John William Tate was born on 8 August 1853 to John Tate and Anna Seetree at Fort Laramie, while his parents were traveling to the Salt Lake Valley. He moved to Tooele, Utah Territory, in 1864 and married Elizabeth DeLaMare on 22 February 1875. A merchant, Tate was the city and county clerk from 1883 to 1887, as well as county treasurer. He died on 16 July 1927 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was buried in Tooele.
 Lewella Tate Hanks, “John William Tate,” in History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Tooele County, 1961), 590–591; John William Tate, death certificate, 16 July 1927, “Utah Death Certificates, 1904–1964,” database with images, FamilySearch, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6QS9-7D8?i=987.