Columbia City attorney and banker, Gates (1893-1978) was elected State Commander of American Legion, 1931. In 1944, he led Republican Party to control of state offices and Indiana General Assembly. As Governor (1945-1949), he created state Department of Veterans' Affairs to aid Hoosier men and women returning from WWII in obtaining employment, education, and housing.
Amid national post-war labor strikes in coal, steel, and railroads, Gates oversaw transition of Indiana economy from war to peace. His administration streamlined Indiana government; created agencies to promote commerce, aviation, and flood control; worked to obtain funds for better roads and highways, higher salaries for teachers, and new state health facilities.