Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Byron BATE, a pioneer grocer and senior member of the BATE & VROOM Company, Mason City, Iowa, has been a prominent factor in the business activities of this place for more than thirty years.

Mr. BATE was born in Northumberland county, Ontario, Canada, January 2, 1848, son James and Clarasia (MARSH) BATE. James BATE, a native of Devonshire, England, came to Canada when sixteen years of age, and there passed his life as a farmer. He died in the fall of 1907, at the age of eighty-eight years. The mother, a native of Canada, died that same fall, her age at death being eighty-three. They were the parents of three children, only one of whom, the subject of this sketch, is living.

On his father's farm Byron BATE in his youth became familiar with every detail of farm work, including grubbing, and he attended school only until he was sixteen. He continued work on the farm until the fall of 1871, when he came to Mason City, Iowa. That was just previous to the memorable Chicago fire. His mother was in Chicago at the time on a visit. He hastened to the burning city and took his mother home. Then he returned to Mason City and for two years was employed as clerk there by D. J. PURDY.

In the meantime he made several trips home, and on Christmas day, 1876, while in Canada, married Miss Lovina MORSE, like himself a native of Canada, she having been born in Elgin county, Ontario, December 25, 1856.

In order to induce him to remain at home his father deeded the young man half the farm. He remained two years, but he could not convince himself that he was ever intended for a farmer, and at the end of the two years he gladly released his interest, turning it back to his father and again came to Iowa. That was in the autumn of 1878. He clerked for D. J. PURDY two years, and then was engaged in the grocery business for himself in Spencer, Iowa, for three years. Returning then to Mason City, he formed a partnership with his former employer, but after four years sold and he and Mr. RAY purchased Mr. PARKER'S interest in the firm of PARKER & VROOM & Vroom. Mr. Bate has since been connected with the firm. Business was conducted under the firm name of BATE, VROOM & RAY, but after three years Mr. RAY sold to the other two, and the business was continued under the style of BATE & VROOM until four years ago, when they took in another partner and changed the name of BATE, VROOM & Company.

Mr. BATE began life with no capital and with practically little education, but has been able to meet the problems and obstacles that have presented themselves and has won his way to a comfortable success.

He and his wife are the parents of five daughters, Nellie, Alice, Clara, Lois and Gladys, the three eldest having finished their education at Cornell College.

Politically Mr. BATE is a stanch Republican. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., and both he and his wife are identified as members with the Methodist Episcopal church.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. Pp. 452-53 Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



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