In 1993 the Bates home was relocated to the Plainsman Museum grounds. The house
has undergone extensive restoration and now gives visitors a glimpse of what
the house would have looked like when the Bates family lived in the home.
This article, written by T.L. Henion for the Omaha World Herald, appeared
in the Magazine of the Midlands March 11, 1990 - article used with permission
The movie "Glory" - nominated for five Oscars - is filling theaters across the country, its Civil War-era plot is based around the role of white Union officers in command of all-black regiments. A man who eventually became a leading citizen in Aurora, Nebr., after the war was such a man. Gen. Delevan Bates, a native of Richmondville, N.Y., commanded the 30th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, a unit that performed its duties with honor, according to records from the Nebraska State Historical Society. Bates, a colonel at the time, was seriously wounded in the war when a bullet entered his right cheek and exited from just under his left eye. His men pulled him to safety and Bates recovered with no lasting effects from the wound other than a scar on his right cheek. For his bravery and leadership, Bates was awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted to general. After the war, Bates and his wife moved to a 160-acre homestead near Aurora. They later moved to town, where Bates served two terms as Aurora's mayor and as a member of the city council. He was vice president of the First National Bank of Aurora. Bates also served as the Hamilton County superintendent of schools. Bates leadership and influence were prime factors in Aurora's incorporation as a town. Bates died in 1918 at age 78, still one of the town's leading citizens at the time of his death.
The Bates home is closed to the public from November 1 until April 1.