John Lewis Bates
Painting: by William Worcester Churchill, 1915

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1903-1905

The son of a Methodist minister, John Lewis Bates attended public school in New Bedford, Chelsea, Taunton, and eventually the Boston Latin School. He attended the Methodist-affiliated Boston University, earning an A.B. and went on to graduate from the Boston University School of Law in 1882.

Over the next decade Mr. Bates practiced law in Boston. He was elected a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1894, serving as Speaker of the House from 1897 until his election as Lieutenant Governor, 1899.

Mr. Bates ran for Governor in 1902, winning the popular election as a Republican. In this day the Governor appointed Boston's Police Commissioner. Governor Bates disregarded city requests and appointed an outsider, Judge Emmons, who promised to reform the department. Bates won reelection for a second term, but failed in his bid for a third. Governor Bates retired to private legal practice in Boston.