Scott County, MO: The Gage Family

John Jefferson Gage Family

Scott County,  Missouri

Contributed by: Jeni Gage Huffstedtler, great-great-granddaughter of John Jefferson Gage and Tabitha Metcalf Gage (3/24/99)

Gage Family Photos on the Scott County, MO Photo Album Page


        Much of what I know about John Jefferson Gage and his family comes from census records and supplements from other Gage researchers. I have not verified many of the items in the information I am posting below, but intend to do so. I possess a copy of John Jefferson Gage’s death certificate, and the obituary from his son Charles’s death in 1980 that name John J. and Tabitha Gage as his parents.

        John Jefferson Gage was born in McNairy County, Tennessee on October 11, 1849. His parents were Charles and Nancy Gage, and his paternal grandparents were Samuel and Mary Ann Gage. His uncle's name was George Washington Gage. I found Charles and Nancy, a daughter Emaline, and a son John in the 1850 Tennessee census. I found Nancy alone in the 1860 Tennessee census with children John, Emaline, Nancy, and Logan. I was recently sent information by Stella Runyon that John J. Gage was listed at age 20 in the 1870 Illinois census, living in Pope County, Illinois with his mother, age 43, and his brother, James L., age 14. In 1871, he purchased land in Pope County, Illinois. I was sent information by Cheryl Broadway Cossey that John Jefferson Gage was married to Tabitha Ann Metcalf on September 11, 1873 by H. D. Baker, Justice of the Peace. Tabitha was a daughter of David Mitchell and Rhoda Ann Crouch Metcalf, and was born in November of 1856 in Pope County, Illinois. He and Tabitha stated on the 1900 census that they had nine children, but I am only certain about the existence of the following seven, which were sent to me by Pamela Gage Ferguson:

  1. Ada Gage, born August 1877 in Illinois
  2. Harriett Gage, born July 1883 in Illinois
  3. Susan L. Gage, born August 1885 in Illinois, married William G. Mackley on September 9, 1906 in Scott County, Missouri.
  4. John Gage, born March 1889 in Illinois, married Annie Holley
  5. Charles Arnold Gage, born February 12, 1891 in Illinois, married Helen Louise Cleaver on December 17, 1917 in South Dakota.
  6. Cassie Gage, born February 1893 in Illinois, married Callie Collins in Scott County, MO
  7. Lester Gage, b. March 1896 in Illinois.

        I have seen a transcription of a gravestone in the Blodgett Cemetery, Scott County, Missouri, for a George Gage, born July 30, 1874. It is near several other Gage headstones, and would be in the time between John J. and Tabitha’s marriage and the birth of Ada Gage. There is a birth listed in Pope County, Missouri for a Lillie Gage to John Jefferson Gage in 1879. This would place Lillie between Ada and Harriett. She is listed on the birth record as being the third child born to this couple. John Jefferson Gage died on July 24, 1924 and is buried in Blodgett Cemetery in Scott County, Missouri. His headstone has a violin carved on it. Tabitha Ann Metcalf Gage died December 13, 1913, and is also buried in the Blodgett Cemetery.

        It appears that John and Tabitha Gage moved from Pope County, Illinois between 1896 and 1900. For a brief time, they moved to Charleston, Mississippi County, Missouri, possibly between 1906 and 1913. An interesting item I discovered in the research of this family was that after Tabitha died in 1913, John Jefferson Gage remarried. His second wife was the same age as his youngest son with Tabitha! Her name was Mary Ethel Ownesby, and she was born in 1896. She and John Jefferson Gage were married September 22, 1914 in Benton, Scott County, Missouri. She bore John at least three daughters before his death at the age of 75 in Scott County, MO. Their names were/are Willene, b. 1915, Geraldine, b. 1918, and Laura, b. 1921. The information about John's later children was given to me by Deborah Steuer. Mary Ethel was Deborah's great aunt, the sister of her grandfather. Ethel remarried about 1927 to Joe Adams. Their children were Mary Joe who died in infancy, Ruth Ellen born about 1930, and Charles born around 1931. Ethel died in the 1970s, and as I have not heard back from Deborah, I am not sure if Ethel and John Gage’s children are still living.

        I know of no other descendants for this family except from the union of Charles Arnold and Helen Louise Cleaver Gage. Charles and Helen had two children, a son: Charles Cleaver Gage, b. December 16, 1919, and a daughter, b. February 1923. Charles Cleaver Gage died in the early 1960’s, but his sister is still living. Charles Cleaver Gage married and had two sons, my uncle and my father. They are also both still alive. My uncle has four children, and my father has two children.

        I would dearly love to find other descendants of John Jefferson and Tabitha Metcalf Gage, as well as descendants of John Jefferson and Mary Ethel Ownesby Gage (Adams). I have not been able to locate any information on-line about any of John’s children.

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