Confederate dedication – a unique experience

The dedication of the Confederate Grave marker honoring 3rd Lt. Tilman Robertson Bates on Sat. July 8 was a unique experience for the Lohn community. Unique, because we have never before nor will we ever again honor a Civil War Veteran here, as Tilman Bates is the only one to be buried in the Lohn cemetery. It was a typical central Texas summer day, a cloudless sky with a hot baking sun and a strong southern breeze that unfurled the row of beautiful regimental flags. Names from the pages of our history books, such as Shiloh and Vicksburg, sprang to life as we listened to the history of the flags and the men whose lives were associated with them. The Bates family of Georgia had a large number of men who served in the Confederate Army. Tilman Bates, his four brothers, 13 nephews and 23 cousins’40 in all. This event was especially interesting to us, because the Bates family arrived in Lohn almost a century ago and have been a part of this community ever since they chose to make their home here. Many of the family left Georgia after the war – some for Texas, others for Arkansas. M.Z. Bates was the son of Tilman Bates. He married Theresa Potter who lived near Field Creek. They moved to Brady. We never knew Mr. Bates name. His wife called him Zollie, which everyone else did, also. Actually he was named for two or three Civil War Generals. In 1904, M.Z. Bates, who was in his early forties, rode a bicycle from Brady to Lohn to scout out some land to buy to build a home and a cotton gin. Having grown up in a big cotton producing state, he saw the need for a gin as McCulloch County farmers were producing good cotton crops. He purchased land north of Lohn where the original town was located, built a two room house for his family, a wife and four daughters. He later built a much better and larger home for the family. The first house had a dirt floor. Nina was the baby, an infant. She wasn’t allowed on the dirt floor. She had a large box for a play, and she never learned to crawl. The gin, located on the west side of the road, was built almost single handed by Mr. Bates. He had to make many of the parts himself as there was no where to purchase such items. The gin began operating in 1907. During this time period, M.Z. Bates, returned to Georgia to bring his parents, by wagon, to Lohn. Tilman Bates and his wife, Jane were growing old. M.Z. built a small house for them near his home. They only lived a few years after leaving Georgia. Jane Bates died in 1908, and was buried at Lohn. Tilman Bates went to Mills County to visit his daughter with a promise from his son that should he die while away that he would be returned to Lohn to be buried by his wife. He did die while at Star, Texas. M.Z. Bates and Will Hall brought him back for burial at Lohn, as promised. He died in September 1909. The M.Z. Bates family grew. There were seven girls and one boy. The eldest daughter, Faye, married John Harrison. I do not know if she attended school at Lohn-probably did, but the remainder of the family did. Faye and John lived mostly in the Waco area. The second daughter was Bertha, who graduated from Lohn in 1917, and married Bill Stow, a classmate. The Stows lived here for awhile eventually moved to the Phoenix, Arizona area. Third daughter, Lula, known as Lou, married Charlie Epps, son of Josh and Georgia Epps. Lou and Charlie graduated together from Lohn in 1920. They made Lohn their home and lived in Brady for many years. Nina Bates, daughter number four, married Willis Brinson, and lived in San Antonio. She is buried at Lohn. Fifth daughter, Gladys, married into the Harris family. Her husband, Gene, was a brother to Dick Harris who married Itha Carroll. Gladys graduated in 1924. Sixth daughter is Willie R. “Bill” who married a local boy, Roy Brock. She graduated in 1928. Roy’s job took them to many different places, mostly in Oklahoma and Texas. They returned to Brady where Bill now lives. Nadine, the youngest daughter, married L.D. Browning after graduating in 1932. They lived in Pear Valley, Salt Gap and Lohn except for two years spent in Oklahoma. Nadine lives in Lohn. Buck Bates, the lone male, married Mary Coffey. They lived at Lohn, their children began school here. Mary Bates lives in Crossplains. The large crowd who attended the dedication came from many different areas, Oklahoma, California, New Mexico, Midland, Amarillo, De Kalb, Lubbock, Lake Jackson, Waco, San Angelo, Austin, San Antonio, Abilene, Brownwood, Martinsdale, Granbury, Victoria and other towns in Texas. There was about a hundred people here. Those attending were John and Dorothy Bates, Elton and Maybelle Murphree, Marjorie Kennemer, Iris and Charles Aishman, Jim Reeder, Joe Bostwick, Mark Young, William and Sharon Reich, John and Donna Bergman, Linda Bates Schumake, Robert Lamar Bates, Robert Noble Bates, Gary E. Bates, Brenda and Ernest Reich, Lee and Shirley Ragan, Darrell Rhea, Jefferson Bates, Peggy Thibeaux Bates, David Thayer, Jimmie and Linda Bates, Tommy and Kathleen Bates, Mary Bates, Cory Curtis and Caitlin, Steven Kinseng, Larry and Glenda Young, Willie Bowen, Sami and David Johnson, Brandi Barbee, Carroll and Sharon Thayer, Doug Harris, Dina Owings, Roy and Earleen Brock, Dale and Barbara Young, Brad and Shirley Ellis, Marge Cornils Bratton, Nadine Bates Browning, Bill Bates Brock, Eunice Browning Day, and others who did not register. These are the ones who attended the lunch at the tabernacle. Wilson Bloomer arrived from Tennessee for a visit with his mother, Margaret. Imogene and Lavon Hutton, Diane Putnam came to visit while he was here. Other family members were traveling, Buddy and Billie Bloomer were in New York, Jack and Linda Bloomer had to Missouri, so they missed seeing Wilson. Nell Ellis has returned home from a trip to Colorado. She went there to attend to business planning to be gone two weeks, but her stay extended to a month due to some problems that cropped up. Quincy went to get her , they returned on the fourth. Chad Ellis is keeping busy this summer doing research for his thesis. He has been out at Sonora checking out a particular type of goats who may be able to tolerate and eat cedar. He will be back at Angelo Sate this fall. This Ellises foster son, Roger Miller, called from Germany where he is in the service. He is doing some traveling seeing Europe. Recently, he visited Spain. Roger, who graduated in 1995, will be returning to the states next year. He has enlisted for four more years. Martha Hemphill was in Shannon Hospital overnight for a surgical procedure. She is home and doing well. The Snodgrass family will be having a reunion at the tabernacle this Sat. July 15. They invite their friends to come by for a visit. One of the re-enactors here Saturday has lost his uniform. He changed clothes back stage at the tabernacle before lunch. The uniform has not been found. If anyone has any information on this please contact Nadine Browning or someone at Lohn.

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