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Abraham Bate (1837-1898)
Native of England, part owner of Bay City Stone Company.

1892 Bio. (Added Jun., 2009)

Portrait and Biographical Record of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan, 1892


One of the members of the Bay City Stone Company, our subject is a man who brings into his business all the enterprise and enthusiasm of his nature, and raises it to the height of an art. His firm, which manufacturers granite and marble monuments and stone of every description, brings into the work a degree of art that will serve in years to come as a historical text of the advancement of the era of the city. Mr. Bate was born in Millpool, in the Parish of Cardinham, County Cornwall, England, December 29, 1837. His father, John Bate, was born in the same vicinity in 1807, as was also his grandfather, who was a farmer there.

John Bate was originally a farmer but learned the stonecutter's trade and became expert in the handling of that difficult agent. He worked in nothing but the finest grade of granite and was reasonably successful in his native place, where he died in 1887. He was an adherent of the Episcopal faith. Our subject's mother, Margaret, who was known as Peggy and the daughter of Abraham Whiting, was born in the same place as her husband. Her father was a blacksmith. Mrs. Bate who was born in 1809, died in Millpool in 1876. She was the mother of fourteen children, who all lived to reach years of maturity. Our subject was the sixth in order of birth.

Abraham Bate was reared in England and attended the common school until he was fifteen years of age. From boyhood up he was familiar with the workshop and tools and when about fifteen began to be employed steadily with his father, working with him until he was of age. When eighteen years old he was a practical stonecutter and when nineteen superintended a portion of his father's business. His sense of the artistic is strong and delicate and this has been with him a great advantage in his chosen work.

On reaching his majority our subject went to Holyhead, North Wales, but remained there only a short time, then removed to Eagly, near Bolton, Lancastershire, where he served as chief foreman in the construction of a factory. From there he went to Overdarwin, where he worked on a chapel for eighteen months and thence went to Birkenhead, Cheshire, where he engaged at his trade for about four and a half years.

Mr. Bate married at Eagly Bridge, Lancastershire, England, in 1860, to Miss Elizabeth Allen, who was born in Dent, Yorkshire. From Birkenhead, after an absence of about ten years, he returned to Cornwall where he was engaged in stonecutting and superintended the cutting of stone for a residence for two years. He then determined to come to America and April 14, 1870, left Liverpool in the steamer “Astrachan” of the Allan line and landed at Quebec after a voyage of fourteen days.

From Quebec Mr. Bate proceeded to Detroit and was at once engaged in work on the city hall and later for James Cook in a stoneyard and then as foreman with Andrew Brunton, until October, 1872, when he came to Bay City and started into business for himself, entering the firm which was known as Tennant Bros. & Co., and which comprised Messrs. James and John Tennant, Edward Proyer and himself. Their place of business was located at the foot of Eighth and Water Streets. John Tennant first left the company and the firm then changed its name to the Bay City Stone Company. Mr. Proyer afterward disposing of his interest. In the year 1880 they began working in the finer marble, and are at present engaged in contract building, being the largest firm of the kind in the city. Among the large contracts upon which they are at present working is the First Presbyterian Church on Center Street and the Masonic Temple. Their present business site covers tree lots, and their building is 32x100 feet in dimensions. They have a fine location and are easily accessible to the Michigan Central Railroad to which they have side tracks.

Outside the marble business the company deals extensively in sewer pipe and distributes the largest amount of that article of any firm in the valley. Mr. Bate's family residence is located at No. 909 Eighth Street. He and his wife are the parents of three children. His eldest son, John R. is superintendent of the stone yardes; Miss Maude, who is at home, is a graduate of Bay City High School, having finished with the Class of '93. Socially our subject is a Free and Accepted Mason and a member of the Masonic Temple Association. He also belongs to the Knights of the Maccabees and is President of the St. George Society. He is Secretary of the United Friends of Michigan. The Republican party is the object of his political faith and the recipient of his favors.

Additional Notes.


  • Abraham W. Bate died May 27, 1898, and is buried at Elm Lawn Cemetery in Bay City, MI.

    1881-2 - Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Bate, Abraham (Bay City Stone Co.), res n s 8th bet Grant and Van Buren.

    1894 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Bate, Abraham - b. 1838.
  • Elizabeth, wife - b. 1839.
  • Edith B., daughter - b. 1874.
  • John R., son - b. 1862.
  • Steggall, Maud, daughter - b. 1870.
  • Steggall, Fred, son-inlaw - b. 1869.
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
Tennant, James H.
People Referenced
Allen, Elizabeth (wife)
Bate, Abraham (subject)
Bate, Edith (dau)
Bate, John (father)
Bate, John R. (son)
Bate, Maude (dau.)
Cook, James
Proyer, Edward
Steggall, Fred (s-inlaw)
Tennant, James
Tennant, John
Whiting, Margaret (mother)
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Bay city High Sch.
Bay City Stone Co.
Birkenhead, Eng.
Co. Cheshire, Eng.
Co. Cornwall, Eng.
Co. Yorkshire, Eng.
Dent, Eng.
Detroit, MI
Eagly, Eng.
First Presbyterian Ch.
Hollyhead, N.Wales
Liverpool, Eng.
Millpool, Eng.
Masonic Temple
Overdarwin, Eng.
Quebec, Can.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.