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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Rev. William Johnson Gage

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 471-472 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The Rev. William Johnson Gage, rector of the parish of Grace Episcopal Church at Mohawk and one of the best known young clergymen in the Mohawk Valley, is a native New Yorker and has been a resident of this state all of his life. He has his name in remembrance of Sir William Johnson, commissioner of Indian affairs in behalf of the crown during the Colonial days and the founder of Johnstown, in Fulton county, New York, the birthplace of the Rev. Mr. Gage, who was born on January 17, 1891, and who is a son of William F. and Carrie B. (Snyder) Gage, the latter of whom is still living, now the wife of Ira L. Burhans of Newburgh, New York. She was born at Johnstown, this state, and is a daughter of William S. and Octavia (Montony) Snyder, the latter of whom was born at Auriesville, New York, a daughter of Isaiah Montony, an innkeeper at that place. She died at Newburgh in 1911. William S. Snyder was born at Auriesville, this state, and for many years taught school in this state. His death occurred at Johnstown in 1901. He began teaching district school when but thirteen years of age, presently began teaching in the schools of Rome and then became connected with the Johnstown schools, where he continued active in teaching service for thirty-five years. The late William F. Gage was born at Fort Plain, in Montgomery county, this state, in 1858, and was a son of William M. Gage and wife, the latter of whom was an Andrews. William M. Gage was the great-great-grandson of William Gage, one of the first American holders of this name, an Englishman who settled at Freetown in the Massachusetts colony in the year 1700, and from whom the Rev. William Johnson Gage takes descent in the seventh generation of the American line of Gages then established. William F. Gage grew up as a practical printer and for some time carried on a job printing business at Glens Falls. He later took up commercial pursuits and was for some time engaged as a commercial traveler, calling on the trade in behalf of Ireland Brothers, glove manufacturers at Johnstown. Afterward he went to California and at Chico, that state, became engaged in the garage business and was thus engaged at the time of his death. His widow married Ira L. Burhans of Newburgh-on-the-Hudson and is now living at this latter place.

The early schooling of William Johnson Gage was carefully directed and he early turned his thoughts toward the gospel ministry. He was graduated from the Newburgh Free Academy in 1910 and then became a matriculate in St. Stephen's College at Annandale-on-the-Hudson. Following the prescribed course in the humanities in this institution, he entered, in 1914, the General Theological Seminary of New York city and in 1917 was graduated from that institution, his ordination to the Diaconate of the Protestant Episcopal church taking place on June 3 of that year. This ordination ceremony was conducted by Bishop Rich H. Nelson of the diocese of Albany, in the Cathedral of All Saints at Albany. Following his ordination the Rev. Mr. Gage was appointed to be the senior assistant to the rector of St. John's church at Ogdensburg, New York, and at the same time was made priest-in-charge of Christ's church at Morristown and priest-in-charge of St. Augustine's church at Hermon in St. Lawrence county. During this term of service Mr. Gage started a mission at DeKalb Junction, a work which developed worthily. In St. John's church at Ogdensburg, on May 26, 1918, Bishop Nelson officiating, Mr. Gage was raised to the Priesthood of the Episcopal church and accepted the rectorship of St. Paul's church at Greenwich, in Washington county. He continued his ministerial services at Greenwich until December, 1921, when he accepted the appointment to the rectorship of Grace Episcopal church at Mohawk, where he since has been established and during his ministry much progress has been made in the general affairs of the parish. Mr. Gage is a republican and a Freemason, affiliated with Ogdensburg Lodge, No. 128. During the time of this country's participation in the World war he was one of the most active of the "Four-Minute" speakers in behalf of Liberty Loan and other "drives" in St. Lawrence county, where he then was stationed.

On August 2, 1921, at Greenwich, New York, the Rev. William Johnson Gage was united in marriage to Miss Helen L. Holbrook, and to this union two children have been born: a daughter, Elizabeth Berenice Gage, born in Mohawk on June 1, 1922; and a son, William Lynden Gage, born September 13, 1923. Mrs. Gage is a native of New York state and a member of one of its old families. She was born in Greenwich, on April 7, 1903, and is a daughter of Elmer and Emma (Lane) Holbrook, both still living at Greenwich. Her mother was born at Fort Miller, on September 17, 1874, and is a daughter of George E. and Rosanna (Welch) Lane, the latter of whom also was born at Fort Miller, in April, 1844. She died at Greenwich in April, 1922. The late George E. Lane, a veteran of the Civil war, was born at Rhinebeck, this state, and his last days were spent at Greenwich, where he died in October, 1921. Elmer Holbrook is a member of one of the old families of the Greenwich neighborhood. He was born in the vicinity of that historic and picturesque old village on April 19, 1873, and is now living at Greenwich, where he is superintendent of a foundry. Mrs. Gage was graduated from the Greenwich high school with the class of 1921. She is a member of the Camp Fire Girls; also a member of the Episcopal Church at Greenwich and during the time of her residence there was one of the active factors in the promotion of the interests of that useful organization. She has two brothers, Louis Adley and George Holbrook, both of whom are living at Greenwich. Mr. Gage has two brothers, the Rev. Walker Miller Gage of Chico, California, and Professor Snyder James Gage, superintendent of the public schools of Newburgh, this state; and one sister, Mrs. Octavie Marie Sheffer of Newburgh.

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