Joseph R. T. Coates, Mayor of Chester, was born in 1837, at Coatesville, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and comes of good Quaker stock. His ancestors were the first settlers of that beautiful town in the Chester Valley, and from them it takes its name. When but nine years of age he was left an orphan. Mayor Coates received a common school education, but completed it at the Chester Academy. He taught school for several years, and then studied law under the mentorship of Hon. John M. Broomall, and for about a year after his admission to the bar continued in the office of his preceptor. The War of the Rebellion coming on, he enlisted, and was elected first lieutenant of the Slifer Phalanx, afterwards Company C, First Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps. He participated in all the battles of the regiment, when after the engagement of South Mountain he was promoted to a captaincy, and assigned to duty as Inspector General on the staff of General McCandless. On the field of Gettysburg he was breveted a major for gallant and meritorious service, and was mustered out with the command in Philadelphia. In 1865 he was appointed Post Master at Chester by President Lincoln, and since that time has been closely identified with our city, taking a prominent part in all matters looking toward the public weal. He was one of the contractors of the South Ward Water Works, built in 1867. He has always taken an active part in municipal affairs, and in 1887 was elected Mayor of Chester, after a spirited contest with Dr. J. L. Forwood, who had defeated him at the previous election.
Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.