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Image provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives
Newspaper Page Text
Mr. Charles H. Bates, formerly, United States Special Allotting Agent at this agency, was born in Lima, Ohio, some sixty-five years since, and died at Iowa City, Iowa, on Sunday, December 5, 1915. The burial services, on the following Wednesday, took place at Yankton, South Dakota, his home for many years. In his early years, the pioneer spirit in his blood carried him to Yankton, South Dakota, among the early settlers of the territory. The work of civil engineering held an especial appeal for him and the greater portion of his western life was spent in Government con tract surveying and Indian allotment work. In these occupations he covered on foot, on horseback and by wagon, probably more territory in North and South Dakota than any other white man. His hand ap pears in many a mound and landmark, and his name inscribed on numerous original surveys attests his intimate knowledge of the old Dakota Territory and our State. He was among the first to answer the call of gold in the Black Hills in the '70s and again in 1899 followed the golden lure to Alaska, In August, 1904, Mr. Bates became one of us, as Special Allotting Agent, and completed his work on March 31, 1915. During his ser vice as Allotting Agent, he was given several special assignments in other parts of the country, calling for a man in whom exceptional trust and confidence could be placed. It was upon such an assign ment, inspecting allotment work on the Quinaielt Reservation, in Washington, that a serious accident befell him. While returning to camp his canoe overturned, throwing the occupants into the icy waters of the river. The resulting cold and exposure brought on the trouble which ultimately resulted in his death. In all he gave to the Government over thirty years of faithful and conscientious service. The service and his many friends can ill afford to lose such a man, for he possessd, in a marked degree, those sterling qualities ascribed to the ideal Western pioneer. Unhesitating and clear was his classification of right and wrong, justice and injustice, and, once classified, his action fearlessly and even militantly addressed it self to right and justice. Those who knew him held implicit faith in his integrity and bowed to his judgment, where judgment was his, with certain knowledge of his impartially. His heart held an infinite capacity for loyal and unswerving friendship, with room for the humblest. Once given and unbetray ed, his loyalty to a friend never faltered. His character was so strong and the roots of his personal interest imbedded so deeply that those whose lives he touched must deeply feel his passing, and the communities in which he moved sense a vital loss. He was one of God's great, lovable men and we salute him.