Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gage Graves

Last month on our cross-country trip we spent a day in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where L. Frank Baum lived from September 20, 1888, until about May 1891. A major impetus for Frank and Maud Baum to move from New York state to what was then the Dakota Territory was that Maud's siblings, including Helen Leslie Gage and Thomas Clarkson Gage, already lived there. Frank and Maud Baum spent less than three years in Aberdeen, eventually moving to Chicago where Frank would find fame as an author of children's books. But Maud's Aberdeen, South Dakota, siblings resided there for the rest of their lives.

The Riverside Memorial Park on the southwest side of Aberdeen, South Dakota, has a Gage plot where these folks were buried. We went to see it late in the day and took these photos.

Thomas Clarkson Gage (1848-1938), a founding settler of Aberdeen, was Maud Gage Baum's brother. He remained prominent in city affairs until his death.

Sophie Jewell Gage (1855-1945) was Thomas Clarkson Gage's wife, and thus sister-in-law to Maud Gage Baum and L. Frank Baum.

Helen Leslie Gage (1846-1933) was the eldest sister of Thomas Clarkson Gage and Maud Gage Baum.

Charles Henry Gage (1818-1892) was the husband of Helen Leslie Gage. Although he had the same last name, he doesn't seem to have been related by blood, at least not closely.

Matilda Jewell Gage (1886-1986) was the daughter of Thomas Clarkson Gage and Sophie Jewell Gage, and thus the niece of Maud Gage Baum and L. Frank Baum. Matilda was named after her maternal grandmother, Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage, the prominent women's rights activist. Matilda Jewell Gage visited her Uncle Frank and Aunt Maud often, preserved many artifacts related to Frank, and in her later years proved to be a valuable source of information about her famous uncle.

Leslie Gage (1882-1966) was the daughter of Helen Leslie Gage and Charles Henry Gage, and thus another niece of Maud and Frank. This previous posting features a newspaper photo of Leslie Gage.

It was near sundown when we stopped at the cemetery and the sky was spectacular. Who knew that Aberdeen, South Dakota, could be so beautiful?

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