The BATES Family
Before we go into this story, I need to put a disclaimer in:
There is a Genealogy researcher, who is also tracing the Bates family line, who believes that the Joseph Bates of this story is being confused with another Joseph Bates and that the two stories are intertwined. He does not believe that Jonathan, as mentioned in this story is the father of Joseph. He believes that the Joseph, who married Mehitable and is the father of the 8 children listed was born after 1790 instead of what all the records I have found (albeit records that others have put online, but with no proof). I have searched and searched for the correct records. In the meantime, this is what I believe the genealogy of Joseph Bates is down to the Mary Bates who married my great great grandfather Cyrus Barrett. Irregardless of his ancestry, the story of Joseph Bates in the second paragraph is about my ancestor. I am proud to be a descendent of this brave man who took to the wilderness of Ohio to provide a decent home for his family.
From The Story of Joseph Bates of the Eb Line compiled and written by John K. Maddy:
"Joseph Bates was born 24 February, 1787 in Randolph, Orange County VT. He was the son of Jonathan Bates and Mehitable Wiloughby, (Edward of Boston, John, John, Edward, John, Jonathan.) After the Revolutionary War Jonathan and Mehitable left Massachusetts for Vermont where Joseph was born. As a young man Joseph moved from VT to Canada where he married Harriet Dodge. Some of their 8 children (Truman, Thomas, Joseph Jr., James, Harriet m. Theron Landon, Belinda m. Warren Hancock, Mary m. Cyrus Barrett, Elizabeth m. Hiram Alvord) were born there but in 1817 the family moved to Cattaraugus Co. NY where Joseph Bates Jr. was born. Later they moved to Ohio where son James was born in 1823. In 1832 they moved to Williams Co. (later Fulton Co.) in Ohio."
The following story is taken from the Borton and Mason Family Genealogy by Freeman C. Mason MD., published in 1908. Early Settlers of Williams Co. Ohio:
"One of the first settlers within the present limits of Franklin and the old limits of Brady townships was Joseph Bates and Family, who in 1832 settled on the s.e. quarter of section 2, township 7 north, range 4 east, and all this country for years was known as the Bates settlement. From a letter from his daughter combined with statements from several of the first settlers, I have obtained the following sketch of Mr. Bates' life, which has become almost legendary. In the summer and winter of 1830 and '31, Ezekial Masters says: 'He (Bates) took his gun, dogs, bear and wolf traps and 150 muskrat traps and came to Harden Co. where he hunted and trapped till spring and lived on the game he hunted or trapped. He bought his land in Williams Co. with the money he got for the bear's oil and skins, wolf scalps, coon, muskrat and beavers skins, and had $130 in money left in Feb. 1832, in the dead of winter, he started with his family for his new home and cut his road through an unbroken wilderness from Ottawa to Defiance. He went on the where Pulaski now stands and cut the road through to what is now the Shilling's farm and lived 3 days in his wagon until he built a cabin. The cabin stood near the confluence of Bates and Ayres runs. His nearest neighbor was 12 miles away. Here he cleared some land and raised the first grain but spent the greater portion of his time hunting and trapping. In the spring of 1835 he was elected the first supervisor and first fence viewer of Springfield Township. In 1840 he sold his farm to Wm. Ayres and bought a farm now owned by Jacob Shenk in sec. 10 and 11. On the 20th of March, 1845, his wife Harriet Dodge died and the following year he married Rebecca Borton, widow of a cousin, Joseph Borton. In the year 1852 he erected a large frame tavern, the first in Franklin Township, which he ran for a number of years. The building remained as an old landmark until Dec. 30, 1885 when it was destroyed by fire. He called it 'The Bates Inn' and it was largely patronized as the Angola Rd. was then a great thoroughfare for travelers and the movers to their western homes. He lived there until 1861 when he moved to Iowa and died in Story Co. August 1, 1866"
I hope that you enjoyed the brief story fo Joseph Bates and his life of adventure.