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The Iceman Cometh

In the attic is a large chest with Oriental designs. Among the items in the chest is a file folder belonging to Joseph Wakeman Mather, Stephen T. Mather’s father. The file contains invoices received and paid by Joseph Wakeman Mather.

Among the invoices are several from Edgar T. Bates for ice. In June of 1898 for 420 pounds and in July for 625 pounds—all for a total of $3.24.

Edgar T. Bates was a neighbor of the Mathers, residing on Gracie Street, which is now Brookside Road. In the 1910 census, his occupation is listed as Proprietor-Ice House.

But where did Edgar Bates get his ice? The answer to that may be in the attic as well. In a decorated tin box is an 1899 lease agreement between David N. Mather (Joseph Wakeman Mather’s nephew) and Edgar T. Bates leasing a portion of his property from October to April each year…

“only for said purposes of flowing said land with water as an ice pond, for the making of ice…the said Lessor has, and shall have a privilege of taking not more than fifty (50) tons of ice from the pond after the Lessee has taken all the ice he desires to take…”

The annual rent, to be paid on October 1st of each year was $25.00.

Edgar Theodore Bates died in 1923 and is buried in the Mather Cemetery. David Nelson Mather died in 1926; Joseph Wakeman Mather in 1905. Both are buried in the Mather Cemetery as well.

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