George V. Bates

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About George V. Bates

George V. Bates

by Betty Flatte Prince, Great-great granddaughter

This story will be included in Montgomery County: Our Heritage Volume /I to be published in fall 1990. Other Bates stories in this volume are Burrell, Elijah Stephen, Guilford Allen, Lucy Estell, Milton, Owen McAfee, Stephen and William Fleming.

George V. Bates was born October 6, 1820, in Pickens County, South Carolina, and moved with his family to Cherokee County, Georgia, about 1835. His parents were Stephen Bates (1777 or 78 - July 1851) born in Halifax County, Virginia, and Sarah Cox Bates, a native of South Carolina. Other children born to Stephen and Sarah were William Fleming (1802 - 1879), who married Mary A. "Polly" Whisenant. (William F. Bates story). Nancy, born about 1805, married Enoch Vandevier. (See Enoch Vandevier story); Thomas Jefferson, born about 1808, married Digiby Rider; James Madison, born about 1811, first married Sara Ann “Lizzie” Williamson and later married Rebecca Mcintyre; John Royal (about 1813 - 1889) married Mary Ann Dobbs. (See John Bates story, Volume I); Mary Ann, born about 1814, married John H. King; Sarah, born about 1820, married Isreal Ellison; and Margaret "Peggy," born about 1829, married Phillip Abernathy.

George V. married Hortense Mansina Walker September 29, 1842. Hortense, "Tennie," the daughter of Allen Walker, was born about 1822 in Spartanburg District, South Carolina.

In 1852, George and Tennie, George's mother, Sarah, and five of his brothers and sisters and their families moved from Georgia to Arkansas. Several other families accompanied the Bateses on this long treacherous journey; the group included about seventy people and the trip took about two months. Most of these new comers settled in Polk and Montgomery Counties.

George and Tennie lived in Montgomery and Polk Counties in the Big Fork area. In 1857 and 1858, George served as justice of the peace in Montgomery County. During the years he resided in Polk County, he was honored with two terms as county and probate judge. In Big Fork, George was postmaster and operated a grist mill, powered by a water wheel on Butcher Knife Creek.

When they moved to Arkansas, George and Tennie had five children: John Calvin (January 19, 1845 - March 1919) married Melvina Elvira Goss; Abraham Royal (June 23, 1846 - May 18, 1926) first married Ellen Crawford. After Ellen's death, Rial, as he was called, married Nancy Ann Elizabeth Bowen Goss; Thomas Jefferson, (February 17, 1848 - April 29, 1934) married Rhoda C. Edwards. After her death, he married Dottie Smallwood; Nancy Elizabeth, born about 1850, was married first to John Crawford; her second marriage was to Jacob Masters; and Sarah Jane (January 19, 1852 September 26, 1903) married Washington Himer Smith. (See Washington Himer Smith story). All of these children reared large families in Polk and Montgomery Counties.

Four children were born to George and Tennie after they moved to Arkansas. They were Margaret, born about 1855, who married Lemuel Huddleston, and moved to Texas; Stephen (May 21, 1856 - April 19, 1950), who married Sarah Elizabeth Smith, a sister of Washington Himer; James Allen (1859 – before 1890), who married Elizabeth Barron; and George W. (1863 - 1927), who married Ophelia Howard.

After Tennie Walker Bates died, March 13, 1898, George V. married Alice Celia Roberts Stagg. George V. died August 13, 1907. He and Tennie are buried in the Bates Cemetery at Big Fork, Arkansas. Sarah Cox Bates, mother of George V., died between 1860 and 1870 in Montgomery County.

Many descendants of Stephen and Sarah Cox Bates live in Montgomery County.

Betty also submitted a poem written in 1905 by Stephen Bates, son of George V. Bates, about the Bates family, the Big Fork Fair, the merchants of the little village and the post office and Traveler's Home (hotel). However, we will not print it here as we printed it in our August 1989 issue.

Betty is the daughter of Linnie Liles who was in the Mena High School senior class of 1923. Linnie passed away February 25, 1989.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the Montgomery County: Our Heritage Volume I or II, contact Betty Prince or Debbie Baldwin at the Montgomery County Historical Society, P.O. Box 520, Mount Ida, Arkansas 71957.

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George V. Bates's Timeline

October 6, 1820
Pickens, South Carolina, United States
January 19, 1845
Age 24
June 23, 1846
Age 25
February 17, 1848
Age 27
Age 29
Cherokee County, Georgia, United States
January 19, 1852
Age 31
Georgia, United States
Age 34
May 21, 1856
Age 35
Age 38