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
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.
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