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George Gamage

GAMAGE, George (deceased). — For nearly half a century an honored resident of Macomb, McDonough County, Ill., and the proprietor and operator of a fine farm, a portion of which has been incorporated into the city. George Gamage was a marked type of the industrious, sturdy and sensible Englishman, whose character and work have done so much to place the United States upon the substantial basis of agricultural wealth. Not only his own relatives, but those of his wife's family, were natives of Old England, and the children are therefore of inire English stock. George Gamage was the son of John and Mary (Nutt) Gamage, his parents being born in England — the father September 21, 1787, his death occurring July 8, 1855. The latter came to America when George was sixteen years of age, first locating on Long Island, and later moving, with his family of five children, to Williamstown. N. Y. He had been married a second time, the subject of this sketch being the oldest child. George Gamage was a native of Weeden, Northamptonshire, England, where he was born on the 8th day of May, 1828, and was educated in the public schools. Later he settled with the family at Waverly, L. I., removing thence to Williamstown, N. Y., and to McDonough County, Ill.

In 1855, having accumulated some money by his industry and forethought, Mr. Gamage sought a broader field for his energies and the application of scientific farming and business principles, for he had developed into a business man as well as a thorough husbandman. He selected Macomb as his future home, erecting a residence in the southwestern portion of the town, and purchasing a farm of eighty-seven acres adjoining its limits, forty acres of which has since been added to the city. Both he and his brother Joseph were in the employ of A. B. Stickle. Mr. Gamage lived on the original homestead until 1893, the house being improved from time to time, when his brother, Joseph S., built a tasteful modern residence, on South Johnson Street. In the meantime he had been engaged in agricultural pursuits, had disposed of about half his farm to residents of Macomb, and also with his brother carried on a meat market to great advantage. At his death, on December 30, 1893, he had not only acquired a good competency, but had gained a splendid reputation as an honorable, able man, whether judged from the standpoint of personal character or financial success. The deceased was laid to rest at Oakwood Cemetery, leaving a tender family circle and many warm friends to mourn his death.

In 1878 Joseph S. Gamage, the brother of George, established the meat market with which the latter was connected, and continued it until his death, on November 24, 1902. He also conducted a grocery from 1873 to 1886. Joseph Gamage was a bachelor, residing with his brother until he died on the date given, as the result of a surgical operation.

On June 9, 1861, George Gamage was united in marriage at Macomb to Maria Axford, born in Frome, Somersetshire, England, and educated in the common schools of her native land. Her parents were natives of the same shire. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Gamage as follows: Esther, of Macomb; Annie, of St. Mary's, Ill.; John, of Macomb, •married to Ida Vance, of that place, and Frank, also a resident of St. Mary's. In politics the deceased was a Republican; a faithful voter, not a politician. Religiously, although not a church member, he was inclined to the Methodist Episcopal faith. He was a man of upright life, a good citizen, and generous to a fault.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 883-884, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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