Bertha Bates was a legendary figure
in St. Louis Park’s academic history. Thanks to Bates
relative Kent Bergh for his additions and corrections to the story
of Bertha and her family.
Bertha Bates was born in Glencoe in 1875, the daughter of
Cynthia (born 1845), a well educated Pennsylvania woman who prepared all
her daughters to teach school. Her father was Civil War
veteran and shoemaker William P. Bates (died before 1920).
Son William Bates was born in 1879. The family moved to
St. Louis Park before 1884. Bertha graduated from Central High in
Minneapolis in 1894. She taught from 1895 to
1934, first in Anoka and then in Rockford,
Her first school in St. Louis Park was the
Manhattan Park School, which was said to have been built by
Theodore Curtis of the Curtis Hotel. After that she became a
legend at Lincoln School.
Former students remembered her fondly, but also cautioned
that there could be no funny business in her classroom.
Bertha’s sister Irene Bates also taught at Lincoln School.
Bertha lived with her
brother Bill at 3800 Wooddale Ave. (at Goodrich, built in
Methodist Church. Neither Bertha nor Irene ever married.
Mary C. Bates was also a sister of Bertha and Irene. She was
born in 1867, married and quit teaching about 1897.
She died in 1935.
Bertha died on November 1, 1957 at the Walker Methodist
Home. Her mother, Cynthia S. Bates, died in October 1934 at
Albert H Bates was Bertha's uncle, inventor of the Hadees
after-market car heater for early gasoline vehicles, which
originally came without them.
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.