Edwin Cate, the pioneer merchant and one of Anita's most influential citizens, is a native of the "Empire State," having been born on the 6th day of November, 1831, in Orleans county, New York. He is the son of James and Margaret (Stancil) Cate the former a native of New Hampshire, the latter of New York. Soon after his marriage, James Gate located in Orleans county, where he resided until 1838, when he emigrated to Van Buren county, Michigan, being among the pioneers of that region. Edwin was at the time of this removal about seven years of age, and spent his early life among the woods of the, then, almost pathless wilderness. He grew to manhood and saw the country settle up, until, what they had found in a state of nature in the wildest mood, had grown into a state of highest cultivation. In 1852, Edwin was united in marriage with Martha Fuller, a daughter of Cyrenus Fuller, a native of New York, and one of the early settlers of Michigan. In the spring of 1869, Mr. Gate came to Iowa, bringing with him his widowed mother, his father having died in 1858 or 1859, and located at Hamlin's Grove, in Audubon county, where he entered into the mercantile trade. On the laying out of the town of Anita, in 1869, Mr. Gate removed thither, and in company with O. C. Keith, opened the first general merchandise store in the place, and has ever since held the position of leading merchant in that town. He was honored by his fellow citizens by being elected the first mayor of Anita, and has held other local offices of trust and responsibility. When Mr. Gate came here this was a wild country and perhaps there is not one other man in the eastern part of Cass county who has done so much to develop the resources, and lend a helping hand to those who have made Cass county what it is. Truly it may be said, without flattery of Mr. Gate, that he has been identified with the interests of Anita, with the interests of Cass county, from the time of his settlement here, and is considered as one of the most prosperous and trusted citizens. He has had seven children, three of whom are living--Frank, May and Harry.
Contributed by Lisa Varnes-Rex from "History of Cass County, Iowa. Together With Sketches of its Towns, Villages and Townships, Educational, Civil, Military and Political History: Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Old Settlers and Representative Citizens." Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Company, 1884, pg. 695-696.