In Memory

Lena Legate -Jr High Math Teacher

Lena Legate -Jr High Math Teacher

Lena Legate

Published: Wednesday, February 02, 2000


SLATON (Special) Services for Lena C. Legate, 101, of Slaton will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Wayne Sheffield officiating.

Burial will be in Englewood Cemetery under the direction of Englunds Funeral Service.

She died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at Covenant Medical Center.

She was born Feb. 17, 1898, in Montague City. She moved to Lubbock from Weatherford, Okla., in 1943, and to Slaton in 1945. She married Wilburn H. Legate on June 27, 1920, in Weatherford. He died Feb. 3, 1978. She was a math teacher at Slaton Junior High School until retirement in 1968. She graduated from Normal School in Weatherford and Southwestern State College. She received her master's degree from Texas Technological College. She was a member of First United Methodist Church and the Lydia Sunday School Class, Slaton Classroom Teachers Association, Lubbock County Classroom Teachers Association and TSTA.

Survivors include a daughter, LaVerne Webb of Seagraves; a brother, Louis Coulson of Bryan; three grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.


An article about Mrs. Legate that appeared in the AJ

Friday, February 13, 1998

Slaton's Legate to celebrate 100 years of vivid memories


A-J Correspondent

The date was Feb. 17, 1898, when Lena Legate entered this world in Montague.

Legate will celebrate her 100th birthday Tuesday.

Legate's family and a few others from Montague, joined thousands of other settlers - or "sooners" - in making the open range of the Oklahoma Territory their homes.

Traveling in covered wagons with a milk cow and a dog named Ole' Scott, the Red River was just one of the obstacles the caravan from Montague overcame while traversing the plains.

"The territory was wide open, and cattle ran wild, and sometimes if they got frightened at something they would stampede," Legate said, as a smile crept onto her face. "If they stampeded, the women got out sheets to shake to turn them away from the claim."

The territory of Oklahoma - known as Indian Territory - became a state in 1907 when Legate was 9.

"My father was a farmer at that time. It was hard living," she said. "The vicinity was called Carter, and since it was a state, it was Carter, Okla."

It was about this time that a school teacher from Canada came to Oklahoma to lay a claim for his own land, Legate said. Some local farmers, knowing their children needed an education outside of farm life, hired him to teach.

"I fell in love with school," Legate said. "It was then I decided I wanted to be a teacher."

Teaching is a passion Legate would pursue for many years to come. Her first teaching job in Lone Wolf, Okla., in 1920 brought her and her future husband, W.H. Legate, together.

"Another one of the teachers and I went to eat in the restaurant - and Legate and one of his friends went to the restaurant to eat - and I met him," she said.

After teaching the fourth grade in Lone Wolf, Okla., for a year, the two married. Legate referred to their early married years when she taught and her husband quit his job as a dry-goods store clerk to attain an education as "a dream."

In the next few years, the Legates moved a lot. They relocated to Geary, Okla., where their only child, La Verne Webb, was born. They also lived in Elk City, Okla., and Weatherford, Okla.

In 1943, the Legates moved to the South Plains so La Verne could attend Texas Tech. And Legate took a teaching job in Slaton, where she worked for 22 years.

"I've been told that I was strict. I had good discipline, but I've never whipped a child in all my life," she said. "I had a certain feeling for those children - I love them."

Webb said her mother becoming a teacher did not surprise anyone. "It didn't surprise her mother, because when she (Legate) was little and played school with the other children, she was always the teacher," Webb said. "She loves being with children."

Legate's husband died in 1978, and she lived by herself until she turned 99 - at which time she moved into Slaton Care.

Legate had an early birthday celebration Thursday at 3 p.m. at the care facility.

Legate has three grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and two great-great step grandchildren. She also has one brother living who has two sons.