LaMott George Bates Family

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 graphic:

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 attending.)

An excellent online resource for early history of Elsie, Michigan, will be found on the web site created by Philip R. "Pib" Burns, at  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 Clinton County).

We have our own "history" of early Elsie, written by Bion Bates.

The Pibburns site also provides a bit more information regarding fate of the L.G. Bates general store:

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 "invitation" 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 comprehensive.

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 husband.

  • 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 by 1900. 

    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 family, whose 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 least 1910.

  • 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 women).

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 Bates collection.

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. 

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