Amos Gates, said to be the first settler in Washington County, was born in Kentucky on July 25, 1799, the son of William Gates. The Gates family was originally from Lincoln County, North Carolina. With the Kuykendalls they moved first to Miller County, Arkansas, in 1821 and then with Stephen F. Austin in December to Austin's colony. Gates accompanied his father on a trip to the mouth of the Brazos to purchase flour in 1822 and voted in a colonial election in 1824. He participated in a punitive expedition against a band of Indians in September 1829. The expedition, ordered by Austin and commanded by Capt. Abner Kuykendall, engaged the Indians above the site of present Austin near the Salt Fork of the Lampasas. Gates acted as a spy under Travis. At the time of his death on May 3, 1883, he was the oldest resident of Washington County. He was buried at Graball Cemetery, Washington County.