F. E. GATES HARDWARE COMPANY. The present is an age of machinery, the main efforts of inventive minds being directed toward labor-saving appliances, there being scarcely an industry or art that has not profited by man's success in this particular. The F. E. Gates Hardware Company took the above title in October, 1892, having prior to that time been owned by B. A. Bronson, who established in about 1885 on Boonville Street, where it still remains. Mr. Gates, the head of the present company, was born at Red Wing, Minn., February 9, 1863, a son of George W. Gates, and in 1870 the family came to Missouri and settled at Carthage, where the father died some six years ago. He was a contractor and builder by occupation, and to this occupation devoted his attention for many years. His widow died in Illinois in January, 1893. F. E. Gates was educated in Carthage, Mo., and in 1882 started upon a business career with S. A. Brown & Co., with whom he was connected for about ten years. In 1889 he became a lumberman and did a successful contracting business on Boonville Street, Springfield, which, he continued up to the time he purchased his present business. While engaged in contracting he erected a number of the handsomest residences and business blocks of the city, among which may be mentioned the residences of Mr. Lamoreaux, W. J. Johnson, C. W. McMasters and G. A. Ramsey. As a contractor he was remarkably successful, but the business in which he is now engaged offered better inducements and he embarked in it as above stated. He at once purchased a large stock of excellent goods, valued at $10,000, comprising shelf and heavy hardware, building hardware, stoves, ranges, and in fact everything that comes under his line of business. In addition to this he is quite extensively engaged in the manufacture of tin and sheet-metal goods, and now supplies a large local trade which was formerly supplied with these goods from other points. Under Mr. Gates' management the business has grown greatly and requires the entire premises at 305 Boonville Street, the building being 24xlOO feet, with three floors. On the first floor is their retail department and on the second the manufacturing department. Mr. Gates has been a resident of Springfield during the past twelve years, and during that time he has been the soul of honor in his business transactions, a secret, no doubt, of his success. He is industrious, enterprising and pushing, and although keenly alive to his own interests at all times it has never been at the expense of others, and he has the unbounded satisfaction of knowing that what he has in the way of worldly goods has been the result of his own earnest endeavor. Not only is he respected in business but also in social circles, and his good friends are legion. He was married in East Hampton, Mass., to Miss Harriet E. Clapp, and by her is the father of two children: Harriet E. and Frederick W. Mr. Gates owns a good residence at 1846 North Main Street and is also the owner of the property on Boonville Street where the lumber yard is located. He and his wife attend the First Congregational Church, and politically he has always been a Republican. James F. Gates, his brother, is the efficient bookkeeper for the company. He was born in Minnesota in 1868 and came to Springfield in 1882, having been educated at Carthage. He has been associated with his brother in the hardware business since the beginning of the business and is an active and energetic member of the firm. He was married to Miss Olive B. Haynes, of Springfield, and they are the parents of two children. Like his brother, he is a Republican, and like him, also, he is a public-spirited citizen. He began his business career about ten years ago as a clerk in a lumber yard, the most of the time being spent with S. A. Brown as business manager, and a very efficient one he made. He is business manager as well as bookkeeper of the firm of which he is now a member. He resides with his wife and two little daughters-- Helen and Marie--at 1353 Robberson Avenue, and they are regular attendants of the First Congregational Church. The brothers are most worthy men. and occupy a high place in the regard of all who know them. They are of the material of which worthy citizens are made and in all respects are model Americans.
Springfield-Greene County Library