Joseph B. F. Cates, lawyer, was born in Grainger county, Tennessee, April 19, 1840, the son of Charles and Elizabeth (Lloyd) Cates. His father was a native of North Carolina, and was reared and educated in his native state, being the descendant of fine English ancestors, who settled in the Carolinas during the colonial period. He became a farmer and then emigrated from North Carolina to Tennessee, where he became a pioneer settler west of the Alleghany mountains. The mother, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Lloyd, also was born in North Carolina, but of Welsh ancestry.
Mr. Cates is the youngest of a family of three sons and three daughters, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, but he is the only one who survives. His boyhood was spent in Tennessee, where he attended the common schools and worked on the farm during vacations. He afterward took a collegiate course at Newman College, Jefferson county, Tennessee, where he graduated in 1860. Immediately after receiving his degree of A. B. Mr. Cates came West, and after aiding in surveying public lands in Nebraska, began to read law in Platte City, Mo. He was admitted to the bar in 1867, at Platte City, and soon afterward located at Humboldt, Kan., for the active practice of his profession, becoming a pioneer lawyer of Kansas. For ten years Mr. Cates remained in Humboldt, where be built up a good practice, but left Kansas, in 1877; to open an office in Kansas City, Mo., where he remained until 1892, with the exception of four years spent in Florida; then he returned to the Sunflower State and located at Chanute, where he resided until 1907, since which year he has resided in Independence. Since 1900 he has devoted his entire time and services to the Prairie Oil & Gas Company, of Independence, as attorney for the corporation. He is one of the oldest practicing lawyers in Kansas, and has had a wide range of experience in professional work. He is admired and respected by the men of his profession, and is highly esteemed by many friends and acquaintances, as a broad, liberal and generous man. Fraternally, he is a Mason, being a Knight Templar and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Mirza Temple, Pittsburg, Kan. He has never sought political honors, preferring to devote his whole time and attention to professional work.
Mr. Cates was married in 1869, to Nettie, the daughter of John H. Wilhoite, of Platte county, Missouri. Five children were born to the marriage: Charles Henry, who was educated at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., and who is now a traveling salesman for a New York City house; Lloyd R., engaged in farming in Oklahoma; Philip F., a graduate of the Kansas City, Mo., Dental College, who is now practicing dentistry in Oklahoma; Roscoe W., a graduate of the law department of the University of Kansas, now assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Independence; and Ada F., a graduate of the University of Kansas, class of 1906, who later spent two years at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y.Pages 261-262 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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