Nathaniel Gaither was the son of Dr. Nathaniel (1788-1862) and Martha (Morrison) Gaither (1778-1837) who were married in 1817. He was born in 1835 in Adair County.
Gaither was admitted to practice law in Adair County. He served as a school commissioner and county attorney. He represented Adair County in the Kentucky Legislature in 1859-61. He married Susan Shelby Magoffin, daughter of Governor Beriah Magoffin. She is listed as a communicant in the Columbia Presbyterian Church in 1863.
Gaither was appointed Secretary of State by his father-in-law, Governor Beriah Magoffin, in October 1861 to replace Thomas B. Monroe who had resigned to join the Confederate Army. In 1862, Gaither himself also resigned to join the Confederate Army and served with the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry CSA.
After the war, he settled in Harrodsburg and practiced law there. He is listed as living in Harrodsburg in 1870 and 1880 as a lawyer with no family. He died on December 19, 1894.
Census of 1860, Adair County;
Censuses of 1870, 1880, and 1900, Mercer County;
Collins, "History of Kentucky" (1874), Vol I. page 32 and Vol. II, page 350;
Harrodsburg Historical Society Historical Files;
Perrin, "History of Kentucky", (1885), Vol. IV, page 862;
Michael C. Watson, "An Adair County History, Vol. 1" (2001), pp. 71, 83, 221, 226.