Portrait from the Perquimans Weekly, May 17, 1940.
A member of one of Gates County, North Carolina's most distinguished families, Gladstone Daughtry Gatling represented that county in the North Carolina House of Representatives on four occasions and later was an unsuccessful candidate for the state senate.
The son of Riddick Gatling Jr. (1833-1912) and the former Pennina Wiley (1844-1919), Gladstone Daughtry Gatling was born in Gates County on April 27, 1880. Gatling's unusual first name "Gladstone" looks to have been given to him in honor of William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), the four time Prime Minister of Great Britain and member of Parliament for over fifty years. Gladstone was the incumbent Prime Minister in 1880 (the year of Gatling's birth) , which lends even more credence to Gatling being named in honor of him.
Born into a family of prominent standing in Gates County, Gatling' s father and grandfather both served terms in the North Carolina legislature and public service continued in his family with John Jacob Gatling (Gladstone's uncle) and Riddick Waverly Gatling (Gladstone's cousin), who also won terms in the legislature. Gladstone Gatling attended private schools in Reynoldston, North Carolina from 1888-1892 and from 1894 to 1896 studied at the Reynoldston Academy. Little could be found on Gatling's personal life following his graduation, excepting his being a merchant and farmer in the Roduco, North Carolina area.
Gatling married on October 7, 1914 to Lillian Baxter Harrell (1889-1972), to whom he was wed for nearly four decades. The couple would have four children: William Gladstone (1915-1991), Robert Riddick (1917-2008), Nina Suttle (1919-2011) and Carolyn Wilson (1921-1991).
Active in the political life of Gates County in addition to his farming and business pursuits, Gladstone Gatling was a former member of the Gates County Board of Education as well as a tax supervisor, and served as a justice of the peace from 1908-1912. In November 1912 he was elected as Gates County's representative to the North Carolina General Assembly and during his freshman term (1913-15) served on the following committees: Immigration, Insurance, Privileges and Elections, Regulation of Public Service Corporations, and the joint committee on Printing.
Gladstone D. Gatling won his second term in the state house in November 1914 and during the 1915-17 session served on the house committees on Agriculture, Banks and Currency, Federal Relations, Fish and Fisheries, Oyster Interests and the Regulation of Public Service Corporations. He would also chair the joint committee on Enrolled Bills. Following this term he returned to private life and during the First World War was a member of the "Four Minute Men", a group created to inspire support for America's entering the war effort. This group consisted of experienced public speakers "approved by local civic and business leaders" and spoke around the country, giving four-minute speeches advocating public support for war related activities, including the purchase of war bonds and the Liberty Loan and Thrift Stamp campaigns.
From the Perquimans Weekly, May 17, 1940.
More than a decade after his last term in the legislature Gladstone Gatling launched a candidacy for a third term in the house of representatives in 1930. He would win election in November of that year and during the 1931-33 session served on the committees on Commercial Fisheries, Drainage, the Journal, Pensions, Enrolled Bills and Printing. Gatling won his fourth term in the house in November 1932 and served until the conclusion of the 1933-35 term.
In 1940 Gatling became a candidate for the North Carolina Senate in that year's Democratic primary, but was ultimately unsuccessful in gaining election to that body. Little is known of his life after this point, excepting notice of his death on July 8, 1954 at age 74. He was survived by his wife and children and was later interred at the Gatesville Cemetery in Gatesville, North Carolina.
Portrait from the Mississippi Official and Statistical Register, 1960-64.
Another political figure bestowed the unusual first name "Gladstone" was Gladstone Nathaniel Jones Sr., a resident of Wayne County, Mississippi. Born in Waynesboro on October 16, 1907, Gladstone N. Jones was the son of Ransom Powell and Harriet Demaris Cochran Jones. A teacher and farmer in the Wayne County area, Jones served one term in the Mississippi State House of Representatives from 1960-64 and died shortly after the conclusion of his term on December 18, 1964. He was survived by his wife Mary Ruth (Nester) Jones (1906-1988) and was later interred at the Waynesboro Cemetery.