Gates, Lawrence. Few business men of Angola are better known or
more respected, by the citizens of Steuben County, than the subject of
this sketch. He was born in Nuremburg, Germany, April 25, 1839, and
was the son of Christopher and Sibilla Gates, natives of Germany.
He received a good
education, and in 1853, he came, with his maternal grandfather, to the United states, and settled in Angola, arriving May 2, of that year. Since his coming, he has been engaged in farming and merchandising until February 6, 1871, when he entered the banking institution of Kinney and Co., where he is at present engaged. August 9, 1862, he left Angola with Company H, which he helped to organize, and of which he was elected First Lieutenant. This company became a part of the Seventy-fourth Indiana volunteer Infantry. After the battle of Chickamauga, he became Captain of the company, and his regiment being a part of the Fourteenth Army corps, he participated in all
its engagements until September 15, 1864, when he lost his left leg in a railroad accident at Allatoona, Ga., on account of which he resigned May 18, 1865. He was married, June 4, 1865 to Martha E. Sowle, daughter of A.W.A. Sowle, of Angola. Mrs. Gates was born in New York, and had one child by her marriage-- Roy Gates, who died in infancy. Immediately after his marriage,
he and wife went on a visit to his native land, returning in two months. Mrs. Gates died in Angola March 14, 1868, and he was again married March 28, 1869, to Tina M. Elya, of Angola, to whom has been born three children--Milla A., Fred C. and Harry L. Mr. Gates is a member of I.O.O.F.,
of which he has held one of the Grand Offices; is also a member of the Knights of Honor, and has always been a stanch Republican in politics. He was the first Clerk of Angola, and has been Town Trustee five years. He and wife belong to the Disciples Church, of which they are consistent members. Mr. Gates, although coming to this county a poor German boy, has by energy,
honesty and a firm determination to succeed in life, won a leading position among the best business men of Angola.
Submitted by J.A. Childers