Dr. David Golladay Lake

Son of George Lake and Davidella Golladay

David Golladay Lake was born in 1871 and was called by his middle name "Golladay". He had one sister (Minnie) and four brothers (George, Yerger, Alvin, and Harper). He was raised in Grenada, Mississippi, became a dentist and practiced his profession away from Grenada.


When I first visited the Odd Fellows cemetery in Grenada, I noticed the grave monument of Golladay Lake was askew from the rest of his family. It was almost as if there was an effort made to distance his grave from the rest of his family members. I later learned that some of the Grenada townsfolk suspected Golladay of plotting the murder of his sister, Minnie Barbee. Betty Hinson wrote of these suspicions in her book "Golladay Hall, The Barbee/Lake Family Murder." Betty's health was poor and she was not able to do much research on Golladay Lake during the years when he lived outside of Mississippi. When I talked to Betty about her book, I told her that I would do further research to help answer some the unresolved questions. Betty wanted me to keep her up-to-date on my findings. Unfortunately Betty passed away in 2006. I intend to continue this research and uncover some of the mystery surrounding Golladay Lake.

Golladay was mentioned in the Memphis Medical Monthly in an article in 1903 about Prosthetic Surgery. It told of a case where Golladay Lake, D.D.S., extracted four teeth and made a bridge for false teeth as part of a facial reconstruction procedure. Golladay was still in Memphis in 1906, as he applied to the United States Patent Office for a patent on December 17. He was listed as "Golladay Lake of Memphis, Tennessee."

Golladay next moved to Cleveland, Ohio and was there by 02 January 1908. He lived at 1208 Euclid Avenue. The last patent that he filed from Cleveland was on 22 November 1911 for a "gas-heater". Since Cleveland was an industrial and manufacturing area, it is presumed that Golladay moved there to promote his inventions.

By May of 1914, Golladay had moved to Manhattan. The 1915 New York City directory shows him living on W. 97th. and he is listed as an inventor. The name of his business was Golladay Patents.


830336 Churn 23 Jan 1906
873055; Vehicle Top support 17 Dec 1906
1008604 Hand protector 02 Jan 1908
1112423 Thill - Coupling 02 Nov 1910
1008602 Cereal percolator (for boiling coffee, tea, etc.) 14 Feb 1911
1008603 Heat Distributer Accumulator for Cooking Vessels 21 Apr 1911
1038157 Gas Heater 22 Nov 1911
1158135 Hygienic Hot Plate 11 May 1914
1592831 Lock nut 28 Sep 1925
1634619 Device for fastening covers 11 Mar 1926
1815919 Cigar and cigarette holder 13 Mar 1928
1945049 Display device 21 May 1931
2216202 Minnow bucket 04 Aug 1938
2491008 Fishing pole holder 04 Nov 1946

These patents can be viewed on Google Patents by doing a search for "golladay lake".

Apparently Golladay resumed his dental practice as the census on 13 January 1920 listed Golladay as a dentist who was living at 257 W. 92 St. in Manhattan. His brother Alvin Lake and wife Marion lived near him in the West End.


Harper and Alvin worked as cotton brokers. The name of their firm was Lake Brothers. It was located on 15 William Street in Manhattan.

It was initially believed that they never married, but this was not the case. Harper married Margaret Elaine Stiff on 19 August 1915. He met her on a business trip to Texas. They are not buried beside each other, so it appears that they were divorced.

Alvin Lake married twice. When he died, his estate was awarded to his first wife. The Court ruled that Alvin’s divorce from his first wife was invalid.

Minnie was in New York visiting with her brothers when Alvin died suddenly on 19 July 1925. He was 45 years old when he died.

After Alvin's funeral in Grenada, Minnie returned to New York with her brothers. Golladay and Harper had some business matters to attend to there, but planned to come back to Mississippi for "an indefinite stay" with Minnie. She was upset over Alvin's death and wanted her family to be around her. In the 1930 U.S. census, Golladay was shown as living with his sister Minnie in their childhood home on Margin Street in Grenada.

Harper appeared to be fairly well off in 1928, as he made provisions in his will for several family members. It is interesting to note that while he made Minnie Barbee the administrator of his estate, he specifically noted "I want her to be fair with my brother, Golladay Lake, providing for him preferably a fixed income for him sufficient for his comfort and upkeep." However, the stock market crash of 1929 likely changed Harper's financial situation.

Harper passed away from heart failure on 20 February 1931. The Great Depression was underway and times were hard. A little over a year later on 07 May 1932, Minnie Barbee was murdered.

Golladay was no longer living with Minnie at the time of her murder. It stated in Minnie's obituary that Golladay was living in New York City and that he was unable to attend her funeral because of an illness. In the "Administrator's Notice to Creditors" on 20 May 1932, Golladay listed 5 27th Street in Grenada as his mailing address.

Minnie was a widow and had no children, so Golladay inherited her estate. Her personal estate was estimated to be worth $1,000 dollars. Funeral home records show that Minnie's funeral service cost $690.54 and was paid for by Dr. Golladay Lake. Golladay also filed a request in chancery court to borrow $286.88 against Minnie's estate to pay the 1931 property taxes to the city of Grenada, which were delinquent in June of 1932. These two bills add up to $977, so it does not appear that Golladay inherited much money from Minnie's estate.

Golladay had lived as a boarder all of his life and apparently had no interest in owning and maintaining a house. He closed his childhood home and never lived in it again. He must have enjoyed fishing during his retirement, as his last two patent applications were for fishing equipment.


Much additional information has been uncovered since the "Golladay Hall, The Barbee/Lake Family Murder" book was written. None of the new evidence suggests that Golladay Lake had any involvement with the murder of his sister Minnie Barbee.

Golladay Lake was in New York when Minnie was murdered. Harper Lake seems to be the one with money in the family. Golladay Lake was not excluded from Harper’s will. While Harper did name Minnie as the administrator of his estate, he directed her to fairly distribute it among their father George Lake, Golladay Lake, and herself.

The speculation that Golladay Lake had Minnie murdered is based on a ghost story. Some locals believe that Golladay Hall is haunted. They presume it is the unquiet spirit of Minnie Barbee, since she was murdered there. Since her killers were brought to justice, speculation arose that perhaps Golladay Lake was behind the plot to kill Minnie to get her money.

There are no facts to support this theory. Minnie’s diamonds and gold jewelry remained in the house where she left them until the 1950's inventory. Golladay Lake had a modest life style. He never lived in or sold her house after she died.

Some possible reasons why he did not want to live the house:

1. He likely had no use for such a large house and wanted to downsize to something more appropriate for his needs.

2. He may have been shaken by the brutal assault of his sister and did not to live in the house where this occurred.

3. He did not want to live in a house with a haint. Suprised face

Or maybe some combination of these. He was remembered as being unkempt and a mysterious figure during his last years. Golladay did not endear himself to the neighbors when he allowed Minnie’s house to become run down and the yard to become overgrown. He undoubtedly had health problems in his later years. Perhaps he had age-related dementia or some similar condition.

Golladay Lake was around 82 years old when he died on 01 July 1953 in the John Gaston Hospital in Memphis. He had several first cousins who lived in Memphis.

Grave of Golladay Lake

Buried at: Odd Fellows Cemetery in Grenada, Mississippi

This page last updated on July 01, 2015