Samuel M. Tate (born 1817 in Middle Tennessee; died July 26, 1892 in Memphis, Tennessee) was a railroad executive, industrialist, and a stockholder in the Elyton Land Company, which founded Birmingham.
Tate's family moved to Fayette County, Tennessee during his childhood. He was educated there and became a merchant in Somerville, Tennessee around 1840. When the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was chartered in 1846, he became its secretary-treasurer and was later its president.
During the Civil War Tate was commissioned as a Colonel and headed the Demopolis-based construction company contracted to build the South & North Alabama Railroad from Montgomery to Decatur. The contract for the uncompleted line was sold to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad iin 1871.
Tate was a shareholder in the Elyton Land Company which founded Birmingham at the crossing of the L&N with the Alabama & Chattanooga Railroad in Jones Valley. He went on to help organized the Birmingham Coal and Iron Company in 1880.
Tate lived in several places in his later life including Florida and the Little Rock, Arkansas area. He died in Memphis in 1892. He was married and had at least two sons, Samuel, Jr, at whose home he died, and Thomas Tate, who served briefly as acting Mayor of Birmingham in 1872.
- "The Founders of Birmingham, Alabama" (January 23, 2014) Birmingham Public Library - accessed October 15, 2014