Some people have distinguished lineage, famous ancestors, proud heritage and so forth. I discovered my own "famous" ancestor when I picked up a little book called Tell a Tale of Iowa. One of the stories was about a murder trial that had the countryside buzzing with gossip in the early 1900s. The accused murderer? My great grandfather. I will start by saying he was acquitted, and I am mostly sure he really was innocent, but it was quite a scandalous story. My grandfather Bates' brother, known as Doc Huntsman is supposed to have been associated of the James Gang, as in Jesse and Frank. (side note-- the James boys' mom's name was Zerelda and my great grandfather named his daughter Suerelda. Aunt Susie, as I always knew her, would never allow this story to be spoken of, by the way). Fast forward many years later. A neighbor of greatgrandpa came to the authorities with a story that the Huntsman men had hired him to help them search for gold buried on their farm, a search lasting over 25 years. He claims they found a box full of gold, but refused to give him his share. He claimed they and a gang of men had murdered a cattleman and stolen his gold years ago, burying the gold on the farm, then lost the map to find the gold when their cabin burned down. Another neighbor came forward and said she had seen the Huntsmans carrying a body in a bloody quilt at the time of the supposed murder. It was the story of the day, but no gold and no body were ever found. The family story is that the bloody quilt was from hog butchering, nobody murdered anyone and they certainly would have used the gold if it existed. It is interesting to see the old newspaper reports describing my great grandfather, at 77 years old having the eyes of a mystic and the long beard of a patriarch. He lived with my grandparents later, and my grandmother had 2 stories to tell about the man with the eyes of a mystic. One is that my uncle killed one of her baby chickens and she spanked him. Bates said nothing until grandpa came in from the fields, and he immediately told him "That woman beat that child unmerciful, just for killing one of her damn chickens." Her other was to tell that my uncle always wanted everything he couldn't have. Bates came into the house one evening to tell her to come out in the yard, she wouldn't believe "what that boy is asking for now", and came out to find that Bates had posed my uncle pointing up to the moon.