Edward C. Gates

EDWARD C. GATES. It was in 1887 that Edward C. Gates was admitted to the Kansas bar and undertook to build up a reputation and practice at Fulton, where he resided until he came to Fort Scott. In Fort Scott for the past twenty years he has enjoyed a reputation among the ablest members of the Kansas bar. Until 1913 he was actively associated with A. M. Keene in the firm of Keene & Gates, and since then has practiced alone. The law has always represented to Mr. Gates a profession rather than an occupation, and in all his work he has kept the dignity of the calling unimpaired. He is a strong and resourceful lawyer, and the success which has come to him has been earned by many years of conscientious and hard work.

Mr. Gates spent a portion of his early youth in Kansas, though he was born at Dixon, Illinois, September 1, 1861. His parents, Joseph and Annie (Wiggins) Gates, were both born in England, were married there and soon afterward, in 1856, came across the ocean and located at Dixon, Illinois. Several years later they removed to the City of Cincinnati, where Joseph Gates engaged in the wholesale book, and stationery business, and was prospering until his death in 1868 His widow survived him for a number of years and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Dr. S. K Williams, at Winfield, Kansas. There were six children in the family: Arthur, who was born in England and died at Fulton, Kansas; Bessie L. is the wife of Dr. S. K. Williams, now of Allen County, Kansas; Charles J. Gates, who is connected with the United States Treasury Department at Washington, D. C.; Harry G. Gates, a twin brother of Edward, lives at Arcadia, Kansas

Edward E. Gates attended school in Ohio, finished his early education in the State Normal at Fort Scott, and at the age of eighteen began teaching. He spent three years in that work in Bates County, Missouri, and in Linn County, Kansas. In 1882 he located at Fulton, Kansas, and for five years was engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business.

While at Fulton he acquired the friendship of one of Kansas' noted men, S. J. West, now a judge of the Supreme Court of the State. Judge West took a kindly interest in the young real estate man and gladly furnished some of his law books with which Mr. Gates could pursue his studies in preparation for the bar. Mr. Gates has always felt a debt of gratitude to the kindly judge, and has enjoyed his friendship for a great many years.

He was admitted to practice before Hon. C. O. French, then judge of the district court. He remained at Fulton in practice for nine years, and then in 1896 located at Fort Scott and became associated with Mr. A. M. Keene. Mr. Gates has probably one of the finest law libraries in the State of Kansas. He has a scholarship and the experience for the adequate handling of a splendid practice, and also enjoys a large following of personal friends.

He is a stanch republican, and for many years has campaigned in Bourbon and adjoining counties. Besides his law practice he owns a large amount of farm land in Bourbon County and finds diversion as well as profit in the superintendence of this property. He is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of the Shrine, and is a trustee of the Methodist Church of Fort Scott

On September 25, 1886, at Baxter Springs, Kansas, he married Miss Sadie J. Wright. daughter of Rev. Dr. Wright, and Mary J. Wright. Her father was one of the pioneer Methodist preachers of Southeastern Kansas. Two children have been born to their union, both at Fulton, Kansas. Arthur C. was born in 1888 and Chester was born July 25, 1897. Chester is now a member of the State militia in Company G, and is on the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas. Mrs. Gates is one of the active workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and takes part in all the societies of the church.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.
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