Leon E. Bates

Mr. Bates was an “army brat,” meaning he was born to a parent serving in the United States Army (his father was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana at the time of his birth). He attended the Indianapolis Public Schools and graduated from Northwest High School. Later he attended IUPUI and IVY Tech Indianapolis.

Mr. Bates has held his Master’s Electrical License since 1989.  Prior to earning his license, he accumulated 17 years experience working in the field of commercial, industrial, and institutional electrical systems. Mr. Bates is a Member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, (IBEW Local # 481), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and he is an active sitting member of the Indianapolis Electrical Licensing Board. Mr. Bates currently serves as an Assistant Troop Leader for Boy Scout Troop #35 in Indianapolis.

Growing up in a close net family with long memories and a penchant for telling an interesting story, it was inevitable that he would develop a deep interest for history. He came to genealogy 10 years ago, but those few years have been interesting, fun, and informative. Besides researching and learning about his own family, which he has traced back to the Civil War on his mother's side, he is currently researching his paternal grandfather, who was one of the first African American paid union organizers in the United Auto Workers Union, and the very first African American to hold this distinction in Indianapolis. Leon is also currently researching the story of the first African American Indianapolis Police Officer killed in the line of duty in Indianapolis.