George W. Gates

George W. Gates was born 1835 in Ontario County, New York.

In 1850 there was a 17-year-old named George Gates living with the Nathan Brundage family in Hopewell, Ontario County, New York.

George married New York native Maria (b. 1839), probably in New York, and they had at least two children: Elizabeth (b. 1858) and Stella (b. 1862).

He and his wife moved from New York to Michigan sometime before 1858 and by 1859-60 George was working as a carpenter and living on the northwest corner of Scribner and Crosby Streets, on the west side of the river in Grand Rapids. In 1860 he was a carpenter living in Walker, Kent County and in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward with his wife Maria and one child. (Curiously the child’s name in Walker was Elizabeth while the girl’s name in Grand Rapids was Almena.)

George stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 26 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. (Company B was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of who had served in various local militia units before the war, in particular the Grand Rapids Artillery, under Captain Baker Borden, who would also command Company B.)

He was shot in the right shoulder, on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and subsequently sent to Carver hospital in Washington, DC where he remained until he was discharged for a “gunshot wound of right shoulder resulting in complete loss of motion in the right arm” on January 15, 1863.

In February of 1863 George applied for and received a pension (no. 15629).

George returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army and by 1870 he and his wife and one child were living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward where he worked as a carpenter (he possessed some $3,500 in real estate). He was apparently working as a carpet sweeper manufacturer and living with his second (?) wife, Pennsylvania native Libbie (b. 1848) and their son Deroy (b. 1873) in Grand Rapids in 1880.

George may have been living in California when he died probably in 1894.

In any case his widow Libbie was residing in California in August of 1894 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 486750).