Mr. Benjamin E Bates

Benjamin E. Bates, July 12, 1808-1878, was born in Mansfield Massachusetts, one of seven children. He attended the Academy in Wrentham MA. He co-founded at a dry goods store in Boston called Bates& Turner. In 1847 he traveled to Lewiston seeking new opportunities ( He financed the building of textile mills as well as the canals that are in the down town area today.  Bates Manufacturing Company was born in the 1850s when he built his first water powered textile mill along the Androscoggin River. The first mill was opened in 1854. (Ebel). His contributions did not end with the mills he helped fund the Lewiston Water Power Company established by himself and the Little Family as well as the first city bank ( He also gave money toward education in 1864 Bates College formally the Maine State Seminary was named in his honor.


“…Mr. Bates wanted labor for our laborers, education for our children, places of worship for our worshipers, light for our streets, water for our houses, and a hospital for our sick and our dying” President Cheney (
Hawthorn Hall Bates College