Submitted by Kathy Crowell


Last Will of Matilda J. Gage (Liber 10, Page 72):

Know all men by these presents, that I, Matilda Joslyn Gage of Fayetteville, Onondaga County, State of New York, considering the uncertainty of life and being of sound and disposing mind and memory do make and publish this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and making null and void all other last wills and testaments by me heretofore made. First. I desire that my body shall be cremated as I deem cremation to be a much more deemly and healthful method of disposing of the body than that of burial in the ground. Second. After my funeral expenses and all my just and lawful debts have been paid and discharged I give and bequeath all of my property, consisting of real estate both in the State of New York and in the Territory of Dakota stocks, bonds, notes and accounts and other personal property, to be equally divided share and share alike between my four children Mrs. Helen Leslie Gage, P. (sic) Clarkson Gage, Julia Louise Gage Carpenter and Maud Gage Baum. And I wish it to be understood as my will that in case of the death of either one of my children without natural heirs, the portion that would have belonged to such child shall be equally divided between my other surviving children, or in case but one survives, and no natural heir or heirs have been left by either of the others then that one surviving child shall take the whole. It is my express will that my house in Fayetteville, now occupied by me as a residence shall be kept and used as a home without the payment of rent as long as Helen Leslie Gage, or any other one of my children desires to use it for a home and residence; the child or children occupying it shall keep the house and barn fully insured for the benefit of the estate in the amount they are ordinarily insured for, and this is to be done at the sole expense of the child or children occupying it as a home. Such child or children so occupying it shall also pay all taxes levied upon the place, and keep up all necessary repairs upon the house and barn, and shall also keep up the flower garden at their own sole expense as long as occupying it as a home, and the above payment of insurance, taxes and repairs shall be considered by the other heirs as in lieu of rent. At the end of six years from and after my death the home shall either be sold and the proceeds equally divided between my surviving children, or if longer desired as a residence, the child or children so desiring to use it, shall pay to the other heirs the portion due them upon its assessed valuation by my executors who, upon this payment being made, shall then legally release the premises to the child, or children continuing to occupy it as a residence. I desire that my books and silver shall be divided among my children as they can agree, but to my youngest daughter, Maud Gage Baum, if living at time of my decease, I give and bequeath all of my woman suffrage papers, books and documents of whatever character except my scrap books, which latter I desire that she shall deposit in some permanent public library. I hereby give full power of attorney to my representatives authorizing them to convey real estate, and empower them to lease the same from month to month and year to year. I do this especially to avoid the expense of probating my will. I hereby make, constitute and appoint my beloved children Helen Leslie Gage, T. Clarkson Gage, Julia Louise Gage Carpenter and Maude Gage Baum as executors of my estate neither of whom shall be required to give bonds. And if all do not qualify, I desire that those who do shall make no charge to the other legatees for their service farther than the actual expense they may be put to in the settlement of my estate but consider themselves paid by the portion, coming to them and should there be any legal dispute among or between my children in reference to the provisions of my will be deemed disinherited, and the portion, or portions that otherwise would have been hers his or theirs shall be equally divided between the others. In Witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and set my hand and seal this seventh day of September, one thousand and eight hundred and eighty five. Matilda Joslyn Gage insignia. Signed, sealed published and declared by the said Matilda Joslyn Gage, in our presence to be her last will and testament, who at her request and in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses. Chas. Baker, Fayetteville Onondaga Co., N.Y., Adelia Baker, Fayetteville Onondaga Co., N.Y. State of New York county of Onondaga Surrogate's Office so I, Michael M. Mara, Clerk, of the Surrogate's Court of the County of Onondaga New York do hereby certify that the annexed instrument is a copy of the last will and testament of Matilda Joslyn Gage, late of the Village of Fayetteville in said County of Onondaga, deceased, which said last will and testament was by a decree of the Surrogate's Court of the said county of Onondaga, bearing date the 11th day of July, 1898 admitted to probate and record in said Court, as a will valid to pass both real and personal estate. That I have compared said copy with the original record of said estate now in my custody and that the same is a true transcript therefrom and of the whole thereof (insignia). $.10 U.S.I.R. Canceled. In Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the Surrogate's Court of the County of Onondaga, at the Surrogate's Office, in the City of Syracuse in said county, this lst day of April 1901. M. M. Mara, Clerk of the Surrogate Court. Recorded April 1, 1901 at 10:50 a. m. Jos. E. Hubbell, Clerk.

On the stone monument erected at her cremation site in Fayetteville Cemetery is the inscription:



1826 GAGE 1898





A few links to Matilda Joslyn Gage:








Return to Onondaga County Court House Records page.

Return to Onondaga County NY Gen-Web page.

18 February 1998