Louis D. Bates and Carolyn Cutler were married in Houston, Texas on November 24, 1959. Louis was son of long-time Houston County residents Louis H. and Ruby (Adams) Bates. Ruby was a direct descendant of Civil War veteran Archie Adams, who settled in Houston County in the 1800’s. Carolyn was born in Grapeland to Roscoe and Alma Lee Cutler, whose families were also Houston County natives. Louis and Carolyn returned to Grapeland in 1966 with their two small children, Jana, age 5, and David, age 2, and bought the Henry Dailey estate on Sciuth Main Street. Louis accepted a position with the Grapeland Independent School District where he has remained for 20 years. Carolyn went to work for the school in 1970 when David entered the first grade. She worked 12 years as secretary to the high school principal and the director of special education. She jokingly tells David that she “went through school” with him, it just took her a month longer to graduate. She then took a position as Marketing Officer with First State Bank, Grapeland. Louis began his career in Grapeland as the high school girls’ basketball coach and biology teacher. During his three years in this position, the basketball girls won district and bi-district and went to regional every year, and in the 1967-68 season, took their first ever trip to the state basketball tournament. The Bates family spent so much time in the basketball gym in those early years, that young David asked as the offering plate was passed in church, “Is it half-time?” In July, 1969, Louis accepted the High School Principal position, as well as continuing to teach some of the science classes. During his tenure as principal, the Grapeland schools executed the integration process, and because of his strong commitment to fairness, handled it with more efficiency and less complication than any other school in the area. Louis then moved into the Superintendent position in October, 1973. During the 13 years that he has held this office, he has brought the school through financial difficulties into a secure position of no outstanding debt, and strong financial reserves. His established leadership capabilities have extended into many service areas, including President of the Grapeland Lions Club in 1975, President of Texas Association of School Administrators, Region VI in 1984-85, Secretary- Treasurer of the Grapeland Unit of the Salvation Army from 1973 to 1984, Board of Directors for the Houston- Trinity County Resource Education Cooperative and Federal Teachers Credit Union in 1985-86, as well as numerous executive positions on the county, district, regional and state levels. He is highly respected for his educational proficiency, strong moral character and loyal dedication to the Grapeland Independent School District Both of the Bates children attended the Grapeland schools for 12 years. Jana graduated Valedictorian in 1979 and continued her education at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1982. She married Gary Dickeson in the Downes-Aldrich House in Crockett in 1983 and moved to Gary’s hometown of Henderson, Texas. David graduated in 1982 and moved to Dallas where he earned a certification at Control Data Institute and became a computer programmer. In 1985 he decided to further his education, and returned home to pursue a business degree at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he plans to graduate in 1988. The Louis Bates family has been an active part of the Grapeland community for 20 years, with ancestral roots in Houston County that go much deeper. Their commitment to the Grapeland Independent School District and to First Baptist Church has had a positive influence on the lives of hundreds of the children and young adults of our community.