Joel Bates
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Joel Bates

Joel Bronsen Bates and Mary Salome Bates were married soon after the Civil War during which he served his country with a regiment from Wisconsin. He was only 18 years of age at the time. However, as the Northern soldiers were allowed to vote at that age, he cast his first vote for President Lincoln. Joe B. Bates was in every respect a loyal American. It was his proud boast that he cast his first vote for President Lincoln, and that he had never missed voting at the election of a U.S. President all through the years. He was about 86 at the time of his death. Many were the thrilling tales he told of his experiences during the Civil War, during which time he drove mules hauling ammunition to the front lines.

Mary Salome Bates was endowed with indomitable courage combined with wonderful kindliness and Christian charity, and with the efficiency and thrift attributed to the "Pennsylvania Dutch" of her home state.

She dearly loved flowers and there are some even now who may remember her lovely old-fashioned flower garden. Often persons driving by would stop to admire her flowers and want to buy a bouquet. She loved to give them away but often said, "I couldn’t bear to take money for my flowers. I enjoy giving them to people who really like them."

In the early days she was the only "doctor" available to this locality, and assisted a goodly number of future citizens to join the world. She would take trips into the country in all types of weather when a call came for her assistance. She told of one trip which she considered her hardest. It was during a very hard winter, bitter cold and the snow was very deep. She usually made her trips on horseback but decided that a horse could not make it, and would be a long time floundering in the snow. Her destination was a home far beyond the Lowden Road as it is now called. It was quite dark and a cougar was following her from tree to tree with terrifying screams. She finally reached the house in time to deliver a baby, and remained there to make her home trip by daylight.

The Joel Bates family lived in South Dakota before moving to Nebraska to start farming. After losing what promised to be a "bumper" crop for two years in succession through hail storms, they decided to come to Oregon. So with their family of five children, Abbey, Charles, Louis, Edith and Gilbert, they arrived in Oregon in 1886.

The family lived for a short time in what is now the Hurlburt district while looking for a piece of land where they might settle permanently. They found what appealed to them in what is now Springdale, bought forty acres from the Railroad Company. They had only to cross the road to find deer and other game. They started clearing land, built a comfortable seven-room house, a barn, and planted a fine orchard. Later they operated a small dairy and raised stock.

Edith died not long after the came to Oregon. Other members of the family later left the farm. Gilbert remained with his parents to carry on. Mary S. Bates died in 1913, preceding her husband in death by several years.

In 1912 Gilbert married Alice Oregan from Montreal, Canada. There were four children: Robert, Mary, Roderick and Catherine. Both boys served in World War II, Robert in the Merchant Marine, Roderick in the Armed Forces. Roderick died in 1947, Robert died in 1959. Mary and Catherine live with their mother on the old homesite at Springdale.

Harold Bates, grandson of Joel B. Bates, and son of the late Louis Bates, lives at McMinnville. His family consists of his wife, Emma, their son Thomas and wife Patricia, and small daughter Jean, who also live at McMinnville." --unsigned

[Source:  Submitted by Dorothy Keefe, from a compendium of biographies hand typed and distributed by the East Multnomah Pioneer Association in about 1972, pp. 35-37. ]

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