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William R. Bates (1845-1921)
Michigan politician born in New York.

1916 biography. - Added May, 2010.

History of Genesee County, by Edwin Orin Wood - 1916


William R. Bates, a retired member of the Genesee county bar, was admitted to practice in 1877. He was born in Czaenovia, New York, in 1845, and received his early education at the Czaenovia Seminary. Mr. Bates first came to Michigan as a student at the university in 1863, and in 1866 he settled in Flint, as a reporter on the Wolverine Citizen. Later he went to Chicago with the Daily Republican, remaining until that paper was sold to a syndicate and its name changed to the Inter-Ocean. Mr. Bates returned to Michigan and was forseveral years engaged in lumbering on the Augres river. In 1871 he was appointed register of the United States land office at Saginaw. This position he resigned in 1876, returning to Flint, where he completed the study of law. After his admission to the bar, he was appointed special agent of the United States pension bureau by Secretary Z. Chandler, but resigneed in 1879 to became secretary to United States Senator Henry P. Baldwin. In 1882 he was appointed special agent of the United States treasury department, succeeding Gen. O. L. Spaulding to the Republican state central committee with Senator James McMillan as chairman and from 1888 to 1896 he was political secretary to Senator McMillan. Subsequently he served for eight years as United States marshall of the easter district of Michigan. His wife was a daughter of Major Irving Belcher, who, with his two sons, was among the Civil War heroes of Genesee county, whose lives were sacrificed for the Union. During the winter of 1916, Mr. and Mrs. Bates celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at "The Oaks," the old Belcher homestead, one of the historic landmarks of the county.

1924 political bio. - Add Jan., 2005.

Michigan Biographies
Michigan Historical Commission - 1924 (Page 62)


Representative from Bay County, 1871, and the Second District of Genesee County, 1897-8.
Was born at Cazenovia, N. Y., June 28, 1845.
He acquired an academic and partial collegiate education;
came to Michigan in 1866 and located at Flint,
where he resided with the exception of four years’ residence in Bay County.
He represented said county in the House of 1871-2, but resigned prior to the special session and was succeeded by the late Judge Isaac Marston.
The same year he was appointed Register of the United States Land Office at East Saginaw, but resigned in 1876.
He then served as special agent of the United States Pension Bureau until 1879, when he resigned;
was secretary of the State Central Committee in 1880-1, under late Governor Baldwin, who was chairman.
In 1881 he was appointed agent of the Treasury Department, serving four years, but was removed by Grover Cleveland;
was again secretary of the State Central Committee under chairman Senator James McMillan, in 1886-8, 1890-4.

He died at San Diego, Calif, Jan. 6, 1921.

Additional Notes.

    1866 - Michigan Marriages: Genesee Co., Mich.

  • William R. Bates (b. 1845, Steuben, NY) marriage to Gertrude Belcher (b. 1844, Flint, MI) on Jan. 11, 1866.

    1880 - Census: Flint, Genesee, Mich.

  • Bates, William R. - 1845 NY
  • Gertrude, wife - b. 1844 NY
  • Irving B., son - b. 1867 MI
  • Eusebia F., dau. - b. 1872 MI
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
Marston, Issac
People Referenced
Baldwin, Gov.
Bates, Eusebia F. (dau)
Bates, Irving B. (son)
Bates, Wm. R. (subject)
Baldwin, Henry P.
Belcher, Gertrude (wife)
Belcher, Irving
Chandler, Z.
Cleveland, Grover (President)
Marston, Isaac (Judge)
McMillan, James
Spaulding, O.L.
Subjects Referenced
Agent (US Pension Bureau)
Agent (US Treasurty Dept.)
Augres river, MI
Bay County, MI
Chicago, IL
Civil War
Czaenovia, NY
Czaenovia Seminary
Daily Republican
East Saginaw
Flint, MI
Genesee Co., MI
Inter-Ocean paper
Register (US Land Office)
Representative (Bay Co.)
Saginaw, MI
San Diego, CA
Second District (Genesee Co.)
Sectary (State Central Comm.)
Wolverine Citizen
Internet References
None at this time.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.