Anna Johnson Gates

Charleston Gazette
January 13, 1939

Mrs. Tom Gates Dies in Hospital

First Woman Legislator's Funeral to Be Held Tomorrow

Mrs. Tom Gates, 49, prominent Charleston woman, and first woman to serve as a member of the West Virginia legislature, died early yesterday morning in a local hospital after an illness of more than three years.

Mrs. Gates was active many years in Democratic politics in the state, county and city.

She had been a patient at the hospital nine weeks, her condition being critical the last few days. She had received treatment at the Mayo clinic at Rochester, Minn., several months and was a patient at an Indianapolis hospital 14 months.

Services will be held at 2 p. m. tomorrow at the Simpson funeral home where the body is to remain until funeral time. Rev. Harry S. Longley, jr., rector of St. John's Episcopal church, will officiate and burial will be in Spring Hill cemetery.

Always active in civic movements, Mrs. Gates worked for the woman's suffrage movement and was elected to the state legislature in 1923, three years after women first received the right to vote.

She had served on Democratic committees of both city and county and was a delegate to the national Democratic convention in Chicago in 1932 when Franklin D. Roosevelt was chosen as a candidate for president.

Mrs. Gates also served as associate chairman of the Democratic executive committee of Kanawha county in 1920 and as chairman of the Sixth ward Red Cross work during the World war.

She was chairman of the arts, science and the general improvements committees, while a member of the house of delegates. She also served on committees on prohibition and temperance, education, humane institution and public buildings and medicine and sanitation.

She was a member of the Business and Professional Women's club and the Episcopal church.

Born at East Bank, Jan. 25, 1889, the daughter of James T. and Isabel Spruce Johnson, she attended Montgomery public schools and later a business school at Parkersburg.

She married Harry Gates, who died 25 years ago, and in 1915 she married Tom Gates, who survives. For a number of years Mr. and Mrs. Gates had lived at Gates place in Broad street.

Pallbearers will be Earl Brawley, W. A. Scott, Staige Davis, John Goshorn, Harry L. Flournoy and Leslie Huffman.


West Virginia Archives and History