George V. Bates was born October 6, 1820 in Pickens County, South Carolina. His parents were Stephen and Sarah (Cox) Bates. Stephen was born about 1778 in Halifax County, Virginia. Sarah was born in South Carolina. Stephen and Sarah had nine children. George was the youngest son. In 1835 Stephen and Sarah Bates moved to Cherokee County, Georgia.
On September 29, 1842, George married Hortense ("Tennie") Mansina Walker, daughter of Allen Walker. She was born about 1822 in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. They had ten children. The first child, a son, died in infancy. The second child was John Calvin Bates (in the photo above).
Next was Abram Royal Bates; then Thomas Jefferson Bates (in another photo of the mill that George built on the Butcherknife Creek); Nancy Elizabeth Bates; Sarah Jane Bates; Margaret Bates; Stephen Bates; James Allen Bates; and the last one was George W. Bates.
George and Tennie Bates traveled from Northern Georgia by way of an ox-drawn wagon train. Calvin was the oldest child and Sarah Jane ("Sally") was the baby. Tennie and George had four more children after moving to Big Fork. Tennie's brother, Abraham Walker, and wife, Mary, and daughter, Harriet, also came on the same wagon train.
left to right: George V. Bates, 86 yrs. old; Malinda E. (Goss) Bates, 61 yrs. old; John Calvin Bates, 61 yrs. old; George Benson Bates, 39 yrs. old; Samantha Viola (Bates) Looney, 18 yrs old, holding Floyd Looney, born May 1906; Josephine (Burkhart) Bates, 36 yrs. old; Hotridge Lithco Looney, 23 yrs. old, son of Samuel L. and Avis F. (Boggs) Looney.