Benjamin F. Gage, Ancestor of

 Dan & Vaughn Oliver

Benjamin F. was born circa 1802 in Union County, South Carolina by one record and in Kentucky by another record. He married Sarah Elizabeth Harrell in 1826 or 1828, probably in Alabama.  She was born about 1802 or 1804 in Georgia.  This probably took place in Greene County as that is the only County in Alabama that show both Gage and Harrell families.  Benjamin and Elizabeth's first four children, all boys, were born in Alabama and by the time their fifth son Robert was born in 1838, they were in Texas. Their sixth and last child, daughter Olivia was born in Texas circa 1841. The three youngest children enumerated in the 1850 Census were the Curry family, not Gage. Benjamin F. Gage died near Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas,  January 1858. His widow Elizabeth is still alive in 1870 and living with her daughter Olivia Cox.  She is presumed deceased by 1880 as she did not appear in that Census.

Benjamin Gage came to Texas from Indiana.  He traveled through Kentucky, on to Tennessee and from Tennessee to Texas camping along and scouting about.  he was one of the old "Trail Blazers", helping build bridges etc.  He camped at the Filips Springs, three miles north of Gladewater, Texas, but the location did not suit him.  So he scouted around a few days and located on Little White Oak Creek about 12 miles northwest of the springs.  There he established a gristmill and tanning yard.

Upshur County was unorganized at that time.  The Governor of Texas appointed Benjamin Gage, Benjamin Fuller and M.M. Robertson commissioners (confirmed by the legislature in 1849) to select a site for the county seat of the newly created county.  (In Gommel Laws of Texas in 1848, Texas Legislature Act was passed appointing Benjamin Gage and others to select the site for the county seat named Gilmer, another Act passed in 1850 and signed in Commissioners Court.)  They selected and bought the present site of Gilmer from Matthew Cartwright, famed trader and early Texas Land Owner.

When the Gage home was built along White Oak Creek, his nearest neighbors were several miles away.  The area rapidly filled with settlers in the first few years after Texas became a State.

Two men were paid $1.00 in gold for each log they hand hewed for the Gage home.  They were Alec Marsh and Billy Green whose descendants reside in and around Upshur County  (1960).  When the men finished hewing the logs which were hauled from Jefferson, the neighbors joined in a house raising.  They used wooden pegs to fasten the logs together and constructed a two story house 17 1/2 X 30 feet.  It had a large fireplace at one end and one large porch on the front with another on the back.

This house was still standing in 1960 and in the 115 year old structure are members of the same family, William Alton Gage, a great grandson of the builder and his daughter Mrs. Judy Holden, the fifth generation to reside in the house.  This is probably the oldest house in Upshur County still being used by the same family.  Since the house was originally built four more rooms have been added.  One of the porches has been rebuilt, electricity and gas has been installed and the house now has an imitation brick siding.

Benjamin, as an heir of James Standifer, a large land owner in this area inherited 640 acres of Texas land.

Benjamin and Sarah Gage are buried in the Hoover Cemetery.

 

 

Vaughn  Oliver, SRT National President 2009