Biography of Samuel Sage

The name Sage had been very prominently identified with Shawnee County, particularly in the community around Dover, for a half century or more. The family is one that would prove a valuable contribution to any community. They have been upright and conscientious citizens, have done their share of the development work connected with the raising of a new country to the best standards of civilization, and there is probably not a single member of the family who had not pulled his own weight in the world.

The first of this particular family to come from Somersetshire, England, the original seat of the family, to America was Arthur Sage. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth (Davis) Sage. Arthur located in Onondaga County, New York. His experience in the New World was very gratifying, and the reports he sent back home caused his father Samuel to also come to America. He too was favorably impressed, and about the year 1849 he sent for the other members of the family to join him. Samuel Sage was twice married. None of the children of his first wife ever lived in America. One son of the first marriage was named Aaron and he gained distinction by being selected a member of the Queen’s Guard.

The children of Samuel Sage by his second marriage were: Arthur; Ann, who married Simon Mayne; John; Alfred; Mark; Samuel; Aaron; Elizabeth, who married Edward Stock; and Walter. The only one of all these children who never lived in Kansas was Walter. Walter enlisted in Battery F of the Third New York Light Artillery early in the war, and died of typhoid fever at Newbern, North Carolina, numarried.

The first of the family to come to Kansas were John and Alfred Sage, who arrived during the decade of the ’50s, when Kansas was still a territory, and pre-empted land at Dover. That land is now owned by John R. Tomson. These brothers when they came west were what were known as “tenderfoot.” They left their families in Topeka until they could build shacks and start farming operations around Dover. They went out into the country in a wagon, and the first night was one of very great discomfort. They were frightened by the howling of wolves, and not knowing to what extent those animals were dangerous they remained in the covered wagon all night, one of them occupying the front end with a gun and the other the rear with an ax. They had no sleep, and early the next morning they snffered a great deal of chagrin when they found, instead of a pack of ravening wolves, only two or three lond but practically harmless coyotes. Later John and Alfred developed into very substantial and forceful men of early territorial days. They became associated with James H. Lane and John Brown and other leaders of the noted free soilers, and had some worthy share in making Kansas a free state.

After John and Alfred came Mark Sage, who settled on Mill Creek, where he kept a stage station. Following him was Samuel, Jr., who settled at Dover, and after the war came Aaron, with his father, and Elizabeth, the wife of Edward Stock, was the last to come.

Samuel Sage, father of this large family of Kansans, did not long survive his arrival in Kansas. He was a man of great moral and physical strength and courage. When Napoleon threatened to conquer the world Samuel Sage was seized and drafted for the British army. Being possessed of considerable talent, he was assigned to the band and for ten years continued in the English army and participated in a number of the continental campaigns against Napoleon. He was a man advanced in years when he came to America and his life was spent here practically uneventful. His death occurred at the extreme age of ninety-eight.

Arthur, his oldest son, married Keziah Shepard, and of their five children the four who grew to maturity were Ann, Albert, Sarah and Emily. The son John married Elizabeth Bassett, and they became the parents of a large family. John Sage was for many years postmastor at Dover. Alfred married Mary Bassett and some of their children are still living near Dover. Mark married Josephine Howe, and four of his children are still residents of Kansas. The son Samuel, Jr., was in a Kansas regiment during the Civil war and died from an attack of the measles.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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