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Gates, Luther

Luther Gates is one of the old and honored citizens of Beaver township, Crawford county, and for the past thirty-three years his home has been on tile farm which he still owns and cultivates. He has always been a good and patriotic citizen, in times of peace and war alike, and has taken an active and interested part in public affairs bearing upon the welfare of this community. His influence is not small in local matters, and from time to time he has been called upon to serve in minor offices of trust. In politics he is a stalwart Republican, but is not an office-seeker. During a period of three years he represented this county in tile state board of agriculture, and to everything bearing upon the subject of farming he gives intelligent consideration.

Calvin Gates, whose birth occurred in Herkimer county, New York, was the father of the subject of this sketch. He was reared upon a farm and in his young manhood removed to Chautauqua county, New York. There he was married and there engaged in agricultural pursuits up to 1836, when he became one of the early residents of Beaver township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania. At that time there was not a rod of graded road or a bridge in the township, and he was one of the first to institute improvements. He took up two hundred acres of land on the present site of Beaver Center and continued to improve and cultivate this property until shortly before his death, at the age of eighty years. For years he occupied various township offices, and among his neighbors was looked up to as an authority on disputed questions. He was a Republican, and was a devoted member of the Christian church. His father, Luther Gates, was a native of Newport, Rhode Island, and grew to man’s estate there. Later he was married in Rensselaer county, New York, He was a hero of two wars, and though he was a mere lad when the Revolutionary war came on,—perhaps fourteen years of age,—he enlisted as a drummer-boy and served for the entire seven years of the conflict. He was a witness of General Israel Putnam’s famous ride on horseback down the stone steps at Horseneck, in Connecticut. During the war of 1812 he acted in the capacity of a drum-major. Death claimed him when he was about sixty-five years of age. His father, Joseph, was a native of New England, as is believed, and was of English extraction.

The mother of the subject of this article bore the maiden name of Caroline Hubbard. She was born in East Bloomfield, New York, and removed to Pomfret township, Chautauqua county, same state, when she was young. Her father, Jonathan Hubbard, was a farmer and was one of the strict old “blue” Presbyterians of his generation. He never failed to go to church, some five miles away, taking his whole family with him, the journey being made with an ox team. In 1836 they removed to this county and settled near Conneautville. Mrs. Gates began teaching in district schools when she was seventeen years of age and was thus occupied up to the date of her marriage. Subsequent to that event she began housekeeping on a farm near Dunkirk, New York, and remained there several years. Though now past eighty-eight years, she is quite active, reads a great deal and possesses all her faculties. She has always been a faithful member of the Christian church.

Luther Gates was born April 5, 1834, in Pomfret township, Chautauqua county, and was but two years old when his parents brought him to this township. He received a good education, supplementing his common-school course by a short term at the Grand River Institute, Austinburg, Ohio, after which he taught for one term in this county. He did not like this vocation, however, and for the next four years followed carpentering. Then he purchased a farm in this township, at Beaver Center, and in 1866 came to his present homestead.

In 1861 he responded to his country’s call, and enlisted in the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry, for three years’ service. He remained at his post of duty for the entire time, and participated in many of the most important campaigns of the war. Among others, he fought in the battle of Gettysburg and the second battle of Bull Run; was with Grant in the Wilderness and took part in the famous siege of Petersburg. At Bull Run he was injured by the falling of a horse upon him. Since the war he has been a member of the State Police and Home Guards, of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and is a charter member of Springboro Post, No. 346, G. A. R., of Springboro, Crawford county. He and his wife were very active in the organization of Harmony Grange in their township and they are both workers in the Christian church, with whose interests they are prominently identified.

In 1854 Mr. Gates married Miss Mary West of Beaver Center, Crawford county, Pennsylvania. They have three children, namely: Ida, wife of M. B. Malloy; Florence, Mrs. Frank A. Boyce, and Ernest A., who is still at home on the farm. Mrs. Gates is a daughter of Matthew West, a native of Rensselaer county, New York. He came to this state about 1836, settling in Erie county, and in 1853 he became a resident of this township. Here he dwelt, engaged in farming until 1891, when he removed to Clark Corners, Ohio. where he is still living, in his ninety-third year. His father, William West was born in 1761, in Rhode Island, was a soldier in the Revolution, and died in Rensselaer county, New York, in 1835. His father, Francis West, was a fisherman on the New England coast, his home being at Newport. He was of English lineage and held a commission as justice under the king.

Our county and its people: a historical and memorial record of Crawford County, Pennsylvania by Samuel P. Bates, 1899, pages 696-698.

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