Gage, George

Born: 1813-08-30 New York

Died: 1899-12-19 McHenry County, Illinois

Flourished: McHenry County, Illinois

George Gage was a farmer, dry goods merchant, county government official, and state legislator. A native of Litchfield, New York, he was educated at the Clinton Liberal Institute in Clinton, New York for eighteen months in the early 1830s, then taught school for a year. Gage moved to Illinois in 1835, stopping first at Joliet, then staying for several years with a brother in what is now Lake County. In 1838, Gage married Martha Persis Heald, and they eventually had four children. In 1840, Gage served on a petit jury during the first term of the Lake County Circuit Court and was a deputy surveyor for the county. He farmed at a succession of properties in the McHenry County area before settling in the town of McHenry where he promoted development and helped to secure the Chicago and North Western Railroad for the town. Over the course of the 1840s, Gage purchased over 1,250 acres of land in Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. In 1850, his real estate possessions were valued at $3,500 and ten years later he owned $20,000 in real estate and $5,000 in personal property. He represented McHenry County in the Illinois House of Representatives, 1851 to 1852 and in the Illinois Senate, 1855 to 1858. Gage was a Freemason, and in politics he was first a Whig with Free Soil sympathies, then ultimately a Republican.

History of McHenry County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1885), 799-802; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Lake County, 685:265, 267, 686:110, 231, 233, 234; McHenry County, 685:114, 115, 131, 811:50; Will County, 686:27, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), McHenry County, IL, 343; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 218, 220-21; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), McHenry, McHenry County, IL, 157; Elihu B. Washburne to Abraham Lincoln; List of Members of the Illinois Legislature in 1855; The McHenry Plaindealer, 21 December 1899, 1:5-6.