Sunday, September 26, 2010

Monte Allen Bates, Sr.

by Ethel Mae KinKade

Monte Allen Bates was the oldest son of Thomas Jefferson and Flora Bates. Monte was born in Arkansas on 23 Apr 1895 in Huntington, Arkansas. In 1904, with his parents, he moved from Arkansas to Oregon, traveling by train. Before the family moved to Oregon, one of the houses where they lived caught on fire and burned. Monte remembered that as he was upstairs he had to jump out the second story window to safety. His daughter, Helen related this info and said that her father was very afraid all through his life when he smelled smoke.

He was a veteran of World War I. Monte was enlisted on June 24, 1918 into the United States Army at Roseburg, Oregon. He was 23 1/2 years old; single and of excellent character. He had blue eyes, brown hair, medium complexion and stood 6 feet 1 1/2 inches tall. His occupation at the time was Block Signalman. The source for this information was from the Honorable Discharge from US Army, signed by H. G. Upton, Major Infantry, Commanding.

Monte's Army Serial Number was 3133981. He was appointed Sergeant of Company, 70th Engineers of the Army as of November 1, 1918 - Fort Douglas, Utah. Source: Form # 152 - A.G.O. signed by Jas. O. Hunt, Captain Engineer USA, Commanding 70th Engineers.

On February 3, 1919, Monte was honorably discharged by reason of Muster Out telegram AGO dated November 16, 1918. Certification stamped on Discharge paper "This instrument was filed February 24, 1945 and recorded in Vol. 1 @ page 70. Record of Military Discharge of Douglas Co., OR - County Clerk: Roy Ages by Flossie S. Virden, Deputy. Source: Discharge papers.

Monte worked for many years as a signalman on the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Monte, Sr., bought a grocery store in 1948 from Ira C. Lewis in Glendale (source: Newspaper clipping on death of Ira C. Lewis, dated June 1963).

Due to his health problem (enlarged heart - possibly born with it), they moved to Portland, Oregon where he could see specialists in this field. Later, they returned to Glendale and Monte continued to work on the railroad while his wife, Bess, and oldest son, Monte, Jr., were working partners in the day-to-day operation of the grocery store in Glendale, Oregon.

Helen reported the following: "When we moved to Portland, it was because of dad's health, but the signal maintaining job in Oswego allowed him to use an automobile, rather than the motor car, which made it much easier not lifting the old motor car on and off the track. I don't remember his going to doctors in Portland, however, his condition continued to deteriorate, and he bid on a job on the signal gang around Glendale. It was around this time that we bought the grocery store, (1949) as his condition continued to worsen. I did not know all this until after his death, he and mother sheltered me from a lot of things I should have known. When his condition got so bad he just couldn't do anything, he went to the S.P. hospital in San Francisco, by that time the EKG was being used for diagnosis. This was when the enlarged heart was discovered. He had been treated for everything else, but the heart, because they didn't know what his real problem was. The S.P. retired him before he even got back to Glendale."

Monte retired from the railroad and continued living in Glendale, OR the rest of his remaining years with his wife, Bess. He had been a resident of Glendale, Oregon for 41 years. He was a 40 year member of the Glendale Odd Fellows Lodge 172.

Monte's funeral services were held Wednesday, March 25, 1964 in the Presbyterian Church with Rev. Norman Naugler officiating and burial was under the direction of the Hull and Hull Funeral Home. Pall Bearers were Ben Whaley, Piney Winkelman, Bernie Halverson, Ardle McDiarmid, William Grahame and Life Edson.

Source: Funeral program saved by his niece, Ethel Mae Bates KinKade.

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