Gates Mausoleum


John W. Gates
May 18, 1855 – August 9, 1911

John Warne “Bet a Million” Gates was a financier, owner of the American Wire Company, which was an early manufacturer of barbed wire. He made millions when sold the company to J. P. Morgan’s United States Steel Corporation. Gates was also the founded of the Texas Company, which became the Texaco Oil Company. Gates was known for his fondness for gambling. In 1900 he bet $70,000 on a horse race in England and reaped a $600,000 return. Rumors escalated his winnings to one million dollars and he acquired the nickname “Bet-a-Million” Gates.

The massive Gates mausoleum is executed in a Classical Revival style with two fluted Ionic columns on the front and sides with a plain entablature and slightly gabled pediment. The mausoleum features a door crafted by Robert Aitken in 1914 depicting a mourning woman draped in cloth.

Inside, the mausoleum features two male portrait busts in marble, a combination altar and sarcophagus, a stone table and two stone chairs. The mausoleum’s interior is crafted largely in pink granite. Centermost is a dark-hued stained glass window. In a 1932 article in American Landscape Architect, the mausoleum is illustrated as the “most impressive in Woodlawn.
Text and photo © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Woodlawn Cemetery” street=”East 233rd Street” city=”Bronx” state=”New York” zip=”10470″]

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