- COATE, Marahelen+
- COATE, Margaret
- COATE, Albert Edward+
- COATE, Benjamin Dimmack+
- COATE, Robert (Bob) Leroy+
- COATE, Charles John+
- COATE, Warren Floyd+
- COATE, Richard Eugene+
- COATE, William (Bill) Donald+
- COATE, Shirley Ann+
COATE, Albert Pickering 1 2 3 4 5 6
- Born: Dec 12, 1887, Ludlow Falls, Miami, OH, USA 7
- Marriage: STEVENS, Maud on May 2, 1910 in Covington, Kenton, KY, USA
- Died: Jun 2, 1941, Trenton, Butler, OH, USA at age 53 1 8
- Buried: Jun 4, 1941, Woodside Cemetery, Middletown, Butler, OH, USA 9 8 10
Information about Albert P. is mostly from his children's memories, with some of it coming from insurance papers, deeds, and birth records.
When he was a child, he hated school and by the fifth grade his mother took a switch to him to get him to school. He was a very gentle and quiet man, the opposite of his wife in many ways. He was a very plain looking man and always very kind. His only fault mentioned was a quick temper. He went out of his way to help any person in need. He was the first of his family in Ohio to not be a practicing Quaker as an adult. He was a floor sander by trade and worked in all the counties surrounding his home. He also worked for what is now ARMCO, a steel rolling mill company. His job was to help turn the steel over and flip it onto a new line. When my dad was about nine, his father designed a device to automatically place the steel onto the new line. He showed the company his design and they said they had just gotten a patent on a similar device. They paid him $500.00 for his design. It was his design they actually built and this invention is still being used there today.
Some of what we know about Albert P. Coate comes from documents in his insurance files and my father, Albert Edward Coate. They rented one half of their Aunt's house in Piqua, Ohio when their first daughter was born. In the record of their 2nd stillborn daughter's birth in 1912, they lived at 696 Woodlawn, Middletown, Ohio. (C-DOC). They had moved to Baltimore St. in Middletown when their first son, Albert Edward was born. When Albert was 2 years old they tried to make a living by moving to the onion fields of northern Indiana. The summer brought a drought there and my father remembers living on potatoes and onions. It was a disaster and the Coate and Stevens families both moved back to Ohio after the first summer. Albert Pickering and his family then lived in Piqua, Ohio renting the house from their aunt again where Ben was born in 1916. Within a year, they moved to Trenton, Ohio on the opposite side of town that became their final home. Here Bob was born in 1917. They returned to Middletown on Franklin St. in 1919. About 1923, they returned to 113 John St. in Trenton where Albert P. Coate purchased the home I remember them living in for one thousand dollars. This is where he lived until the end of his life.
He was the third person to own a car in Trenton, Ohio. It was a Green Rio. His second car was a Model T. His young son Ben and a neighbor boy cut out the icing glass in it's windows when it was brand new. (C-687) On Sept. 13, 1934, he bought a Ford 28 Roadster from Lebanon Motor Sales for $95.00.(C-284) The final home belonging to Albert P. and Maud Stevens Coate at 113 John St., in Trenton, Ohio was sold in 1976 when Maud Coate moved to Columbus. It was listed at a cost of $23,500.00 with Jack Hembree Real Estate. (C:DOC-20)
Albert P. was known as a very friendly man. My father says "he never knew an enemy". People came from miles around to honor him at his funeral. It was one of the largest the town ever held and was packed with the people he'd befriended and an overflowing abundance of flowers. Twenty five years after his death, my father ran into a member of his community who commented on his dad's funeral and then said in a soft, sweet voice, "There was a fine.... man." He obviously touched people's hearts. One of his newspaper obituaries says that he had been ill since the November previous to his death and had been bedridden for the last three months. My father remembers his death occurring at the young age of 54 due to liver cancer. Apparently Albert P.'s smoking and years of exposure to floor sanding products got to his liver. My father, Albert Edward, stayed with him the night before he died. He died the next morning with the whole family gathered around him including his sister Mamie and her husband, Joe. His funeral service was held at the United Presbyterian Church with James P. Sturgeon and J.E. Amstutz (a Mennonite and close friend of the family) officiating. (C-284, 285, 2108) His death certificate says he died at age 53 years, 7 months and 21 days. It also says he was born on Nov 12, 1887, but his funeral book says he was born on Oct. 12, 1887 and his birth certificate says he was born on Dec. 12, 1887. The later is more likely to be correct. His son Benjamin was the person who gave the information for his death certificate and his memory on this subject might not have been accurate. His birth record would have been added closest to the event. (C: DOC)
The following is a biographical piece done by Richard Coate, son of Albert Pickering Coate about his father.
ALBERT PICKERING COATE - INTELLIGENT, RESOURCEFUL AND INVENTIVE.
"As we all know, Dad was not a man of great means at the time he married Mom; however, an overall view of his history as a provider for his family reveals him to have been an intelligent, resourceful, and inventive man whose attempt to improve his circumstance and exercise a degree of control his own destiny was often foiled by the climate of the times in which he lived as well those who would exploit him for their own gain. That he was a man of deep humility was evident to all that knew him, due in large part to his Quaker upbringing. That he was capable of overcoming the many obstacles he confronted through the years is a testament to his tenacity, resilience and strength of character. The pride and devotion to his family predominated all else. Considered by some to be a "dreamer" he was actually a man of considerable vision. Despite the error in judgment in quitting school at an early age, he was nonetheless determined to overcome the handicap by making his mark in the world.
(In) 1915, when Marahelen and Albert were five and two respectively, Dad and Mom, along with members of the [Kaufman family] in Piqua, Ohio spent a hot, dry and unproductive summer in the Onion fields in Indiana. Though I don't know how many children they had at the time Dad and his younger brother John, owned a company for the manufacture of decorated cement blocks, they were still residing in Piqua. It must have been disheartening when Dad learned that Uncle John took off for Mexico with the $7000.00 in company funds. When the Company was forced to close down for lack of sufficient operating funds, Dad, was again confronted with a crisis. Not one to bear a grudge, with passing time Dad apparently forgave his brother, for I recall the times Dad visited Uncle John at his home in Hamilton, Oh. However, as long as Mom lived she never had a good word to say about her brother-in-law. Though it is not known when he became an employee of the steel manufacturing company which became known as Armco in Middletown, Oh., Dad's inventive mind became a boon to his employer. In 1922, he was paid $ 1,000.00 for an invention of a means whereby a sheet of steel was automatically placed onto a new line in the manufacturing process. After he paid the man whom supplied material and the money to develop the invention, his profit only amounted to $5,00.00. Revolutionary as the process proved to be, the $1000.00 was still pittance in comparison to the boon it proved to be for his employer. The amount of money and time in labor it saved them is inestimable. Apparently Dad used some of the money to purchase the house on 113 John Street in Trenton, which became our home until Mom sold it in 1976. It was still in the boom years of the '20s when Dad left Armco. He apparently used some of the money to invest in a new business of his own. Dad would continue in the floor sanding business until his death.
However, during the early depression years, floor sanders or refinishers as they were sometimes referred to, were not in great demand. Confronted with yet another personal financial crisis, Dad again confronted the challenge with the courage and resourcefulness that was akin to his nature. Though I have vague recall of Dad loading blocks of ice containing frozen fish onto the fender of his car, I was not old enough to appreciate what he did with them after he pulled out of our driveway. The older boys in the family no doubt recall that Dad hawked the fish as one source of income. He purchased the fish encased in ice blocks at the fish market in Middletown, Oh. Securing the blocks on either fender of the front bumper of his truck, he proceeded through the streets of Trenton and Middletown, calling out for all to hear. "Fresh fish for sale, Fresh fish for sale. Get them before their gone!" Warren tells me that he did this for several winters in those early depression years. By the time the Depression began to ease up, Dad was back at floor sanding full time. As all the boys in the family learned the business, we had good reason to be proud of our father. By the mid-thirties, word had spread about the pride he took in his work as well as his work ethic. Always an advocate of a fair business deal, his client's invariably recommended his work to others. By the time ill health forced him to retire, his territory expanded to include Middletown, Hamilton, Lebanon, Franklin, Oxford, the outskirts of Cincinnati and Dayton, Oh. His clients included business people, owners of luxurious farm homes as well as those of city dwellers. As a boy, I found the diversity of his clients exciting and it always proved to be an adventure to work in these great houses I would never have seen had it not been for Dad's choice of occupation.
As the invention for Armco Steel had lasting impact, Dad was sure that his invention for a more efficient floor sanding machine would lift him from the economic woes which plagued him for most of his married life. The invention was intended to render the machine more efficient in operation and less time consuming in the achievement of the desired result - a smooth, magnificent finish intended to endure for years. I recall the many arduous hours Dad spent working on the invention with his partner, Gink in "Gink's garage." Gink [short for Gingerich] was a long time, and highly respected Trenton resident. Dad, in the late '30s, employed Gink's hearing impaired son. Unfortunately, Dad's illness halted work on the invention, so a patent was never issued. Though some of my older brothers often referred to Dad as a dreamer, he was, in my mind, a true visionary. As one with proven ability to conceive ways to improve productivity in a manufacturing process ranked him well above those who readily accept status quo as norm. Had he not been felled so early in life, I am sure that a patent on the invention for improving the sanding machine would have resulted in the financial boon he deserved.
And I might add, as a kid whose formative years were during the hard times of the Great Depression, I was not a little envious of those who could afford to live so well. And it was a proud moment for me to walk hand in hand with Dad through the streets of Trenton, passing towns people who invariably addressed him, "Hello, Mr. Coate. How's the family." Dad would always respond with a warm smile, nodding in the affirmative, replying "Just fine, thank you."
The occupational hazards of working with material giving off toxic fumes would take its toll. In 1939 when his health began to fail, Ben, a student at Ohio State University, having established his own floor sanding business in Columbus, Oh. was able to supplement Dad's diminishing income. By summer of 1940 Dad was no longer able to work and the burden of supporting the family fell upon the older boys. Given the circumstance at home, Bill, Shirley and myself would spend a year away from home, Bill living with Aunt Grace and Uncle Corey in Akron, Oh., Shirley with Marahelen and Charles in Ashville, NC, and I with Ben's business partner's family, the Renwick's of Uhrichsville, Oh.
[Though I could never relate this experience to Charles at the time I wrote the letter, by late May of 1941 we returned home to discover that Dad's weight was so reduced that he was a mere shadow of his former self. The day before he died, Dad summoned me to his bedside to read from the 23rd psalm from his bible. It was an experience I treasure. That he had singled me out for so private a moment so near his death was a defining one. During my first days as a combat rifleman, I would have reason to recall that an ennobling experience with Dad. I, too, would seek comfort by repeating the 23rd psalm. On a post card to Betty I would inform her of my assignment, my address and state, "If I've repeated the 23rd psalm once, I've repeated it a hundred times this past day." ]
Dawn of June 2, 1941 is one I shall never forget. Marahelen's gentle hand shaking me, her insistent voice commanded me to wake up. Her speech had taken on a soft southern inflection. "Wake up Dick, wake up, your Daddy's dyin.'" I recall racing downstairs to join the entire family, including Helen Schenck, Aunt Mamie and Uncle Joe, who were gathered around his bed at the moment of his passing.
It was a sad day for all of us. Dad was dearly loved and respected and the impact of his life upon his immediate family, relatives and a vast array of friends, business associates and clients, accounts for the huge turn of those who came to pay their respects at his funeral."
Noted events in his life were:
• Occupation. Floorsander
• Probate, Dec 30, 1947, , Butler, OH, USA.
• Birth2, Oct 12, 1887. 1
Albert married Maud STEVENS, daughter of John STEVENS and Keturah (Kitty) DIMMACK, on May 2, 1910 in Covington, Kenton, KY, USA. (Maud STEVENS was born on May 14, 1892 in Dayton, Montgomery, OH, USA,10 11 died on Mar 27, 1982 in Columbus, Franklin, OH 11 12 and was buried on Mar 30, 1982 in Woodside Cemetery, Middletown, Butler, OH, USA 9 10.)