History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, 1884

John Coates Biography

John Coates, proprietor of the Hydraulic Iron and Engine-repairing Works, Erie, is a native of England, born Jan. 11, 1829, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Bernley} Coates, natives of England, who came to America, settling in Erie Co. in 1832. Benjamin was a mechanic and pattern-maker, and was at one time foreman of Johnson & Sennett's foundry, the first in Erie Co.; and was foreman for Vincent, Himrod & Co. when he died in 1850. He made the first pattern for a casting in this county.

They were parents of five children, three living - John, Samuel and Benjamin, all of whom reside in Erie City. Our subject completed his education in this county; is a practical mechanic, and, having devoted his whole life to his trade, thoroughly understands its fullest details. He was in the employment of Vincent, Himrod & Co. fifteen years: also worked for Sennett & Barr for a short time; he founded his present business twenty-five years ago, and has met with reasonable success. Mr. Coates manufactures water motors, and has two patents of his own, employing from four to six men. One of his inventions is "The Little Giant Organ Blower," a most perfect water power for operating the bellows of church organs.

Our subject was married in Erie Co., May 28. 1863, to Lucinda, daughter of Joel Weigel, a pioneer farmer of this county. To this union were born five children - Clara, Gertrude Howard, Florence and Della. Mrs. Coates is a member of the Central Presbyterian Church, as also are Clara, Gertrude and Howard.

Source: History of Erie County, Pennsylvania; City of Erie; Chicago; Warner, Beers & Co.; 1884

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