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Scates, William Bennett (1802–1882)

L. W. Kemp Biography Entry

William Bennett Scates, soldier and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Scates, was born in Halifax County, Virginia, on June 27, 1802. The family moved to Christian County, Kentucky, where Scates remained until 1820, when he went to New Orleans; there he clerked and did carpenter work. He arrived at Anahuac, Texas, on March 2, 1831, and in 1832 participated in the Anahuac Disturbances and the battle of Velasco. In 1835 he joined the Revolutionary Army and took part in the siege of Bexar. Scates was one of the two representatives from Jefferson Municipality at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and there signed the Declaration of Independence. When he left the convention, Scates rejoined the army and participated in the battle of San Jacinto in Benjamin F. Bryant's company of Sabine Volunteers. When Bryant's company was disbanded, Scates joined Hayden S. Arnold's Nacogdoches Company. After the revolution he settled in Washington County, where he married Theodocia Clardy Smith on November 17, 1836; two children were born to them. By 1840 Scates had title to 150 acres in Fayette County; he also appears on that county's 1846 poll-tax list. After his first wife's death, he married Sarah McMillan, on March 25, 1850; they had five children. At the age of sixty-two, Scates enlisted as a private in Company F, Fourth Battalion, Texas Cavalry, Texas State Troops, on October 9, 1863. He died on February 22, 1882, and was buried near Osage, Colorado County. In 1929 the state of Texas reinterred the bodies of Scates and his second wife in the State Cemetery.

Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

L. W. Kemp, “Scates, William Bennett,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 09, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/scates-william-bennett.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

1952
June 1, 1995

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