Son of Stephen and Catherine Bates and husband of M.J. (stone is broken off so no other information is available). He served in Co. A, 1st Nebraska Infantry from June of 1861 to February of 1863. William died from a bullet wound from the fight at the Bates School meeting as recorded in Seward County history. The following is an excerpt from W.W. Cox 1888 History of Seward County:
"During the financial depression (of 1879-1880) we were doomed to other troubles...in March of the year 1880 there was a tragedy in B precinct in what is known as the Bates Schoolhouse. There was a (church) meeting in progress. Some ruffians had, on several occasions, molested these meetings n an effort to break them up. On this occasion both the "rough fellows" and some of the church people had provided themselves with clubs and revolvers. Hot words were quickly followed with blows; revolvers were brought into play, and a scene of desperation ensued. It resulted in the killing of William Bates, Hillard Thomas, and the wounding of James Thomas and Israel Bates. Luther Bates received heavy blows to the head with a shovel or spade. It seems that the Bates family and the Thomas family were not on friendly terms...It was unchristian and unlawful and entirely unnecessary. Just why this trouble has never been a matter of judicial investigation we are not able to say."