William Bennett Scates was born 1802 in Virginia. 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 Béxar. 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. 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.
He is listed in the 1872 Texas Almanac:
Wm. B. Scates was born in Halifax county, Virginia, Nov. 27th, 1802. His father immigrated to Christian county, Kentucky, where he followed farming. The son left his father in 1820, and, went to New Orleans and engaged as a clerk for several years and afterwards went to work at house-carpentering, and finally came to Texas in 1831, landing in February of that year, and at Anahuac on the 2d of March, 1831. Here he found a Mexican organization, with its soldiers, officers and their families, under the command of Col. Bradburn. There were but few Americans, as Dr. Labadie, old Col. Morgan, Wm. Hardin, Theodore Dossett, old Dr. Dunlap, (or Doby as he was often called,) Wm. B. Travis, P.C. Jack, young Monroe Edwards, (afterwords the notorious counterfeiter,) and Robert Williamson, known as “Three Legged Willie.” The whole number of Americans was fifty-one.
Mr. Scates gives us an interesting account of all the troubles the Americans had with Bradburn, in which he participated; but which account we must postpone to another issue of this work. He afterwards took an active part in nearly all the battles and skirmishes during the war that followed with Mexico, lost all his property like many others, was wounded and suffered many hardships and privations, for which he has never received any compensation, not even a pension, while he says he knows of many who went to Austin last winter and obtained a pension, though they had never rendered any service to the country. Mr. Scates now resides at Osage, Colorado county, Texas, in an impoverished condition, with a family of daughters—not a son to assist him in his old age.