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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ASAHEL GATES, a well-to-do farmer of Pelham, was born in that town, August 24, 1827, son of Levi and Anna (Houston) Gates. Mr. Gates’s grandfather, Reuben Gates, was a prosperous farmer of Stowe, Mass. He moved to Wendell, where he died. Levi Gates, father of Mr. Gates, was born in Stowe, February 19, 1797. He was reared to agriculture; and in 1827 he moved to Pelham, where he settled upon a farm situated in the vicinity of his son’s present residence. He was an industrious farmer, and became a prominent man in the town. He was a Whig in politics, and served as a Selectman and in other town offices. He was highly esteemed by the community, and attended the Congregational church. Levi Gates died in Pelham, September 12, 1851. His wife, who was born in Pelham, March 1, 1799, became the mother of five children, as follows: Margaret, who died at the age of eighteen; Wealthy, a resident of Easthampton; Asahel, the subject of this sketch; Lansford, who has been janitor of Amherst College for twenty-five years; and Sarah A. The mother died March 21, 1847.

Asahel Gates was educated in the public schools of his native town, and resided with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-one. He then engaged in farming upon shares, being thus employed for five years in Amherst and two years in Chicopee. In 1859 he bought the farm where he now resides, and which originally consisted of one hundred acres. He has since enlarged it by adding a valuable wood lot. He carries on general farming, and deals in stock to some extent. Being a hard worker, he has earned the success which has rewarded him.

Mr. Gates has been twice married. On February 24, 1852, he wedded for his first wife Laura A. Barrows. She was born in the house where Mr. Gates now resides, April 8, 1827, daughter of Joseph and Patience Barrows, the former of whom was a prosperous farmer of Pelham, and died in 1863. His wife, who died in 1859, was the mother of five children, all of whom are deceased. By this union Mr. Gates has one son, George L., who was born in Pelham, January 8, 1856, and is a box manufacturer of Leverett. Mr. Gates’s first wife died November 3, 1888; and on December 13, 1893, he married for his second wife Mrs. Roselend B. Ober, formerly Miss Cook, widow of Asa Ober and daughter of Nathaniel and Bethiah (Ward) Cook. Mrs. Gates’s ancestors came from Rhode Island; and her grandfather, Eseck Cook, was an early settler and a prosperous farmer of Pelham. He was a strict Quaker and an upright man in all of his dealings. He died at the age of eighty-two; and his wife, Thankful Cook, died aged seventy-two years. Nathaniel Cook, Mrs. Gates’s father, was born in Pelham, and followed agriculture during his entire life. He was deeply interested in the welfare of the town, was a prominent man in his day, and was a Democrat in politics. Nathaniel Cook died in Pelham, aged seventy-six. His wife, who was a native of Belchertown, died in Pelham, aged sixty years. She was the mother of twelve children, namely: Sarah, deceased, who married George Gardner; Horace W.; Henry N., a farmer of Pelham; Roselend B.; Theodore F., of Pelham; Smith M., of Pelham; Fenner D., a mechanic of Florence; Delphia, who married Abner Peck, and resides at the Cook homestead in Pelham; Elisha W., a dentist of Cambridge, Mass.; Hattie E., widow of S. C. Neal, residing in Amherst; Mary, who married Fred Staples, and resides in North Attleboro, Mass.; and Elmira, who lives in Belchertown, and is the widow of Theodore Gould.

Mr. Gates is a Republican in politics, and has served with ability in positions of responsibility and trust. He has been a member of the Board of Selectmen for several years, has filled the offices of Assessor, Overseer of the Poor, and member of School Committee, and in 1874 represented his district in the legislature. He attends the Congregational church.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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