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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Adair County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Dr. William M. Gates is a farmer and stock raiser, formerly a practicing physician and surgeon, of Polk Township. He was born in Miami County, Ohio, in 1819, on August 7, and is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Bailey) Gates. Jacob was a native of Maine, and of English ancestry, being a descendant of one of the old Puritan families. The grandfather, Benjamin Gates, was born in New England, but was one of the early pioneers of Ohio, where his name was prominently associated with the defenders against the Indians. When a boy, Jacob went with his father to Ohio, and there joined Gen. Wayne in some of his famous expeditions against the Indians in Indiana and Ohio. He was married in a block-house at Fort Wayne, Ind., about the close of the War of 1812. He located on a land warrant in Miami County, Ohio, where he reared his family of five children, our subject being the eldest of three sons and two daughters. He died while engaged in farming, in 1829. His wife was born in Indiana, and died in Shelby County, Ohio, in 1841. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years. The Doctor did not receive many educational advantages when a youth, but started out in life, about the age of fourteen, by learning the blacksmith’s trade, which, however, he did not follow, but renewed his labor on the farm. After reaching manhood, and even after his first marriage, he acquired a taste for the medical profession, and determined to educate and fit himself for that calling. In 1848 he graduated from R. M. Bartlett’s Business College of Cincinnati, Ohio, but in the meantime had been studying medicine, beginning to practice in 1849. He graduated from the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1853, and practiced in that State until 1854, when he came to Adair County, Mo., and located in Polk Township, where he continued to practice for a great many years. With the exception of about six years between 1876 and 1882, spent in Jasper County, he has since made his home at this place. In 1858 he was elected to represent Adair County in the Lower House of the State Legislature. In 1861 he was appointed regiment surgeon of the Twenty-second Missouri Volunteer, serving until the next year, when he was appointed enrolling officer for Adair County. He was also provost marshal and lieutenant-colonel of the post located at Kirksville. He was reared a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Van Buren, but since the war has been a Republican, and has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1843. He was married in 1839 to Miss Ruth Julian, a native of Shelby County, Ohio, and they had five children: Erastus Oscar, Silas (deceased), Hannah E. (wife of C. T. Kimble, of Cass County, Mo.), Mary A. (wife of Charles J. Harrison, of Carthage), and Dr. William F. (a practicing physician in California, and a graduate of the American Medical College of St. Louis). Mrs. Gates died in 1876, and January 29, 1883, he married Emma W., daughter of Thompson and Susan Adams, who was born in Schuyler County, in 1848. They have had one child, Roscoe Everett. The Doctor is now located near Sublett, where he has a fine farm of 320 acres, the result of his own labor, which has also enabled him to give each of his children a good farm.

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This family biography is one of 150 biographies included in the Adair County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam, and Schuyler Counties, Missouri published in 1888 by Goodspeed Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Adair County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Adair County, Missouri family biographies here: Adair County, Missouri Biographies

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