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Reunions School

Rev. Wesley E. BATES

HW Beckwith History of Montgomery County (Chicago: HH Hill, 1881)

Rev. Wesley E. Bates, pastor Missionary Baptist Church, Crawfordsville, was born in Champion, Jefferson County, New York, April 20, 1843. His mother, Hannah E. Bates, was born in 1819, is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is still living. His father, Alden S. Bates, was born near Montpelier, Vermont in 1803, is a harness-maker and farmer, and is still living. He lived in Champion, New York, about thirty years. The subject of this sketch lived in the town of his birth until he was eleven years old, when he went with his parents upon a farm. He had a good common school education and also attended a select school. He clerked in a store about one year, and traveled for a business house about the same length of time. August 5, 1862, he enlisted as a bugler in Co. D, 10th N. Y. Art. His regiment was placed at Fort Richmond, Staten Island, in defense of New York. They remained there about one year, and were then placed in the defense of Washington for about a year. They then went into the field as infantry at Cold Harbor, Virginia. His regiment captured battery No. 5 at the siege of Petersburg, in advance of the army. During this time, for about three months, he did duty as one of the '' stretcher corps. " After the siege of Petersburg, they went back to the defense of Washington for about a month, and then went with Sheridan into the valley of the Shenandoah, where they were principally engaged in guarding supply trains. During this time he was in the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, where the union army was rescued from defeat by Gen. Sheridan. who made his famous ride from Winchester, which has been immortalized by Thomas Buchanan Read, in his poem titled "Sheridan's Ride". Mr. Bates was a member of the brass band; and his regiment was sent back to Martinsburg for supplies; the band was left in the front and was surprised by the rebels. Mr. Bates got separated from his regiment and remained thus from Wednesday to Saturday. They went into winter quarters at Winchester. That winter his regiment was in the provisional division, and also manned the James and Appomattox rivers. He was in the line that stormed Petersburg, April 2, 1865, and after they went into the city lie was a member of the best band out of three that were with that portion of the army. He was mustered out at Sackett's Harbor, New York, July 7,1865. After the war Mr. Bates engaged in farming for two years. In 1868 he was converted and united with the Baptist Church. This entirely changed the nature of his life -work. He went to Belleville, where he spent one year in preparation for college. In 1869 he entered Madison University, New York, and graduated in 1873 in the full classical course. He had only one year preparatory and graduated fifth in scholarship, out of a class of thirty-eight. He then entered Hamilton Theological Seminary, from which lie graduated in June 1875. During all the time he was in college and the Theological Seminary, and in vacations, he supplied the pulpits for neighboring churches. He was ordained September 28, 1875, and located as pastor of the Baptist Church at Lanark, Carroll County, Illinois. His pastorate in this place was quite a successful one, and on leaving it there was a decided increase in the number of its members. The first winter he was there he had a revival by which thirty-three united with the Church. In 1878 he took charge of the Church at Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he had a prosperous pastorate. While there be did missionary work throughout a large part of die state. He was appointed president of the Webster County Sunday School Convention, and took great interest in the state work of his denomination. July 1, 1880, Mr. Bates came to the city of Crawfordsville. He has begun his work here under favorable auspices. He has awakened a religious interest among his people, his congregations have increased and he has made friends with all whom lie has met. Mr. Bates is a hard working, diligent student. He reads widely from -all departments of literature and thought. Be sometimes reads his sermons, but generally speaks extemporaneously, after careful preparation. Mr. Bates was married March 27, 1866, to Miss Josepa. J. Locklin, of Champion, New York. She was born September 20, 1844, and is a member of the Baptist Church. Her love and sympathy for her husband and his work strengthen him in his labor of love and fill their home with happiness.

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This page created:  16 Nov 2009