From History of Texas, Published in 1896
A.B. GATEWOOD – Back to the Old Dominion, one of the historic landmarks, does the subject of this sketch trace his lineage, and like all true sons of Virginia, has reason to be proud of his blood. In him is found an excellent representative of the Bosque County farmer and stock dealer, and a man whose prominence justifies the presentation of this biographical resume.
A.B. Gatewood was born in Stafford County Virginia, January 29, 1822, son of Thomas J. and Frances (Harding) Gatewood, both natives of that state. At an early day Thomas J. Gatewood emigrated with his family to Missouri, locating in that state a few years after its admission to the Union, and there he died soon after, in the prime of life, his death occurring in 1830. His wife survived him a number of years living to the advanced age of eighty-two years. Both were members of the Missionary Baptist church, and by occupation he was a farmer. In their family were seven children, one of whom died in infancy, and of the others we record that Henry is deceased; A.B., of this sketch, is the next in order of birth; Jefferson is a resident of Missouri; Enoch is deceased; Festus went to California in the days of ’49 and his whereabouts is now unknown; and Elizabeth married Mr. Thomas Northcut and resides in Missouri.
The subject of this biography was small at the time his father died and remembers little of him. He remained with his mother and other members of the family, growing up on their frontier farm and receiving no other educational advantages than those of the common schools near his home. On emerging from his ‘teens, and before reaching his majority, he took to himself a wife and launched out as a farmer in Clarke County, Missouri, where he remained for a number of years, including the war period. At the close of the war, in 1865, he sold out and went to California, where he spent three years in farming and working at the carpenter’s trade, after which he came to Texas, landing here in 1868, and first making settlement near Fort Worth in Tarrant County. There he bought land and improved a farm and lived upon and cultivated the same until 1879, when he disposed of his property and removed to his present location in Bosque County, five miles northeast of Walnut Springs. At this point he purchased four hundred and fifty-three acres of land, which had for some time been used as a stock ranch, but which had no improvements save a small house. Through his efforts during the years that have passed since then a change has been wrought. A hundred acres of the soil have been furrowed and refurrowed, and, with the exception of two seasons, have always produced fine crops. The whole tract is now well fenced, a substantial and modern residence has been built, and an orchard has been planted and brought into bearing. For five or six years after settling here Mr. Gatewood gave considerable attention to the cattle business and had as fine a herd as was to be found in this section of the country. In 1882 he sold his cattle and turned his attention to sheep. At one time his band of sheep numbered as high as five hundred head, but at this writing he has only about three hundred. Also he has been much interested in raising horses, making a specialty of improving the grade, and now is the owner of a fine stallion of the Steeldust and Norman strains. He carries on both his farming and stock-raising by the most modern and improved methods and is justly deserving of the success which is his.
Reference has already been made to his early marriage, and now we would look further into that part of his history which is more especially domestic. Mr. Gatewood’s first marriage was to Miss Ann E. Shackleford, a native of Missouri and a daughter of Morgan Shackleford and his wife, whose maiden name was Monroe. Mr. Shackleford was one of the respected farmers of his community. While Mr. Gatewood and his family were on the way to California, in 1865, Mrs. Gatewood died, and a mound by the wayside marks her last resting place. She left three children-John W., Camillus A. and Cornelius L.-all of who are still living and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Texas. In 1868 Mr. Gatewood was married in this state to Miss Emily Oxer, a native of Warren County, Indiana, who came to Texas with her father, Samuel Oxer, and family about 1841, their location being on a rented farm in Dallas County. There her father died that same year, leaving a widow and seven children. Four years later the mother moved with her family to Parker County, where she lived for many years, and whence she finally moved to Thorp Spring, Hood County, where she died about the year 1882. She and her husband were both members of the Freewill Baptist Church. Of their family, we record that their eldest son, James O., is deceased; Rachel is the wife of Dr. Bateman, of Morgan, Texas; Mary A. has been twice married, her first husband’s name being Lewis, and her present companion a Mr. Kirkland; William is deceased; and Emily is the wife of our subject; and besides these there were two other children that died in early life.
The marriage of Mr. Gatewood to Miss Oxer has resulted in the birth of six children now living, namely: Annie, wife of J.L. Mingus; Charles, a farmer; Rachel, a dressmaker of Morgan, this county [Bosque]; and Julian, Eddie and Garvin, at home. Also they lost one child in infancy.
Both Mr. Gatewood and his wife are identified with the Christian Church, of which they are consistent members. In his political views he harmonizes with the principles advocated by the Democratic Party. During the late war he, being of southern birth and education, naturally sympathized with the southern cause, and he was for a time a member of the home guard in Missouri.
History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.