Thursday, Sept, 6, 1877, Keithsburg News
It becomes our painful duty to record one of the saddest events of our journalistic experience. On Saturday Sept. 1, early in the morning, Seth Gates and son, a small boy, was leaving the new bridge near Galncey's mill, with a two horse wagon with a stone rack on. They were sitting on a spring seat placed loosely on the stone rack, when turning a short corner in the road near dr. Derr's the fore wheel struck a stump, the team going at a brisk trot, the sudden jar of the wagon an bouncing of the seat threw them off the seat violently to the ground. Mr. Gates being a large man, struck the ground with great force, making him at once unconscious . The boy with great presence of mind turned his father over, or it is said he would have died immediately. Assistance came and the injured man was taken home, a distance of 2 miles, and Dr.'s Marshall and Willits were called, who upon examination, discovered their patient completely paralyzed an the spinal column injured. From the first there was no hope for his recovery, but his mind was restored an he talked with family and friends of his swift dissolution.
On Monday Dr. Tom Willits was called, but the sufferer was beyond medical aid. At 4:00 in the evening his spirit passed to the god who gave it. Tuesday at 11:00 AM all that remained of the once strong man was placed in a silent tomb, in the private burying ground known as the Main and Reily grave yard. The deceased was attended by a bereaved an heart broken family an a large concourse of sorrowing friends and neighbors. At least 500 people paid the last tribute over the grave of one whom they loved in life. Seth was born in the state of Ohio in 1820. He came from Warren Co. in 1849 and located on the farm 5 miles east of Keithsburg, where he resided. The following spring he went to California and remained nearly 2 years, since which he has lived in this community. Those who best knew him appreciated his good qualities best. He was a strong man both physically and mentally. His self reliance and good judgment was only equaled by his uniform kindness and liberality, a strong rough man with the heart of a tender child. He was a kind and loving husband and a most indulgent father, no wonder his family adored him and their excessive grief at his death was but natural. He will be missed and mourned by the town and county perhaps more than any other man. His surviving family consists of a wife and nine children, all boys but 1.