Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Murder of James Bates Part 2

I told you what I knew about the killing of James Bates, the brother of Martin Van Buren Bates and Eliza Agnes Bates.  It was actually more about the aftermath of that killing.  I received information from cousin Lois about what she and her brother, Orville, learned when they were researching in the early 80's.

  •  I can see that you did not receive my mail long ago telling you part of the story and the reason for the killings by MVB. I wish I knew what you have learned so I would not repeat it. While MVB was away in the service his brother James "Jim" Bates, who was married to Elizabeth, parents of Nancy Bates, (later married Andy Wright and became parents of my father, Jim Wright). Jim Bates had a bucket of gold and somehow heard there was a gang of men coming to take it from him. He went out alone searched and found a place the gold would be safe. When he got home, Betsy asked him to tell her where it was hidden. He refused because if she knew and they threatened to kill him she would tell to save his life.

    Some say he was cradling oats when they came while my mother told me they were in their home that night when they came. He was taken across the road and up a hill (small mountain) with Betsy following, begging and pleading with them to not kill him. They told her if she followed any more they would kill her. Jim Bates told her, "Go home. Someone has to take care of our children." They took him to the top turned left and went into a hog lot where wild hogs lived. They used every means they could to make him tell where the gold was and he would not. This is from memory and I like to tell what they did to him. Will dig that out later for you. They said you could hear his screams over the entire area for a long time.

    After awhile a man came riding up and was angry that after all that had been done to Jim he had not talked. He waved his hand and told them to kill him and he rode away. They left his body in the hog pen where they found him in daylight partially eaten by the hogs. There is much more to this story and I am not trying to keep you in suspense. I don't feel well enough to get all of the names that were involved that night. Some I remember without looking.
Lois and Orville talked to so many people who knew about things that happened first hand or had learned the stories from those who knew them first hand.  I will post more details when Lois has a chance to go over the notes she and Orville took.  In a few weeks I will combine these two blogs so that the entire story is together and the details are correct. 

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