After making up his mind to come to America, young Coates secured a passage on the sailing vessel "Washington" at Liverpool, which after a voyage of fourteen days, landed him safely in the city of New York. Thence he came directly to this county and secured employment on a farm until he was enabled to commence operations for himself on rented land. In this latter manner he was occupied five years with satisfactory results, and then purchased 100 acres of improved land, near Pisgah station. A few years later he purchased forty acres additional and continuing prosperous, later purchased 243 acres. All of this land is now well improved and he has one of the most desirable homesteads in his township.
Our subject is the son of Jonathan and Ann (Robinson) Coates, the former of whom was born in 1751 and died at the age of eighty-five years. The mother was born in 1801, and died in 1888, at the age of eighty-seven years and nine months. Both were natives of Yorkshire where they spent their entire lives, the father engaged in farming. The parental household included ten children, six of whom are living, and of whom our subject is the youngest. William married Miss Jane Lightfoot, is the father of one daughter - Victoria A., and carries on farming in his native county of York. Amos married a Miss Thompson and lives in Jacksonville where he owns a farm. They have one daughter, Sarah, who is the wife of William Conkling, a merchant of Springfield, and they have two children. Carbulious married Harriet Vasey, and is carrying on farming and stock-raising in Scott County, this State; they have seven children - Louisa, Clara, Anna, Rosa, Rebecca, Robert and Prince Albert. Louisa married William Goodell, a coachman of Yorkshire and lives there.
At the time Mr. Coates came to this county, there had been considerable headway made toward a settlement, although the people were by no means independently wealthy. He in common with his neighbors, labored early and late in the development of his farm and like many of them, has become well-to-do, with a sufficiency for his old age. Politically, he is a sound Democrat, but aside from doing his duty at the polls, meddles very little with public affairs. He is a man prompt to meet his obligations and one whose word is considered as good as his bond.