Henry Tifft Gage.16
Educated in MI, spent several years in CA, and then studied law in his father’s office; admitted to the bar in 1873; practiced for 2 years in MI, and moved to Los Angeles, CA; 1888, a delegate-at-large to the Republican national convention, where he made the speech seconding the nomination of Levi P. Morton for VP; appointed by Pres. Harrison in 1891 to prosecute the Itata crew, but he declined on account of his conviction of the government’s error in the matter; "The same conscientious regard for right and justice has pervaded all his dealings, causing him to refuse retainment in any such cases as mortGage foreclosures on a dwelling or private property." In 1898, elected governor; "During his administration, the office of state veterinarian was created, and a law was enacted making it a misdemeanor to desecrate the United States flag by printing on it or attaching to it any advertisement. Gov. Gage is largely interested in California real estate, and owns a ranch of 1,100 acres near Los Angeles. His residence is on his farm of about 200 acres, situated on the San Gabriel river, about eight miles from the city, and he there maintains an extensive stock of finely-bred horses, besides devoting large tracts to the cultivation of oranges, grapes and walnuts. Personally Gov. Gage is a most agreeable companion — witty, kindly-mannered and an inimitable raconteur."246
"Moved to California in 1874. In 1877, he opened a law office in Los Angeles, and soon numbered several large corporations among his clients (one in particular was the Southern Pacific Railroad). Active in Republican politics, Gage was elected Los Angeles City Attorney in 1881. Supported by the ‘Southern Pacific Political Bureau,’ Gage secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination on the first ballot in 1898. … The Gage administration was rife with partisan politics, as the Southern Pacific political machine tried unsuccessfully to force its candidate for United States Senator through the legislature. Gage, as part of the machine, acquiesced to the bosses, approved legislation friendly to the railroad and opposed reform groups. He also used a spoils system to reward friends and ‘machine workers’ with state office. He became involved in the San Francisco bubonic plague controversy, which turned into a fiasco as federal, state and local authorities contradicted each other as to the actual situation. In 1901, Gage became the first California governor to mediate a labor strike. As his term ended, Gage, considered a railroad pawn, had created a host of political enemies, within and outside of his own party. At the 1902 Republican Convention, the Southern Pacific ‘machine’ tried to renominate Gage, but when ‘anti-machine’ forces stalemated the convention, party bosses switched to George C. Pardee as a compromise candidate. Following his one term as governor, Gage returned to Los Angeles and his law practice. In 1909, President William Howard Taft appointed Gage Minister to Portugal. He resigned in 1911 because of his wife’s health and resumed his legal work."247
Governor from 4 Jan. 1899 to 6 Jan. 1903; went to CA in 1874; was sheep dealer until he opened a law office in 1877; as delegate to the Republican national convention at Chicago in 1888 he seconded the nomination of Levi P. Morton for vice president; his home was near Downey, CA; also an owner in the Red Rover mines near Acton, CA; "In 1891, President Harrison appointed Gage as attorney to prosecute the crew of the Chilean steamer, Itata, which had sailed into San Diego to obtain arms for rebels after the outbreak of civil war in Chile. United States authorities had detained the ship, but after his investigation Gage refused to prosecute the case because of his belief that the federal government had erred. Gage’s attitude in the Itata incident typified his dealings in the law, for he often refused to take cases when his opinions conflicted with prospective clients." He urged the annexation of territories won from the Spanish during the war.307
Gage Avenue in Los Angeles was named for him on 28 Oct 1929; "The home they established near Downey is one of the historic mansions and showplaces of the State."395
Named for his uncle, Henry Tifft, married to Ursula Glover.
He married Fannie V. Rains16, daughter of John RAINS, in 1879. Born on 3 Aug 1861. Fannie V. died aft Aug 1924, she was 62.
They had the following children:
16. Gage families: John Gage of Ipswich; Thomas Gage of Yarmouth; William Gage of Freetown; Robert Gage of Weston; William Gage of Canada; Gage family of the south; Robert Gage of Ireland; compiled by Walker Miller Gage, Chico, CA, 1922. Original notes and research donated to the Albany Public Library, Albany, NY.
246. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, James T. White & Co., New York, 1963.
247. Sobel, Robert & John Raimo, editors, Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Meckler Books, Westport, CT, 1978.
307. Melendy, H. Brett & Benjamin F. Gilbert, The Governors of California, The Talisman Press; Georgetown, CA, 1965.
395. Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA.