Oswego County's: Guide To Government

Francis H. Gates

Francis H. Gates, Republican, farmer, represents the 37th Senatorial District, Madison and Oswego Counties. He was born, July 30, 1839, on the farm known as the Gates Homestead, where he now resides, two miles southwest of the village of Chittenango, Madison County.

His grandfather, Jeremiah gates settled there more than 100 years ago, and here his father, Daniel Gates, was born in November, 1812.

At the age of 19 Mr. gates commenced working on his father's farm on shares, continuing for about seven or eight years, when he came into possession of the farm. Always a good worker, he has continued the management of his farms, until recently his two sons have superseded him in their ownership and management.

Mr. Gates received a common school education, then attended the Yates Polytechnic Institute in the Village of Chittenango, and later spent one winter at the Fort Plain Seminary, and later still, two terms at the Clinton Liberal Institute.

Mr. Gates was always a Republican, casting his first ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and again in 1864. Taking an early interest in politics, he was elected Supervisor of his town, which was always considered safely Democratic by about 250 votes, and at times being the only Democratic Town in the County. He held the position five consecutive terms. Mr. Gates has the distinction of being the only Republican to hold that position in thirty-four years; later, for several terms, he has been a member of the Town Auditing Board. He has been strongly urged to be a candidate for the Assembly, always declining.

Mr. Gates was the choice of Madison County for Senator in 1895 when Senator Stranahan entered the Senate, and the sentiment of the district since that time has been, that upon the retirement of Senator Stranahan, that Mr. Gates should succeed him in the Senate.

Mr. Gates' name was upon the Republican Electoral Ticket when Grover Cleveland defeated Benjamin Harrison. He was a delegate to the National Convention in 1900, held at Philadelphia.

In 1899, Gov. Roosevelt appointed Mr. gates one of the managers of the Western House of Refuge for Women in Albion; he still holds that position, being at the present time, Treasurer of that Institution.

Mr. Gates has been for twenty years, president of the Madison-Onondaga Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and he still holds that position, having the general oversight of the business of that organization. He is one of the directors of the Syracuse Casket Company and its Vice-President. Mr. Gates is the President of the Central New York Pottery Company, located in Chittenango, and is principal owner and one of the directors of the Salt Springs National Bank of Syracuse.

Mr. Gates was elected as State Senator by a majority of more than 6,000 running ahead of the vote for Governor Odell in each County. His vote as the Republican Candidate for Senator was 15,378, and his Democratic opponent, Thomas A. MacKay, received 9127 votes.

Senator Gates at the beginning of the session of 1903 received the following Committee appointments: Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, member of Taxation and Retrenchment, Canals, Commerce and Navigation, and Agriculture.

NYS Red Book 1904