 1889 and 1900. I have found no follow-up information on Fred's brother, Samuel, or on Minnie, who probably remarried.
As a young man, Fred had somehow been befriended by "Dock," Johnston, a man 11 years his senior. Whether through work somehow, or church/lodge activities, I don't know. He probably admired Dock's oldest daughter, Esther, as he watched her grow up. Fred went into the Army during WW I, and was injured, whether in battle or by accident, I don't know, but he had a bad leg on which he limped the rest of his life. After recovering, and being released from the hospital, he returned to Randolph County to find that Dock had left, taking his family to Oklahoma. Whether because of his friendship with Dock, or a burning desire to see Dock's daughter again might be subject to speculation, but for whatever reason, Fred decided to follow Dock to Ardmore, Oklahoma. Fred and Esther were married in Ardmore in 1920. Fred was 30 and Esther 20. Fred had become a barber somewhere along the way, a pursuit he followed in Ardmore the rest of his life.
There is an interesting story about how the 1st child of Fred and Esther received his name, L.S. (That was the official name on his birth certificate; just initials, no name to go with them.) By happenstance, four of Dock's children, Esther, Vera, Lex, and Buren, were expecting babies at about the same time, in 1928. Dock offered a "bounty," to be paid to the first boy named Larkin Slaughter, after him. I don't know how much was offered, maybe only 10 or 20 dollars, but in those days it was attractive enough to be worthwhile. Buren's was first, on July 23, but it was a girl so he was out. Vera was next, on August 7, but she "was not about to saddle her child with such a 'gosh-awful' name." Lex was next, on September 9, and chose the short version of his own name for my brother, Lex. Esther was last, on September 22, and she delivered a boy. Fred wanted the money, but Esther felt about like Vera. They compromised, naming him only L.S., in the hope that Dock would assume that it meant Larkin Slaughter, and put in the claim. Dock said, "Show me the birth certificate!" When it reflected only the initials, he said, "Tough!"
ESTHER ELIZABETH JOHNSTON and ERNEST FREDERICK "FRED" LEGATE had the following family:
479 i. L. S.6 LEGATE (#463) was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, August 14, 1928. L. S. died September 22, 1989 Ardmore, Oklahoma, at 61 years of age. His body was interred Ardmore, Oklahoma, Rose Hill Cemetery.
+ 480 ii. PEGGY LUCILLE LEGATE was born June 5, 1931.
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