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Levi Bates, one of the industrious farmers of Lake County, is the son of William and Eliza B. (Jackson) Bates. His parents were born in Buckingham, England. They had eleven children-three boys and eight girls; they were both members of the Missionary Baptist Church. His father owned 150 acres of land and was a farmer, and was guardian of the parish in which he lived. While still in the prime of life, he was walking by a brook, when the bank gave away, and he received a fall, dying from the effect of the injuries sustained. Mrs. Bates still lives in England, her native country, being one hundred and two years old, and was never known to have a spell of sickness. Mr. Levi Bates’ ancestors, as far back as known, were English. Only he and one sister came to this country.
He was born March 6, 1825, in the same shire as his parents, was raised on the farm and received a limited education. When eighteen he went to live with his sister, who was an extensive milliner in Louten. There he met Eliza Green, who was an apprentice at his sister’s, and afterward married her, in 1845. Soon after this he was superintendent of the farm of the Marquis of Abercorn, and three years later he engaged in the dairy business in London.
In l868 he came to America, and bought the Girard House, in Chicago, which he managed until 1871, when the great fire of that date swept away all he had. Mr. Bates then went to Memphis and commenced a dairy, but not liking the business moved to Lake County in 1874, and engaged in farming, but in 1883 his house was again destroyed by fire, leaving him without anything; but undaunted by misfortune he bravely went to work and now owns 376 acres of good land, and in connection with his farming deals in grain.
Mr. and Mrs. Bates have two children: Anna and Eliza. In politics he is a democrat; he has been in Lake County twelve years, and is a good citizen.