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Tyler Bates, the grandfather of Gustavus D. Bates, was a prosperous farmer in Thompson. His children were Erastus, William, ‘Welcome, Holman, George T., Ann, Chloe, Betsey and Sally. Welcome Bates, also a resident of Thompson, was formerly engaged in teaching, and in his later years became a farmer. He married Jemima E., daughter of Reverend James Grow, of Vermont. Their children are: Elizabeth G., Hannah Augusta, wife of Horatio H. Hutchins; Sarah, deceased; Marvin G., Gustavus Davis, Sarah Jane 2d, deceased, and Welcome E.
Gustavus Davis Bates was born October 2d, 1839, in Thompson, where he remained until his twentieth year, receiving his education at the public school and the Thompson academy. He was industriously employed either in a factory or on a farm until sixteen, when his attention was turned to teaching, his field of labor being first in Burrillville, R. I., and later in Thompson. At the age of eighteen the young man entered a store at Grosvenor Dale as clerk, and was thus engaged until his majority was attained, when he enrolled his name as a private in the Seventh Rhode Island regiment during the late war. His promotion, the result of merit, was rapid from corporal to sergeant, first sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and acting quartermaster and adjutant. In July, 1864, he was made captain of his former company. Late in 1864 he was brevetted lieutenant colonel, and secured while in front of Petersburg; Va-, leave of absence on account of failing health, which fact finally occasioned his resignation.
Colonel Bates participated in the engagements at Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Jackson, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Bethesda Church, North Anna River, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, after which his regiment went into winter quarters. On regaining his health he returned again to civil life and embarked in the manufacture of flannel shirts in Worcester, Mass., but met with financial reverses. As an instance of the integrity that has characterized his business career it may be mentioned that afterward, in more prosperous days, he paid all his obligations with interest. The colonel then represented Boston houses for ten years, as traveling agent in the sale of gentlemen’s furnishing goods, and after an interval of rest assumed the management of the business of George B. Cluett & Co., large shirt and collar manufacturers in New York city. In 1884 he established the Connecticut Clothing Company in Putnam, with a branch at Southbridge, Mass., to which he devotes as much attention as is consistent with his other business projects. In 1886, in company with a partner, he founded the Putnam Cutlery Corporation, of which he is secretary, treasurer and manager. He is also president of the Putnam Pump & Hose Reel Company.
Colonel Bates has been prominently identified with the republican party in politics, and represented his constituents in the Connecticut legislature in 1887 and 1888, on which occasion he was chairman of the committee on cities and boroughs. He was in 1888 a delegate to the national republican convention convened at Chicago. In addition to his various business enterprises he is a successful farmer and breeder of blooded stock. He is a member of A. G. Warner Post, of the G. A. R., and of Quinnatisset Grange, No. 65, of Thompson. His religious views are in harmony with the creed of the Baptist church; of which he is a member. Colonel Bates on the 17th of June, 1867, married Ellen A., daughter of Benjamin F. Hutchins, of Putnam.