Bill Gates (frontiersman)
"Swiftwater" Bill Gates (died 1935) was an American frontiersman and fortune hunter, and a fixture in stories of the Klondike Gold Rush. He made and lost several fortunes, and died in Peru in 1935 pursuing a silver strike.
In one famous Klondike story he presented Dawson dance hall girl Gussie Lamore her weight in gold.
Gates was married briefly to Grace Lamore in 1898; he later married Bera Beebe, with whom he fathered two sons, Fredrick and Clifford. Gates subsequently abandoned her for 15-year-old Kitty Brandon, his niece.
His biography "The True Life Story of Swiftwater Bill Gates" (c. 1908) was authored by Iola Beebe, his mother-in-law.
Swiftwater Bill was known to be at the gold fields of Nome, Alaska at the same time as William H Gates I, grandfather of the Microsoft founder. However, despite the similarity in name and coincidences of gold, there is no apparent family relationship between "Swiftwater Bill" and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
- Works by or about Bill Gates at Internet Archive
- Seattle Times "The Dawson City gold rush had its own Bill Gates," July 16, 1997
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