Bio: Bates, Robert J. (History - 1840)

Contact: Janet Schwarze




----Source: Biographical History of Clark and Jackson Counties, Wisconsin, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891 pages 205 - 206:

ROBERT J. BATES, a well known business man of Alma Centre, Wisconsin, is a native of the Green Mountain Sate, born in Brookfield, March 6, 1840. He came with his father to Wisconsin in May, 1850, and settled in Fond du Lac, Robert being the youngest child in the family. They removed to Alma Centre in 1856, and the father engaged in agricultural pursuits. In those days educational advantages were limited and the subject of our sketch walked six miles to the district school. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-one years old, the time of his entering the army.


He enlisted as a private in Company G, Tenth Wisconsin Regiment, under Captain William Moore, and was afterward promoted as First Sergeant. He participated in the battles of Perryville and Stone River and was in the hottest of the fight. At the first battle of Perryville half his regiment was killed. His comrades were falling on all sides, and when the ammunition was exhausted and they were ordered to fall back he was the only one left for a distance of ten feet on either side. In the spring of 1862 he was at Huntsville, Alabama. Captain Moore was killed near Huntsville, Alabama, by bushwhackers, in a fight in which Mr. Bates and his company were engaged. At Chickamauga their company suffered heavy losses. Other battles in which Mr. Bates took part were Hoover's Gap, Missionary Ridge and Peach Tree Creek, and he went with Sherman in his campaign as far as Atlanta. After three years' service as a faithful soldier he was honorably discharged November 5, 1864.


He then returned to Jackson County, Wisconsin, worked in the lumber woods and for three years ran on the Black and Mississippi rivers. He bought a quarter section of land, three miles and a half from Alma Centre, where he was successfully engaged in farming from 1867 until 1883. During that time, in 1871, he was elected Sheriff, filling the office two years. In 1883 he was engaged in the drug business, in which he has continued up to the present time. He was appointed Postmaster in 1883, and held that office until May, 1886 was re-appointed Postmaster April, 1889, and is still holding the office at this date. He served as Clerk of Alma Township one year and as Justice of the Peace two years.

Mr. Bates was married, in 1877, to Mrs. Susan Hursey, a widow. Four children have been born to them,-two boys and two girls,-all having good educational advantages. Mrs. Bates is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is associated with the Masonic order, blue lodge and Royal Arch Masons, the I.O.O.F, G.A.R. and the Modern Woodmen. Politically he has always been a Republican.



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