For a lonely farm boy without brothers or sisters, Joe Bates who grew up in rural Osage County, found a home away from home and lots of friends during his six years at the Ponca Military Academy. Joe is somewhat of a record keeper and always enjoys the PMA reunions. He was one of the pioneer cadets attending from 1940 to 1946.
One of his closest friends is Tom Ferguson of Kansas City. Ferguson was a highway patrolman. Joe was sitting on his bicycle when Tom arrived with is family and clothes at PMA. As soon as he saw Joe, he unloaded his bicycle and the two rode off together, and their friendship has endured over the years.
About his heritage, Joe Dewane says that his father Joe (no middle name) was a full blood Osage and his mother Mae was full blood German, so that makes him half Osage and half German. His parents lived on 160 acres in the Osage, and acquired 1,600 acres that Joe inherited. He laughs and says he is a sharecropper because someone else farms it for him.
After PMA, Joe went on to attend Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), for two years. He admitted he was doing too good in school, so he came home to work on the farm and help his father, who had paid his tuition at PMA for six years. He moved from the farm to Ponca City in about 1960.
Some of his favorite instructors were Capt. Baker, Capt. Moore and Major Cox. Joe was a football player and enjoyed playing on the team coached by Capt. Baker.
One of the most important lessons he learned was "respect and to respect all people." He spent time marching around the flagpole, which by the way has become part of the PMA Memorial Park on East Hartford.

Joe remembers the Colonel had a rule that they couldn't have a dog. Well a dog showed and the cadets had a petition and took it to the Colonel. Not only did they not get to keep the dog, but each was assigned 10 hours around the flagpole, 10 hours of study hall and no passes were issued for going to town. When in town they would either go to the movies or play pool. Joe recalls going to a hamburger stand "Pops", where they say a guy named Jackson of Pawhuska ate 20 burgers at one sitting.
Besides football, other entertainment included dancing. "I was a farm boy and I didn't know how to dance, but I learned," Joe said.
While at PMA Joe met his future wife Colleen on a double date. Only she was the other cadet's date. Their paths crossed again one day in town, when he met her coming down the street from Jake Hamptions Insurance where she worked. They began dating and married Nov. 11, 1959. They celebrated 50 years of marriage last year.
Joe is a past Councilman of the Osage Tribe serving 1986 to 1990 and 1990 to 1994. He is a Board member of the United Community Action Program based out of Pawnee. This program deals with a variety of issues including the Early Head Start, Head Start, Emergency Services, Housing, Nutrition, Substance Abuse, Transit and Youth.
A member of the Senior Citizens group at McCord, Joe volunteers one day a week there. He attends First Lutheran Church.
The Bates' have three daughters, Teresa Ruthford and Liana Bates of Ponca City and Stacy Lasky of Tulsa. There are seven granddaughters and four great granddaughters in the Bates family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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