Kate Gleason was an amazing lady. At an early age she began helping out in her father, William’s machine shop. First she was bookkeeper but she also was interested in machine production. That is why she went to Cornell University to learn mechanics. But she never finished there. Instead she went back to help with the financial part of the family business. She then became Secretary/Treasurer of the business. She also went to Europe to successfully sell the gear making machines of the company. During this time she also did take more mechanics courses at the Mechanics Institute (now Rochester Institute of Technology)
In 1913 she quit the family business because of arguments with her brother on how to run the business. The next year she was made receiver of a bankruptcy of Ingle Machine Company in East Rochester. Her running of that business put it back in good financial condition.
At the time of the following newspaper article, she was becoming a champion of the Village of East Rochester. The park land that she donated became Edmund Lyon Park near the center of the Village.
In 1917 Kate Gleason became the President of the First National Bank of East Rochester. About 1919 she designed poured concrete homes that are in a section of East Rochester called Concrest. These homes came complete with everything new home owners would need for the price of $4000. Her innovated home design was used in a couple other places in the US.
Kate never married so when she died in 1933 she left her fortune to Cornell and Rochester Institute of Technology and other organizations.
THE MONROE COUNTY MAIL
Thursday, April 27, 1916
EAST ROCHESTER RECEIVES A FINE GIFT
Four Hundred Lots and Seven Acre Park Donated for Village Improvement by Miss Kate Gleason and Contractors.
East Rochester, April 25.—A gift of 400 lots and a seven-acre park to the village of East Rochester, was announced at a citizen’s meeting held at the High school, Monday night, under the auspices of the East Rochester Board of Trade. The donors are Miss Kate Gleason of Penfield, and Ransom & Smith, contractors of East Rochester. Miss Gleason’s share of the gift is 315 lots and the park.
The lots are to be sold and the proceeds used in promoting the industrial development of East Rochester. A campaign to bring about a large development is on foot, with parctically every business interest od East Rocheste co-operating..
Recently Miss Gleason invested about $150,000 in real estate in east Rochester. She became interested in village affairs through Harry C. Eyer, president of the First National Bank of East Rochester. Miss Gleason sees a bright future for the village and has enlisted the support of the financial interests here in carrying through a campaign for the bringing of factories to the village and the substantial enlargement of those now here.
The lots that were given to the village are valued at about $300 each. the villagers were asked to assist in their sale, so that an industrial fund of $120,000 may be created. No money is to be made with the industrial fund. It is to be used solely for the purpose of bringing industries to the village, furnishing them free sites, and in some instances buildings, and in other ways giving them financial encouragement.
Miss Gleason’s holding in the village include nearly a thousand vacant lots and a thrifty-acre factory site. She already has has interested two concerns in moving to east Rochester. Buildings are in the course of construction for these industries and will be occupied as soon as they are completed.
Industries of a diversified character are sought for the village. In announcing the gift of the lots. Mr. Eyer, through his representatives, W. D. Hawes, said that Miss Gleason and he would pay the taxes on the lots until they are sold. This amounts to a matter of $1,000 a year. No strings are attached to the lots given to the village, and it is specifically stated that the proceeds are to be used only for industrial development..