LaMott George Bates's and
Hanna Amanda Sickels's family is one half of the immediate
ancestors of Bion and Wilma Bates, therefore one fourth the
immediate-plus-one ancestors of Emily Josephine Bates. Here is
The foregoing chart only
shows LaMott and Amanda and their direct descendants. Of
great interest, showing the degree of intermarriage within the
Elsie community, is this
chart of Elsie
Relatives I developed.
LaMott and Amanda individually, and their
respective forebears, are discussed in the following sections.
Here are the brief stories,
documents and correspondence relating to the family of LaMott,
Amanda and their four sons, Clare, Clyde, Bion (until his marriage to
Wilma Jackson) and Harold, and their daughter, Ruth.
First, the best single
source detailing lives of LaMott, Amanda, their predecessors and
family, will be found in
The Families of LaMott and Amanda Bates (hereinafter the
"Blue Book"), written originally by Richard Bates and revised
and republished by Stephen Haynes in 2012. The portion of
the Blue Book devoted to "The Bates Family" is largely an
extraction and condensation of a short monograph I've entitled
Recounting the Lives of LaMott George and Amanda Bates,
by Nora Ruth (Holmes) Bates.
Other documents and
resources uncovered in recent months provide additional details:
LaMott and Amanda (although
her formal name was "Hannah Amanda," she was known familiarly
solely as "Amanda," and even more familiarly by her husband as
"Mandy") were married May 28, 1873, in Elsie, where both had
grown up (Amanda having been born there, and LaMott having moved
there at age 8), the two having met each other as young
children. Although no record remains (that I know of) of
the wedding itself, we have photographs of the couple and family
on their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries:
(In the 60th anniversary
photo, directly above, Bion and Wilma's oldest child, my mother Emily (Bates) Haynes,
is missing; she was working in
Ann Arbor at the time and -- for whatever reason -- unable to
attend. Her sister Barbara was also absent. They
were the only two of LaMott and Amanda's grandchildren not
An excellent online resource
for early history of Elsie, Michigan, will be found on the web
site created by Philip R. "Pib" Burns, at
http://www.pibburns.com/elsiemi.htm. You can search
his pages using the
tool he provides, and a search for "Bates" yields several
references, some of which don't strictly agree with family
history as it has been handed down to us. (For example, he
describes the Bateses as being among the "later settlers,"
whereas family history says when that George Washington Bates
Jr. arrived the "village" consisted of log houses with only four
families: J.D. Sickels, Frank Tillotson, Ira Allen and
Jonathan Hicks. The Pibburns site says that original
settlers included Robert Craven (the original settler) and
families of Liberty Carter, Geo. W. Lewis, Joshua Cobb, Oliver
Hicks, the Finchs, Blayneys, Bennetts, Galligans, Lettst,
Staffords, J. Durfee, and Aaron Sickels, Hiram Curtis, Wm.
Warner, The Linmans, Alpheus Beebee, Franklin Tillotson, Wm. L.
Tillotson and Kingston Wooll (although, to be fair, it is
unclear whether Elsie-proper is intended, or a larger area
including all or part of Duplain Township or even greater
We have our own "history" of
written by Bion Bates.
The Pibburns site also
provides a bit more information regarding fate of the L.G. Bates
Clyde took in as
partner Geo. L. Carter, under the firm name of Bates &
Carter, and later Mr. Carter and Benj. Steere formed a
partnership under the name of Carter & Steere, buying
out Mr. Bates' interest in the business. The building
was finally sold to the J. A. Byerly company and
Carterer & Steere moved into the Odd Fellow building,
where Dancers dry goods business is now located.
In 1895 LaMott and Amanda
built one of the more magnificent homes in Elsie, of which we
have a photo:
A visual clue to Elsie's
dynamism as of 1912, seventy-six years after the first settlers
arrived, is found in the following photo:
LaMott and Amanda's youngest
son, Harold, was the only family member to serve during World
War I, although accounts differ whether he actually went
overseas (discussed at
greater length in the Blue Book). He enlisted following an
from the Clerk of Clinton County. In 1918, while Harold
was based at Camp Eustis, Virginia, LaMott, Amanda, Bion and
Ruth made a road trip from Michigan east to visit him.
LaMott and Amanda separately
wrote up the trip, although Amanda's account is more
The Blue Book mentioned
Gertie Martyn, one of LaMott and Amanda's hired girls who
lived in and served the Bates household. She was
apparently one of the later girls to hold that job (although
long and well enough that she held a special place in their
hearts and memories), appearing No. 37
on this list that may record all the girls. The girls'
names are interesting for their family relationship to LaMott
and Amanda, or in some cases as members of other Elsie families
of note. For example (names are in order as found on the
list; if the name shows a link, it will usually be to a
photograph, often from the Bentley Library Photo Album; most of
those shown in the Bentley Album all appear on a single page):
Minnie Williams -- the
1870 census records her, age 14, resident in the Harrison
household elsewhere in Clinton county, so she may have
served other families as well as the Bateses.
Etta Bennett -- born
1856 in Owosso, Michigan, Etta was related to LaMott, albeit
somewhat distantly through his step-father, Andrew Linman,
Lovina (Pelton) Bates's second husband.
Ella Clark -- the 1880
census records her, age 18, still living with her parents.
Ida Clark -- the 1880
census says she was Ella's sister, age 13 at the time.
Clara Nethaway --
granddaughter of one of Elsie's best known pastors, Rev.
Ebenezer Nethaway, Clara was born in 1864 and is also
related to LaMott somewhat distantly through his
step-father, Andrew Linman, Lovina (Pelton) Bates's second
Lulu Linman -- LaMott's
half first cousin, granddaughter of Lovina (Pelton)(Bates)
Linman by son Albert Dewitt Linman.
Myrtle Linman -- another
of LaMott's half first cousins, another of Lovina Linman's
granddaughters, although by son William Alfred Linman.
Ivy, Sarah and Carrie
Kelley -- the 1880 census records Abner and Mary Kelley with
daughters "Eva," Sarah and Carrie (the latter two twins),
living in Waterford, Michigan. Eva (Ivy) was born in
approximately 1871, and the twins in 1873. An Abner
Kelley, born about the right year (1846), is buried in
Riverside Cemetery in Elsie, Michigan. He moved there
Ivy Kelley married William Wooll, another Elsie family name.
Another daughter, Etta, born 1881, married Orrin Brainard in
Elsie in 1905; another demonstration of the Elsie
interrelationships: Orrin was a Sickels relative by
his Aunt Polly's marriage to John Sickels. (Polly's
photo was in the Bentley Library Photo Album.)
It is possible all three Kelley girls were in LaMott and
Amanda's household at the same time, since they are all
listed together and were very close in age.
No evidence links these Kelleys to Rose (Kelley) Aldrich and
multiple photos appear in the Bentley Library
Photo Album but whose identities and times or places they
lived remain a mystery.
Myra Ann Higbee -- Myra eventually became a relative by
marriage to LaMott, but at the time she worked for them she
wasn't. Born in 1867, in 1880 she lived in Elba, Gratiot
County, Michigan, north of Elsie, and then in Elsie, where
her family apparently moved at some point, and by 1910 she
was married and living in Duplain Township.
Emma Payne -- born 1874,
by the 1880 census she also was living in Elba, Gratiot
County, Michigan, so may have been known by Myra Ann Higbee
and recommended by her. By 1881 her family may have
moved to Ovid, since her sister, Lucy (next) was born there.
The Paynes are not related.
Lucy Payne -- born 1881 in Ovid, she is one of the few
to have impressed LaMott and Amanda sufficiently that they
included a photo in the Bentley Library Photo Album.
Nellie Brown -- a Nellie Brown was born in or near Elsie
in approximately 1874; her father was likely Byron Brown,
and her mother Sarah Rowell -- both lived in Elsie until at
Addie Craven -- several
Cravens appear in our family tree, foremost being Alvah
Sickels's second wife, but there's no record of an "Addie,"
and none can be found within Clinton County.
Addie Love -- born in 1879 in Duplain, Addie was grand
niece of the husband (Charles Clement) of LaMott's sister,
Elizabeth (Bates) Clement.
Lucy Goodrich -- born in
1860 and by 1880 living in Duplain, at the time Lucy was no
relation to LaMott and Amanda, although she is our distant
cousin through the Goodrich line on Chester Jackson's
mother's side. This is interesting if for no other
reason than one of Chester's distant cousins preceded him to
Clinton County, in addition to the connection we know of
through Horace Keys.
Mrs. Martyn --
apparently a reference to Gertie Martyn's mother, Martha, in
the 1900 census she was living with her husband Stephen in
Elba, Gratiot County, Michigan. We have no clues as to
why Martha immediately preceded her daughter Gertie as a
"hired girl" in LaMott and Amanda's household. She was
there fewer than two years, since by 1902 Gertie was in the
household, or she may have overlapped but not acknowledged
as such in family history.
Gertie ("Gertrude") Martyn -- Born in approximately
1888, Gertie was shown to reside in LaMott and Amanda's
household in the 1910 census. According to the Blue
Book she had been engaged in 1902 at age 14, staying there
for ten years (which based on the list of hired girls would
certainly be much longer than the average for these young
In addition to the
photos in the collection of Gertie, her husband Claud Allen,
and their family, an indication of the continuing close relationship of their
family is found in a brief mention in The Owosso Argus-Press,
4/12/1929: "Mr. and Mrs. Claude Allen, of Clio, spent
Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. LaMott Bates."
Richard Bates's comments:
[C]ountry girls only
got eight years of schooling in one-room nearby schools
unless they moved into town for their high school years
because there were no school buses and it would take too
long, and in winter be too arduous, to travel back and
forth daily by horse. (I don't think the boys had any
options but to stop at the eighth grade and go to work
on the farm.) Townspeople put these girls up from age 14
to 17 in exchange for help with the huge tasks of
housekeeping, devoid as the housewives were of any
mechanical aids like washing machines, vacuum cleaners,
refrigerators and mixers.
Gertie was a special
case, kept on after high school as a "companion" for
Ruth. (Considering how Amanda overprotected Harold, she
may have been used to spare Ruth from housework.)
In any event, she
was practically adopted by the Bates seniors, being
married in their home to Mr. Allen, a jeweler in Caro
[Clio?], Michigan. Thereafter, the Allens and their
children attended Bates family outings, including
Thanksgivings, appearing in many family photographs.
This whole system
was parallel to the British boarding schools for boys
whereby children are separated from parents at 14 and
return home only for holidays and the summer.
Bion and Wilma had similar "hired girls." I became very
close to one of them, and as a pre-schooler visited her
family on their farm one week-end.
One girl didn't last
long: she had what would now be recognized as anorexia
nervosa. When she turned down all the food at the table
and was discovered with donuts in her bedside stand,
Father sent her packing back home, believing that she
was rejecting Mother's cooking.
I don't know how the
girls were recruited/selected. Everyone knew everyone
else for miles around so it wasn't hard. Father
doubtless did dental work for some of the families and
LaMott knew everyone who came into the store. It's
possible that the Senior Bateses had more than one girl
at a time.
LaMott and Amanda's five
children are listed and discussed in the Blue Book, but I show
them here with relevant dates. The complete genealogy of
LaMott's descendants may be found in the
online genealogy. Other photos of the children (other
than Bion) will be found in the
Clare George Bates
Clyde Durfee Bates
Bion LaMott Bates
Harold Percy Bates
Ruth Emily Bates
As noted at the top, LaMott and Amanda individually, and their
respective forebears, are discussed in the following sections.