Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


George Porterfield Gates Papers

Dates: 1855-1917.

Grandfather of Bess Wallace Truman.

The George Porterfield Gates papers contain correspondence, bills, receipts, financial records and other materials relating to his life, family and business career. George Porterfield Gates was the grandfather of Bess Wallace Truman.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 7 linear feet, 5 linear inches (about 13,600 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: No donation of copyright was received with this collection
Processed by: David Clark, Jan Davis, Sharie Simon, Erica Flanagan, Amy Crossley, and Randy Sowell (2009).


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1835 (April 2)Born, Lunenbergh, Vermont
ca. 1853Moved to Rock Island County, Illinois
1860Married Elizabeth Emery, Port Byron, Illinois
1862 (August 4)Birth of eldest daughter, Margaret Elizabeth (Madge) Gates
1866Moved to Independence, Missouri
1867Purchased home at 219 North Delaware, Independence, Missouri
ca. 180Engaged in lumber business, organized and served as director of the Bank of Independence
1883Organized the Waggoner-Gates Milling Company (famed for its “Queen of the Pantry” flour) with William Waggoner
1883 (June 13)Daughter Madge married David Willock Wallace
1885 (February 13)Birth of granddaughter, Elizabeth Virginia (Bess) Wallace, future wife of Harry S. Truman
1918 (June 25)Died, Independence, Missouri

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The George Porterfield Gates papers contain correspondence, bills, receipts, financial records and other materials relating to his life, family and business career. George Porterfield Gates was the grandfather of Bess Wallace Truman. The collection is composed of three series.

The first series, the Correspondence File, primarily consists of letters and telegrams related to George Porterfield Gates’s business career and the Gates family. Much of the correspondence pertains to the Waggoner-Gates Milling Company, Tilden Mining Company in Colorado, Jackson County and Osage Valley Mining and Smelting Company, J.F. Crawford Lumber Company, Sipher Lumber and Coal Company, Creek Lumber Company, Port Byron Lumber Company and Southwestern Millers Dispatch Company, Metropolitan National Bank of Kansas City, Duvall Seed & Grain Separator Company, Columbia Copper Company, and Empire Copper Company. Other topics include land sales and acquisitions, taxes, business and personal expenses, investments, legal matters, and invitations. Also included is correspondence with George Porterfield Gates’s wife, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Gates; children, Madge, Myra, Walter, Frank and Maud; parents, George William Gates and Sarah D. Gates; siblings, Edward, Walter, Charles, and Fred; as well as other family members, regarding family activities, health, businesses, education, weather, and life in Independence, Missouri. This series contains the first known letter written by Bess Wallace, which she sent to her grandfather, George Porterfield Gates.

The second series, the Financial Affairs File, contains account books, ledger books, cash books, checkbooks, checks, inventory books, printed materials, receipts and bills pertaining to George Porterfield Gates’s business career and family. Many of the documents relate to the American Lumber Company, Jackson County and Osage Valley Mining and Smelting Company, J.F. Crawford Lumber Company Inventory, Mississippi Valley Trust Company, Waggoner-Gates Milling Company, Presbyterian Church of Independence, Independence Female College and Kansas City Ladies’ College. Also included are receipts and bills pertaining to land purchases, clothing, groceries, travel, taxes, utilities, insurance and household purchases.

The third series, the Subject File, consists of meeting minutes, deeds, leases, building specifications, mining claim maps, reports, printed materials, newspaper clippings, court documents, handwritten notes, drawings, and an 1859 diary. Specific documents pertain to the American Lumber Company, Columbia Copper Company, Duvall Seed & Grain Separator Company, Jackson County and Osage Valley Mining and Smelting Company, J. F. Crawford Lumber Company, Tilden Mining Company and the Southwestern Millers’ Dispatch Company.

The papers were found in Bess Wallace Truman’s home in Independence around the time of her death. Related collections include the papers of Madge Gates Wallace, a daughter of George Porterfield Gates and the mother of Bess Wallace Truman.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-11 CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1862-1917
Letters and telegrams related to George Porterfield Gates’s family and business career. Arranged chronologically.
12-16 FINANCIAL AFFAIRS FILE, 1855-1917
Account books, ledger books, cash books, checkbooks, checks, inventory books, printed materials, receipts and bills pertaining to George Porterfield Gates’s business career and family. Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
17 SUBJECT FILE, 1855-1914
Meeting minutes, deeds, leases, building specifications, mining claim maps, reports, printed materials, newspaper clippings, court documents, handwritten notes, drawings, and an 1859 diary. Arranged alphabetically.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • 1862
  • 1863
  • 1864
  • 1865
  • 1866
  • 1867
  • 1868
  • 1869
  • 1870
  • 1871
  • 1872
  • 1873
  • 1874
  • 1875
  • 1876
  • 1877
  • 1878
  • 1879
  • 1880
  • 1881
      January
      February
      March-December
Box 2
  • 1882
  • 1883
  • 1884
  • 1885
  • 1886
  • 1887
  • 1888
  • 1889
  • 1890
  • 1891
Box 3
  • 1892
  • 1893
      January-June
      July-December
  • 1894
      January-May
      June-December
  • 1895
      January-July
Box 4
      August-December
  • 1896
      January-March
      April-June
      July
      August-September
Box 5
      October-November
      December
  • 1897
      January
      February
      March
      April
      May
      June
Box 6
      July
        [1 of 2]
        [2 of 2]
      August
        [1 of 2]
        [ 2 of 2]

      September
      October

Box 7
      November
      December
      Undated
      Frank E. Gates, Trustee Letter book
        [1 of 2]
        [2 of 2]
  • 1898
      January-February
Box 8
      March-April
      May-June
      July-August
      September-October
      November-December
  • 1899
      January-March
      April-July
Box 9
      August-December
  • 1900
      January-May
      June-December
  • 1900-1907, Letter book
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • 1901
      January-June
      July-September
Box 10
      October-December
  • 1902
  • 1903
  • 1904
  • 1905
  • 1906
  • 1907
  • 1908
Box 11
  • 1909
      January-July
      August-December
  • 1910
  • 1911
  • 1912
  • 1913
  • 1914
  • 1915
  • 1916
  • 1917
  • Undated
  • Wallace, Bess
Box 12
  • Account Book, 1895-1897
  • Account Books, 1867-1898
  • American Lumber Company Cash Book, 1888-1893
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Cash Book, 1897-1898
  • Day Book, 1897
  • Financial Records, 1855
  • Financial Records, 1858
  • Financial Records, 1860
  • Financial Records, 1861
  • Financial Records, 1862
  • Financial Records, 1863
  • Financial Records, 1864
  • Financial Records, 1865
  • Financial Records, 1866
  • Financial Records, 1867
  • Financial Records, 1868
  • Financial Records, 1869
  • Financial Records, 1871
  • Financial Records, 1872
  • Financial Records, 1873
  • Financial Records, 1874
  • Financial Records, 1875
Box 13
  • Financial Records, 1877
  • Financial Records, 1878
  • Financial Records, 1879
  • Financial Records, 1880
  • Financial Records, 1881
  • Financial Records, 1882
  • Financial Records, 1883
  • Financial Records, 1884
  • Financial Records, 1885
  • Financial Records, 1886
  • Financial Records, 1887
  • Financial Records, 1888
  • Financial Records, 1889
  • Financial Records, 1890
  • Financial Records, 1891
  • Financial Records, 1892
Box 14
  • Financial Records, 1893
      January-April
      May-December
  • Financial Records, 1894
  • Financial Records, 1895
  • Financial Records, 1896
      January-June
      July-December
Box 15
  • Financial Records, 1897
      January-July
      August-December
  • Financial Records, 1898
  • Financial Records, 1899
  • Financial Records, 1900
  • Financial Records, 1901
  • Financial Records, 1902
  • Financial Records, 1903
Box 16
  • Financial Records, 1904
  • Financial Records, 1905
  • Financial Records, 1906
  • Financial Records, 1907
  • Financial Records, 1908
  • Financial Records, 1909
  • Financial Records, 1910
  • Financial Records, 1911
  • Financial Records, 1912
  • Financial Records, 1913
  • Financial Records, 1914
  • Financial Records, 1915
  • Financial Records, 1917
  • Financial Records, undated
  • Jackson County and Osage Valley Mining and Smelting Company Checkbook, 1872-1873
  • J.F. Crawford Lumber Company Inventory, 1893-1896
  • Mississippi Valley Trust Company Checkbook, 1897-1898
  • Notes and Bills Payable and Receivable Ledger, 1894-1897
  • Notes and Bills Payable and Receivable Ledger, 1895-1897
Box 17
  • American Lumber Company
  • Asa Farrar Last Will & Testament
  • Building Specifications
  • Burial Plot
  • Columbia Copper Company
  • Deeds
  • Diary, 1859
  • Duvall Seed & Grain Separator Company
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Frank E. Gates Writings
  • Handwritten Notes
  • Jackson County and Osage Valley Mining and Smelting Company
  • J. F. Crawford Lumber Company
  • Leases
  • Legal Records
  • Mining
  • Newspaper Clippings
  • Printed Materials
  • Southwestern Millers’ Dispatch Company
  • Tilden Mine
  • Waggoner & Gates

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]