Gates, William James (1815-1900)

Among those who, having spent a long and busy life in eastern states, have come to California for their declining years, are W. J. Gates and his wife.  The former was born in Richmond, Berkshire Co., Mass., May 19, 1815, and was married to the latter, who was then Emily P. Hall, in Ohio, March 4, 1842.  Mrs. Gates was born in Ohio, but her family came also from New England.  Mr. Gates was educated in select schools in Massachusetts and spent a year at Oberlin college.  He also taught school for a time.  After marriage Mr. and Mr. Gates lived in Ohio until 1853, when they moved to southwestern Iowa, then in the wilderness still inhabited by the Indians.  There they followed farming until they came to Redlands to reside, arriving in California Christmas eve, 1887.  Mr. and Mrs. Gates had been here a year and a half before, on a short visit to a son then residing in California.  The town of Tabor, the place in which Mr. and Mrs. Gates lived in Iowa, was John Brown’s headquarters during a portion of the border slavery troubles, and was the scene of some stirring events in which Mr. Gates was a participant.


Mr. and Mrs. Gates have eight living children, three of whom are living in California, a son in Redlands, a daughter at home and another daughter at Dos Palos. Of the remaining children one is living in Kansas, one in Nebraska, one in Iowa, one at Ashtabula, Ohio, and one in Omaha.  Mr. and Mrs. Gates are members of the Terrace Congregational church.  Since they came to Redlands the 55th anniversary of their marriage has come and gone, finding them both in the enjoyment of health in old age and the peaceful remembrances of a life well spent.


(Source: Illustrated Redlands, 1897, p. 31)