John Gates (Portland mayor)

John Gates (December 31, 1827 – April 27, 1888)[2] was the mayor of Portland, Oregon, United States from 1885–1888. Born in Maine, he studied engineering in Massachusetts. He moved to California in 1849 and to Oregon in 1853. He found employment with the Oregon Steam Navigation Company (OSN), becoming its chief engineer in the early 1860s.[2] He worked for OSN for 27 years. He designed 72 steamboats and was an inventor, filing more than 30 patents during his time with OSN.[2]

John Gates
26th Mayor of Portland, Oregon
In office
June 1, 1885  April 27, 1888
Preceded byJ. A. Chapman
Succeeded byVan B. DeLashmutt
Personal details
Born(1827-12-31)December 31, 1827[1]
Mercer, Maine[1]
DiedApril 27, 1888(1888-04-27) (aged 60)
Political partyRepublican
ProfessionMechanical engineer

Running as the Republican candidate, he was elected in 1885 to a three-year term as mayor of Portland, defeating Sylvester Pennoyer. He died while in office, two months before the end of his term.[2]


  1. "Death of Mayor Gates". The Morning Oregonian. April 28, 1888. p. 8.
  2. Terry, John (August 15, 2010). "Inventor John Gates served Portland as riverboat developer, civic activist, mayor". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
Preceded by
J. A. Chapman
Mayor of Portland, Oregon
Succeeded by
Van B. DeLashmutt
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