Dr. W. A. Cater was born May 13, 1854 in Barnesville, Ohio and being the son of a Methodist minister, he lived in many places in his youth. When he became a doctor he practiced in Macomb, Illinois, Edina, Missouri, and Greensburg, Kansas before coming to Marceline in 1888.
Dr. and Mrs. Cater and their three sons made their first home where the O. H. O’Connor house now stands. A daughter, Ruth, was born here. In 1893, Dr. Cater built a larger house on the corner of Lake Street and Kansas Avenue. This house was moved in 1929 to its present location just west of the overhead bridge to make room for Dr. and Mrs. Roy Cater to build their new home.
In 1888, Marceline had two business sections, one on East Lake Street and the other on Santa Fe Avenue from the tracks to west of the Methodist Church. Dr. Cater bought lots at two corners of Kansas Avenue and Howell Street and built Cater Block No. 1 in 1889, which building is still standing and Cater Block No. 2 where the Opera House was built. In the pioneer days, two adjoining buildings were called blocks. This intersection has always been considered the hub of the business district.
The first Cater Drugstore, established in 1893, was located where the Ben Franklin Store is now. Harry Pinney, half brother of Mrs. Cater clerked in this store. In 1908, the drug store was moved to the location now occupied by Elmo’s Pharmacy and became known as R. M. Cater and Company. Don Cater was the pharmacist in this store until his death in 1917.
Jim Flanner was employed as manager and pharmacist and held this position until his death in 1931 at which time Willett Clawson became manager. Mr. Clawson held this position until he purchased his own store in Cameron. Elmo Buck started working in the store in 1930 and later when the store became M. Cater and Company, he was manager until the store’s existence ended in the fire of January, 1957.
Dr. W. A. Cater practiced medicine in Marceline from 1888 until a year before his death in June, 1917. He was the second mayor of Marceline.
Dr. Roy Cater practiced medicine from the time he graduated from the American Medical College in St. Louis in 1906 until his death in February, 1932. He was mayor from 1926 to 1930. He was State Representative (Republican) from Linn County in 1928 and 1929.
Mrs. W. A. Cater died in February, 1918 and Bruce Cater in September. 1949.