b-1813, d-1885, was 50 years old in 1863, possible date for this photo is 1873 or 1880. Newly married Sarah Ayers Ingraham Gage and her husband William “Big Bill” Gage were the first white settlers in Holly Township Michigan, traveling from New Hampshire by covered wagon, and played an important role in the formation of the area. Sarah Ayers was as tiny as her husband was large, he stood over 6 feet 2 inches tall in his bare feet, and “was endowed with that convenient faculty of defending himself in emergencies”. William “Big Bill” Gage was a farmer and served in the legislature of the state of Michigan. Their youngest child, William Monroe Gage, enlisted in the Civil War and was severely wounded through the left shoulder.
Sarah Ayers was the mother of Betsey Ann Gage. Betsey’s husband Henry Northway died in August 1863, and his brother Charles died in December 1863. After her father’s death, Betsey and Henry’s 5 year old daughter Sarah Salina “Lina” Northway went to live with her grandmother, Sarah Ayers who was now a widow, her husband “Big Bill” having died in 1856 when the limb of a large tree fell on him while building a plank road that he was given a contract for between Fenton and Flint Michigan.
On Nov 30, 1865, Betsey Ann Gage Northway married Charles L. White and had 6 more children.
In 1867, eleven years after Big Bill’s death, his widow, Sarah Ayers married her husband’s cousin, Albert G. Gage, a bachelor who had followed his relatives’ footsteps from New York to Michigan. The latter years of their lives were spent on the farm that Mrs Gage had helped to pioneer. She died at age 72 on Nov 18, 1885. The picture above might have been taken when she as 63 years old.