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Easter Lily Gates Collection

Identifier: 2021.1

Scope and Contents

The Easter Lily Gates Collection contains correspondence, photographs, printed materials, maps, prayer books, awards, political and election materials documenting the professional and personal life of Easter Lily Gates.


  • 1898 - 1982

Conditions Governing Use

The Easter Lily Gates Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Easter Lily Biblo Gates was born on April 21, 1889, in Des Moines, Iowa to parents Elijah and Etta Biblo. Easter Lily Gates travelled west with her family by covered wagon to Utah and Nevada. She made hats as a store clerk at 17 years old. On January 20, 1910, she married George Peter Gates.

Easter and George Gates moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1918. They had two sons named Robert and Theodore. In 1926, Easter Lily saved her family in a severe hurricane by carrying her husband and two sons to the second floor of their home; they lost everything they owned and two weeks later her husband died from anemia. To provide for her children, Gates became Broward County’s first female bus driver. In 1928, she ran for and won the Supervisor of Elections job. She maintained this position for 40 years, from 1929 to 1969. Easter Lily Gates registered Broward County’s first Seminole and African-American voters.

Easter Lily Gates retired in 1969 at 80 years old. At 92 years old, she moved to Tampa, Florida and Thomasville, Georgia to live with her sons. Easter Lily Gates entered a nursing home in Tampa before her death. She died in February 1985.


33 Hollinger Boxes

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into 6 series: Series I. Correspondence, Series II. Professional Papers, Series III. Personal Papers, Series IV. Printed Materials, Series V. Awards, and Series VI. Ephemera.

Processing Information

This collection received file level processing. This finding aid may be updated to reflect new descriptions as well as acquisitions to the collection.

Easter Lily Gates Collection
Emily Calderon
April 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script

Repository Details

Part of the Broward County Historical Archives Repository

100 S Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale Florida 33301 United States