Warren Tate, infamous for how he conducted his public business and personal affairs, is best known as the person who murdered a witness in the Marion County courthouse in 1878. Indianapolis newspapers reported Tate shot the appraiser during a court recess, in the court hallway, after the appraiser testified for the defense. Arrested and even before he was tried, Tate was found innocent of shooting an unarmed man twice without Tate being justly provoked.
Outraged with disbelief, about one thousand city residents gathered at the courthouse and wanted Tate hanged for the murder. Ironically, the judge overseeing the court hearing concerned with the property value of the adjacent property, fined Tate $10,000 for discharging a firearm in the courthouse.
Tate appealed to the Indiana State Supreme Court where it was overturned and the next year the Indiana State legislature abolished that superior court, and the judge lost his job. The judge left Indianapolis and moved to Colorado where he practiced law as an attorney.
Warren owned the property at 228 N East St and wanted the property just to its north. When the owner, Milton Pouder, wouldn’t sell, Tate purchased the mortgage from the bank and foreclosed on the property, thus resulting in the ill-fated court hearing.
Helen Jennie Daily, later to become Warren Tate’s wife, was once arrested for operating a house of “ill repute” in downtown Indianapolis. Her “boarding house”, where Warren Tate resided, was located next to Tate’s Window and Sash Company, the current site of Cummings Diesel Distribution Headquarters. Warren sat in support with Jennie’s defense attorney during her trial. Helen Jennie Daily made statements to the press that she was powerful, knew many influential people in Indianapolis, and that she wouldn’t be convicted. The jurors had a challenging time agreeing for conviction, but she was eventually convicted and fined $5 by the court. The Indianapolis News editorial blasted the court and the jurors for the slight reprimand. Daily's conviction was later overturned by a higher court and her $5 was returned.
Earlier in 1872, prior to Daily’s arrest, the Indianapolis News reported Warren Tate and his daughter Mary Helen Tate, fourteen years of age, recorded a signed agreement to indenture Mary into Jennie’s service until his daughter’s eighteenth birthday. Warren stated “he knew no one better…”
In 1896, while residing at the Tate Mansion Warren, died leaving the home and his estate, more than $200,000 to his wife, Helen Jennie Tate. While Tate was one of central Indiana’s most powerful and wealthy residents, it was also reported that Helen was equally wealthy in her own right.
Helen Jennie Tate died in 1900 leaving the bulk of her estate and home to the Catholic Church. While contested by servants, nurses, and former “adopted” women, for ten years the estate was significantly reduced by several court decisions during those years.