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cago; and Sarah E. , wife of George M. Black, of
Cleveland, Ohio.

The subject of this sketch was a child of nine
years when his parents came to Chicago. He at-
tended the Cottage Grove public school, from
which he graduated in 1877, and later was a stu-
dent in the Mosley High School. At the age of
eighteen he entered upon his business career as
city buyer for A. G. Spaulding & Bros., the lead-
ing dealers in sporting goods in the city. Two
years were thus passed, after which he entered
the Treasurer's office of the Chicago, Rock Island
& Pacific Railroad Company. He began work
there in May, 1880, in the humble capacity of office
boy, and attained his present position by a series
of well-merited promotions.

On December 31, 1889, Mr. Gordon wedded
Miss Anna Mary McPherson, daughter of John W.



222



PETER WOHLER.



McPherson, of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, in
which place Mrs. Gordon was born. Their union
has been blessed with two daughters, Margaret
McPherson and Dorothy Chandlee. The family
attends the Forty-first Street Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Gordon is a member of the Masonic frater-
nity and on questions of State and National



importance is a Democrat, but at local elections,
where no issue is involved, he votes independent
of party ties. During his fourteen years' connec-
tion with the office of which he is an important
factor, Mr. Gordon has become one of the most
indispensable employes thereof.



PETER WOHLER.



PETER WOHLER is at the head of a leading
industry, being engaged in the manufacture
|>5 of sash, doors and stairs in Chicago. He
was born in Fehmer, Schleswig-Holstein, Ger-
many, on the 28th of January, 1846, and is a son
of Henry and Mary (Kolbaum) Wohler. He ac-
quired his education in the common schools, and
at the age of sixteen entered upon his business
career. It was then that he began to learn the
trade of cabinet-making, serving an apprenticeship
of four and a-half years, during which he com-
pletely mastered the business, becoming an expert
workman.

The year 1866 witnessed the arrival of Mr.
Wohler in America. He sought a home in Chi-
cago, where he obtained employment in a furni-
ture factory, and subsequently secured a situation
in a sash and door factory, located at the corner of
Clark and Twelfth Streets. Three years later he
was offered a position in a stair factory and became
foreman of the business. After the great fire
which swept away so much of the city in October,
1871, he established a factory of his own at the
corner of Centre Avenue and Eighteenth Street.
His place of business was subsequently changed
to Twenty-first Street, near Laflin, his present
location, where he now manufactures sash and



doors and does stair work. He also carries
on contracting and building, and does a good bus-
iness, employment being furnished to over one
hundred workmen. Having thoroughly learned
his trade in boyhood, he is enabled to turn out
the finest and most skillful work and to superin-
tend his employes to the best advantage.

In January, 1869, was celebrated the marriage
of Mr. Wohler and Mary Jubekel, a native of
Holstein, Germany. Five children have been
born of their union: Lena, now the wife of C.
Shreiber, of Chicago; Lucy, Sophia, Emma and
Anna. The mother of this family, who was a de-
vout member of the Lutheran Church and a highly
respected lady, died on the I7th of May, 1892, at
the age of forty-two years.

In his social relations, Mr. Wohler is connected
with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the
Order of Druids and the National Turners. In
his political views he is a Republican, and cast his
first Presidential vote forU. S. Grant in 1868. He
came to Chicago with no capital except a good
trade, thoroughly learned, and his success is due
to his own skill, integrity and perseverance. He
may truly be called a self-made man, and his ex-
ample may well serve to encourage those who,
like himself, have to start out in life empty handed.



' 'Ry

THE
UNIVERSI ' OF ILl! ")>



J. N. GAGE.



223



JOHN N. GAGE.



(JOHN NEWTON GAGE. The subject of
I this sketch was born in Pelham, New Hamp-
(/ shire, May 30, 1825, unto Nathan and Me-
hitable (Woodbury) Gage. Being brought up
on a farm, a fact which holds true of most of our
leading pioneer citizens, his early educational ad-
vantages were limited to such common schools as
the ubiquitous energy so characteristic of New
England Puritans and their descendants had at
that early date made possible at the scene of his
nativity. At about twenty years of age, he put
forth his "best foot" in taking the first step upon
his pathway through life, and though he often
found the way beset with difficulties, yet he was
always found bravely and tirelessly at work, per-
forming his tasks as a man and Christian in the
best of the light given unto him.

His first independent work was in the Waltham
(Massachusetts) Cotton Company's Mills, where,
in he later became overseer in its weaving-room.
After a period of eight years of such service, mak-
ing it his determination to come West, he took
private evening lessons in bookkeeping, so as not
to interfere with the discharge of his paid duties,
which he finally resigned to others (and, we fain
believe, less competent) hands. He set out for
Chicago, the distant but much-sought El Dorado
of our country at that time, which he first saw,
spread out in a panorama almost as Nature's God
had made it, in the spring of 1857.

He soon met with co-operative energies in the
persons of Christopher C. and Daniel Webster,
with whom he directly entered into articles
of partnership, establishing one of the earliest
wholesale and retail millinery houses of our city,
known then by the firm style of Webster & Gage,



their first place of business being located on Lake
Street. Having the misfortune of being burned
out in 1857, tne y re-opened at No. 78 Lake Street,
where they continued until the withdrawal of the
Websters, about 1868. Mr. Gage took into a
new partnership formed at that time a brother,
Seth Gage, and a nephew, Albert S. Gage, under
the new name of Gage Brothers & Company, a
name retained to this day (after a brief interval of
change to A. S. Gage & Company), by which the
house has continued to grow and remain known
throughout the entire West and Northwest.

Being burned out by the Great Fire, they set up
temporarily in A: S. Gage's private house, until
they were enabled to re-open for a period of two
months in a temporary structure upon the Lake
Front. From this location they removed to Wa-
bash Avenue, near Jackson, thence to the corner
of Madison Street and Wabash Avenue, where
the trade still finds them profitably busy, one of
the noted houses of the city.

The subject of this sketch sold out to his part-
ner, A. S. Gage, about 1878. Thereafter, though
in excellent health, he lived a life of respected re-
tirement until the sad event of his demise from
blood poisoning, following upon what seemed to
be a trivial complaint, June 1 1, 1887, at his man-
sion house, No. 1308 Michigan Avenue, whence
his remains were borne to the family lot in Oak-
wood Cemetery.

The following is a copy of the resolutions
adopted by the Directors of the Wright & Law-
ther Oil and Lead Manufacturing Company on
this sad occasion:

"WHEREAS, Death having taken from us our
esteemed fellow-member and Vice-President, Mr.



224



J. N. GAGE.



John N. Gage, one of the founders of this com-
pany, who died June n, 1887, it is hereby

"Resolved: That in the death of Mr. John N.
Gage the company has suffered an irreparable
loss. Appreciating, as we do, his worth as a
man, his careful, just and conservative business
methods, we can never fully fill his place in the
Company's affairs;

"Resolved: That the heartfelt sympathy of each
and every member of this Board is felt for his
family in their great loss and affliction; and that
a copy of these Resolutions be sent to them, and
also spread upon the records of this Company. ' '

In politics he was an inflexible Republican,
always casting his ballot, but as carefully avoid-
ing any approach towards active politics. In re-
ligious faith he was liberal, having for many
years attended Dr. Ryder's church, St. Paul's
Universalist, whose pastor held and was held in
mutual esteem from as far back as the early '6os.

And so, with little variety or romance, lived
and died one of the sturdiest, most useful of our
citizens. Subsequent generations, with more lei-
sure and wealth, may develop more elegance and
refinement; but to men of Mr. Gage's virile stamp
the city of Chicago (as well as the entire West,
yes, in truth, all new countries) owes the founda-
tion stones of future greatness and prosperity.
Without the first courses of masonry there can
never be builded high superstructures, with or-
nate, elaborate and admirable dome and spire.
What Washington, Jefferson, the Adamses and
others were to the infant colonies, struggling for
very existence and recognition as an independent
nation, such were Mr. Gage and his associates to
Chicago. Most of them are now gathered to
their fathers, but their deeds are immortal. That
Chicago is now the wonder and envy of the world
is mainly owing to the persistent, honest efforts
early and late of such citizens as Mr. Gage fitly
typifies.

Mr. Gage married, December 15, 1849, at the
scene of his nativity, Miss Martha Webster, by
whom, fortunately, he left one child, a son, to
bear his esteemed name, Frank Newton Gage,
who was born July 24, 1853. After receiving a
good education in Chicago, he entered his father's
store, but later withdrew, and is at present an
active member of the Stock Exchange. He mar-



ried, in 1889, Olive E. Lewis, of this city, who
has borne him a son, John Newton Gage, named
for his grandfather, the subject of this sketch.

Martha Webster is a daughter of Enoch and
Betsy Webster (relatives before marriage) born in
Haverhill, Massachusetts. Enoch was a son of
Caleb Webster, of Revolutionary fame. Betsy was
a daughter of Stephen Webster. Mrs. Gage is thus
related through both her parents to the greatest
of America's statesmen and orators, Daniel Web-
ster, of Marshfield, Massachusetts. She is also
related to the famous Mrs. Dustin, of Colonial
times. Captured by Indians, who dashed out
the brains of her sleeping babe, she was marched
miles into the wilderness. While her captors
were asleep, she loosened her fetters, and, having
slain every colored face of them, safely made her
return home, as set out in graphic early historical
authorities. Of all the heroines of "good old
colony times," and there were thousands of such,
it has always appeared that she was queen of
them all by this single episode.

The family of Gage (which is of Norman ex-
traction) derives its descent from one De Gaga
(Gauga or Gage), who accompanied William
the Conqueror into England in 1066. After the
"Conquest" he was rewarded by a large grant of
land in the forests of Dean, Gloucester County,
adjacent to which he fixed his abode and erected
a family seat at Clerenwell (otherwise Clarewell) .
He also built a large mansion house in the town
of Chichester, wherein he died, and was buried
in the neighboring abbey. His posterity re-
mained in the vicinity for many generations, in
credit and esteem, of whom there were Barons in
Parliament in the reign of Henry II. The line
from the beginning of the fifteenth century has
been traced as follows: John Gage had a son,
John Gage, born 1408; married Joan Sudgrove.
Their son was Sir John, knighted 1454; married
Eleanor St. Clere; died September, 1486. Will-
iam, Esquire, born 1456; married Agnes Bolney.
Their son, Sir John, born 1480, knighted May
22, 1541; married Phillippa Guilderford; died
April 28, 1557. Their eldest son, Sir Edward,
knighted by Queen Mary, married Elizabeth
Parker. Their son, John, Esquire (eldest of nine



E. McK.



225



sons), thirty years old at his father's death; heir
to fifteen manors and other Sussex lands. John
(nephew) made Baronet March 26, 1622; married
Penelope, widow of Sir George Trenchard; died
October 3, 1633.

John (second son), of Stoneham, Suffolk Coun-
ty, England, came to America with John Win-
throp, Jr., landing at Salem June 12, 1630; in
1633 one of twelve proprietors of Ipswich; wife
Anna died in June, 1658; married (2d) Mary
Keyes, November, 1658; moved to Rowley 1664;
held many responsible offices of trust and fidelity
in Ipswich and Rowley, in which latter place he
died in 1673. Daniel (second son) married



Sarah Kimball in 1675; died November 8, 1705.
Daniel, born March 12, 1676; married Martha
Burbank, March 9, 1697; settled on the banks of
the Merrimac River, on the main road to Me-
thuen, where the old Gage House, the oldest in
town, still stands. Died March 14, 1747. Dan-
iel (third son), born April 22, 1708, removed to
Pelham, New Hampshire; died September 24,
1775. David (fourth son), born August 9, 1750.
Nathan (fifth), the father of the subject of this
sketch, whose son and grandson, enumerated
herein, bring the record up to the extraordinary
number of seventeen consecutive male generations.



EDWARD McK. TEALL.



ITDWARD McKINSTRY TEA1X. The de-
1^ velopment of the insurance business has kept
[_ pace with the growth of other commercial
enterprises and has assumed such magnitude and
variety, and become so complex and at the same
time so vital to life and property, that it must now
be regarded as one of the important industries of
the United State. The last few years have seen
reductions in the rates of insurance, and corres-
ponding advantages to property-holders, in Chi-
cago, in consequence of the rapid development of
the art of constructing fire-proof buildings and
the great improvement in the facilities for check-
ing and extinguishing fires. These important
changes, which are still in progress, require
prompt attention and action by the companies
doing business here, for competition is just as
fierce in this line of business as in any other. In
fact, the sharp, but honorable, rivalry among in-
surance men has developed a number of experts
in the business, men with sufficient mental pene-
tration to foresee the result of changed conditions,
and sufficient executive ability to carry out such



methods as are most likely to secure favorable
results.

Among the most successful and systematic
manipulators of this art is the gentleman whose
name heads this notice. His birth occurred at
Albany, New York, July 27, 1839, his parents
being Edward McKinstry Teall and Eliza Perry.
The founder of the family in America was Oliver
Teall, who came from England and settled at
New Haven, Connecticut, about 1723. His fa-
ther had been Apothecary General to the British
army, serving under the Duke of Marlborough
during the reigns of William I. and Queen Anne.
Prudence, the wife of Oliver Teall, who came
with him to America, died at Killingsworth, Con-
necticut, June 24, 1780. Oliver Teall, second
son of this couple, married Ruth Hurd and set-
tled at Killingsworth. He served as a Surgeon
in the British Army during the French and In-
dian War, and also during the War of the Amer-
ican Revolution, maintaining his loyalty to the
crown throughout his life. Five of his sons,
Timothy, Titus, Oliver, Joseph and Nathan,



226



E. McK. TEALL.



served in the Continental army. Father and
sons were mutually antagonized by their loyalty
to their respective causes, and never became rec-
onciled. Another son, named Benjamin, having
lost an eye during his childhood, was thus inca-
pacitated for military service and did not partici-
pate in the conflict.

Oliver Teall (third) was born in Middletown,
Connecticut, January i, 1759. When only six-
teen years old he enlisted under General Putnam,
Captain Gale's company, and afterward served
in Captain Hyde's company, which was success-
ively stationed at Fort Trumbull and at Provi-
dence, Rhode Island. He was subsequently as-
signed to Colonel Sommers' command at Ger-
mantown, Pennsylvania. He was one of the
devoted band which endured the historic hard-
ships of Valley Forge, where his brother Titus
died of smallpox. Later in the war he was sta-
tioned at West Point and on the Highlands. He
acted as guard to General Washington and his
family while they attended church. After peace
came he married Susan, daughter of Col. Brin-
ton Paine, of Dutchess County, New York.
They settled at Upper Hillsdale, Columbia Coun-
ty, New York, where he became a prosperous
farmer. They were the parents of twelve chil-
dren. His death occurred at Albany on the i8th
of September, 1842, aged eighty-two years.

Col. Brinton Paine, who was an officer of the
Continental army, was a descendant of Stephen
Paine, who came to Massachusetts in 1638, and
became one of the leading citizens of the colony,
He was one of the chief contributors to the pros-
ecution of the Indian wars. His son Stephen
was present at the great swamp fight in which
King Philip's band was exterminated.

Edward M. Teall, Sr., was a son of Oliver
Teall, third. He became a prominent merchant
of Albany, and was also proprietor of one of the
first lines of boats on the Erie Canal. He did a
general forwarding business, and the Chicago
American of April 9, 1839, the first issue of a
daily paper in this city, contained his business
advertisement. He was for many years influen-
tial in New York politics. Eliza Perry was born
at Lenox, Massachusetts. Her father, Freder-



ick Perry, who was a son of a clergyman, was a
native of Connecticut. He was a graduate of
Williams College, and became a cotton manufac-
turer at Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The subject of this biography received his
primary education in private schools, and after-
ward became a student in the academy of Albany.
In the spring of 1857 he came to Chicago and
soon after secured employment as a clerk in the
insurance office of Higginson & James. This line
of business was then in its infancy, and the most
sanguine enthusiasm could not have foreseen the
extent to which that industry would be developed.
He went to work with a will, and his fidelity,
thoroughness and aptitude soon won the confi-
dence and good-will of his employers. In 1863 he
became one of the partners of the firm of Alfred
James & Company, which continued to transact
business for about three years. Their place of
business was at the southeast corner of South
Water and Clark Streets, which location was the
center of the insurance business at that time.
He afterward formed a partnership with Freder-
ick P. Fisher, a relation which continued for ten
years, during one of the most important eras of
the insurance business in the West. At the end
of that period the present firm of Edward M.
Teall & Company was formed, Cyrus A. Hardy,
a trusted clerk of the former firm, being the jun-
ior member. Mr. Teall is one of the Directors
of the Westchester Fire Insurance Company of
New York, and in addition to serving the local
interests of that corporation the firm represents
several leading insurance companies of other
cities. The business in its charge is conserva-
tively and honorably conducted, and the firm en-
joys the confidence of the public and of under-
writers to a remarkable degree. Mr. Teall is
President of the Chicago Fire Underwriters' As-
sociation, and has been for a number of years.

On the nth of June, 1862, Mr. Teall was mar-
ried to Miss Katherine Mead, of New York City,
daughter of Isaac H. Mead and Rachel Van Voor-
hees Demorest. Mrs. Teall' s maternal grand-
father was also a native of New York City, being
a scion of a very old and well-known family of
that municipality. Mr. Teall has been for many



A. G. BURLEY.



227



years a member of the Third Presbyterian Church
of Chicago, in which he officiates as Trustee and
Elder. He is a member of the Illinois Club,
and Deputy Governor of the Society of Colonial
Wars of the State of Illinois, which he helped
to organize. He is also a member of the Illinois
Society of Sons of the American Revolution, and
still preserves the Teall coat-of-arms granted to
the family by George I. in 1723. He has been



often urged to enter the arena of politics, has
been tendered important nominations by the Re-
publican party, of which he is an active and dis-
tinguished member, but prefers to devote himself
to his business, home and social duties. For rec-
reation, he and his wife have always spent the
summer at their beautiful farm and summer home
in the Berkshire Hills, Stockbridge, Massachu-
setts.



ARTHUR G. BURLEY.



(ARTHUR GILMAN BURLEY. The year

Hi8i2 is a national epoch, for at that time
the United States, for a second time within
the easy memory of man, started in to chastise
the British Lion. What events of world- wide
significance have transpired during those more
than eighty intervening years ! To think of it is
like a dream: to have predicted it, would have re-
sulted in that day in an inquirendo de lunico pro-
ceeding concerning the lack of brain matter in the
bold transgressor of common sense who should
prophesy. Two years later, Robert Fulton was
making his (the very first) steamboat trial upon
the Hudson River. Then came steam as applied
to locomotives, which has done more than any-
thing else in so rapidly opening up the great in-
terior and West of our immense country, where-
as, before, ox-carts and canal-boats were the
most approved forms of transportation of chattels,
prior to the advent of the "prairie schooner,"
which shortly preceded the "Union Pacific."
The telegraph, reapers, thousandfold manufac-
tories, electric light and locomotion (not to men-
tion scores of other wonderful economic and utili-
tarian inventions of more recent date within the
present century) , all cry out that, in point of
actual comfort and intelligent means of effecting



business ends, the world has since that year 1812
done almost more than had been done in the
hundreds and thousands of years which had pre-
ceded. And all this within the memory of liv-
ing men; yes, within the memory of one now liv-
ing in our midst, who, wonderful to relate, like
Gladstone, an octogenarian, is still in the harness
of active business life. We who live in Chicago
know what that means in this day. Honor to
whom honor is due !

Arthur Gilman Burley, the subject of this
sketch, was born in the aforesaid year of 1812,
upon the fourth day of October, at Exeter, New
Hampshire, unto James and Charlotte I. (Gilman)
Burley, his father being the Cashier of the Exeter
Bank.

The Burleys are regarded Down East as ' 'good
stock;" that seems to be the prevailing opinion
in our city, from all that is thus far known of
them in our midst. The first by the name who
came to our shores was Giles Burley, who, with
his wife, Elizabeth, settled at Ipswich, Massachu-
setts, in the year 1648. Here, in 1664, he took
the proper oath and became a ' 'commoner. ' ' He
was also a ' 'planter, ' ' and lived eight years of
his useful life upon Brooke Street of that ancient
town, and owned "Division Lot No. 105, on



228



A. G. BURLEY.



Great Hill, Hogg Island," in that vicinage. He
had a son, Andrew Burley, who was born at
Ipswich, September 5, 1657. The latter married
Mary, a daughter of the rather celebrated Roger
Conant. Upon the death of his father, while in
childhood, he was bound out (as was the old cus-
tom) to one John Brown. He was called in
records "husbandman and yeoman," and bore the
rather dignified title of ' 'Cornet. ' ' He had a son,
Hon. Andrew Burley, who was born at Ipswich
in June, 1 694. His career was replete with hon-
ors, including among others the positions of Jus-
tice of the Court of Sessions and Representative
to the State Legislature in the years 1741 and
1742. He acquired, and left intact, a large es-
tate. He was twice married; first, to Lydia
Pengry, by whom he had six children; secondly,
to Mrs. Hannah Burnham. He had a son, An-
drew Burley, Jr., who married a Mrs. Hannah
Cogswell (a daughter of his father's wife). He
graduated at Harvard College in 1742, and lived
on Brooke Street in Ipswich (near the location
of his first American progenitor) , upon land for-
merly granted to Governor Dudley's son Samuel.

He left a son, James Burley, who was by trade
a cabinet-maker, also an officer in the Revolu-
tionary War. The latter married Susannah
Swazey, and died in Exeter, New Hampshire,
leaving a son, James Burley, Jr., who has been
already noticed as the father of the subject of this



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 34 of 111)