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Jack Gageby's Website

The following was provide by Katie Jablonicky, typed as it appears in the book, Genealogical and Biographical Record of Decatur County, Indiana, the Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, published in 1900, Pages 267 through 271. The writer of the book obviously obtained the the following information directly from Sarah Montgomery.

This narrative contains information on the original James Gageby and his children, and more.


The success, which has been made by Mrs. Sarah A. Montgomery, forms a theme which should be interesting to all readers and valuable to all women. An account of it is presented here, because it is properly a part of this work, and in the hope that its perusal may encourage other bereft and lonely women to enter paths perhaps hitherto untrodden by them but certainly leading to security and prosperity. Since 1874, during a period of twenty-five years, which is also the period of her widowhood. Mrs. Montgomery has managed a fine farm of one hundred and fifty-eight acres, a mile and a half northeast of Greensburg, Indiana, and has, besides this, shown herself possessed of business capacity of a high order. When, after her husband's burial, she took account of her situation in life, she found herself possessed of the farm and one dollar and fifty cents cash. The prospect was certainly not one likely to reassure a weak woman, and such an one would have been very likely to sell the farm and live on its price; but with a true woman’s promptings Mrs. Montgomery faced the situation bravely and planned to take advantage of it to every extent possible. She accepted every duty and shirked no responsibility, for she had been brought up to believe that good fortune is destined for stout hearts and that success will crown the efforts of willing workers in any worthy field of human endeavor. She believed that “the diligent hand maketh right in culture, growth in wisdom and in business,” and results have demonstrated how substantial was the foundation of her faith. Progressive in her ideas and methods, everything about her betokens a woman’s attention to minor details.

She set about improving the productiveness of the place and during the first ten years of her management she cleared seven thousand dollars in excess of expenses. In 1894 she erected a modern two-story house of thirteen rooms, heated with natural gas from a gas well on her farm, and provided with other up to date conveniences. Her environments are attractive in the extreme, her house being surrounded by a well kept lawn, ornamented with beautiful plans and flowers. Close by on the north is a lakelet, , fed by springs and partially obscured by pond lilies, in which are large numbers of white and red fish. One of the chambers of the house she has given up to relics. Among her curios is a bedstead about seventy-five years old, a large spinning wheel which was once used by one of her aunts, a dining table and a washstand and other furniture of ancient pattern, brass candlesticks and other interesting objects which recall memories of the pioneer days of our country. Mrs. Montgomery is childless, her only son having died at sixteen years of age. She reared and educated two nephews, however, both of whom are married and one of whom has a home with her and conducts her farm under her able direction. She is a Presbyterian and much given to church and benevolent work. Her offerings of flowers and choice fruits bring delight at the bedside of many a helpless invalid. She reads much and travels as opportunity presents, and is in every way a woman of culture fully up to the times.

Mrs. Montgomery was born near Greensburg, Indiana, June 18, 1831, a daughter of John and Sarah (Trimble) Gageby, both natives of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, who were married after their settlement in Decatur County. Her father was a son of James Gageby, a native of Ireland who, with a brother, came early to America and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary army, and after the war located in Pennsylvania. There he became a successful farmer and reared a worthy family. His children were: Allen, who settled in Virginia; John, father of Mrs. Montgomery; David who also came to Indiana; Neill, who came to Indiana and later went to Iowa, where he died; Jane (Mrs. Elder, of Pennsylvania); Robert, who died in Pennsylvania, and who son James was a colonel in the Union service in the civil war and was long confined in Libby prison; and James, who had the first cabinet shop in Greensburg. James Gageby, the emigrant and patriot, was a man of good ability and of high moral character, who was reared in the Presbyterian faith and lived a goodly life that commended him to the respect of all who knew him. John and David Gageby came to Indiana in 1821, in company with Colonel Thomas Hendricks, who was appointed by the United State government to survey the lands in Indiana and whom they assisted in that work. The country in all directions was then an unbroken forest. Colonel Hendricks and these men entered land, the former a considerable tract where Greensburg has since grown up, and Mrs. Montgomery states that her mother made maple sugar from sap yielded by a grove of maples, which formerly stood on the site of the Decatur county court house. Colonel Hendricks came from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and they named the settlement, which gave the first chapter in the history of Greensburg, Indiana, in honor of that old eastern town.

John Gageby married Sarah Trimble and settled on his land and improved a farm where he reared a family, lived out his days and made an enviable reputation as a good farmer and an honest man, and died in 1836, aged forty-four years, as the result of hardship and exposure incident to pioneer life in a country to which he had never become fully acclimated. He erected a hewn-log house, which he occupied in 1823 and which he later weather-boarded and which is yet in use as a residence. He was the first out-spoken temperance man in Decatur county and his attitude on that question attracted much attention. It was the custom among the pioneers to provide whisky for those who made up “bees” to build their primitive houses, roll their logs or harvest their crops. Mr. Gageby refused to supply drinks, on the high moral ground that by so doing he would wickedly put temptation in the way of his brother men; but his more or less remote neighbors did not make any difference in their treatment of him on that account, and his log rolling and harvesting were done in good time and in good order. His manly character won the admiration of all who knew him and led to his being chosen to fill several township offices. He was a Whig in politics and a Presbyterian in religion.

Sarah Trimble, who became his wife, was a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Crow) Trimble and a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Her father was of Scotch, her mother of Welsh, descent, and they both died in Pennsylvania, where Thomas Trimble was a farmer. John and Elizabeth (Crow) Trimble had children as follows: Jane (Mrs. Stewart); Elizabeth (Mrs. Thomas Hendricks); Ann (Mrs. Seabury); Susan (Mrs. Robinson); Polly (Mrs. Odon); Sarah (mother of Mrs. Montgomery); Susan (Mrs. McKee), who died in Iowa; James, who died in Decatur County, Indiana; and Sarah A. (Mrs. Thomas Montgomery), the immediate subject of this sketch.

Mrs. Montgomery passed her school days at Greensburg and at Vernon, Indiana, and after having finished her education taught school eight years with good success. She married Thomas Montgomery, a native of Indiana and a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bingham) Montgomery. Thomas Montgomery, Sr., was a son of Hugh and Eva (Hartman) Montgomery, and on his father’s side was of Irish descent. Hugh Montgomery came to American in colonial days and saw service as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Three of his sons, Thomas, Michael and William, served their country in the war of 1812-14, and William was killed in battle. Thomas came early to Ohio and thence in 1824 to Indiana, where he entered large tracts of land, improved a good farm and reared a family and died in 1846. He was one of the most prominent pioneers in his locality and lived a Christian life which was a worthy example to his fellow men. His children were named as follows, in the order of their birth: Henry, Thomas, Hugh, George, Michael, Robert, Mary (Mrs. Alexander Grant); Elizabeth (Mrs. Thompson); Sarah (Mrs. Martin); Nancy (Mrs. Hineman); and Margaret (Mrs. Crutchwell). After his married Thomas, son of Thomas and grandson of Hugh Montgomery, settled on one piece of the land entered by his father and made a good farm, upon which he passed the remainder of his life and died about 1857. He married Miss Lizzie Bingham, whose father, John Bingham, had died in Pennsylvania, leaving her doubly orphaned, and with brother or sister or other near relative. Miss Bingham joined some friends who were part of a small colony bound for the west. They went down the Ohio river as far as Cincinnati and from there they made their way to Butler County, Ohio, where they located, whence some of them, Miss Bingham among the number, came to Decatur county, Indiana. The children of Thomas and Lizzie (Bingham) Montgomery were as follows: Rebecca, who died unmarried; Sarah, who also died unmarried, aged seventy-two; Eva, who married A. J. Draper; John B., who is dead; Hugh, who died in 1851; George, who died in 1851; Martha who married a Mr. Craig; Thomas, who married Sarah Gageby and died November 24, 1874; and Robert, who lives on the old family homestead. After their marriage. Thomas and Sarah A. (Gageby) Montgomery moved upon a poorly improved farm which Mr. Montgomery purchased and part of which he put under a good state of cultivation and provided with better buildings and appointments. This property, as had been stated, has been brought up to a fine degree of excellence by his widow, he having been taken away in the midst of his planning and working. He was a man of a high order of intelligence, well read and well informed in public matters, an abolitionist and a Republican, influential in his party, but never an office seeker. Of independent thought and action, he braved prejudice and was the first man in his vicinity to give employment to negroes. He was a good husband a lover of home, generous to the deserving poor, devoted to the Presbyterian church and all its interests a consistent Christian gentleman, who left the impress of a high moral character and a pure life upon all with whom he came in contact.

Earlier in this article it has been attempted to give some account of Mrs. Montgomery’s busy, good and useful life since she has been a widow. The death of her son, just in the flower of his youth, was another blow, which would have been crushing to most women. Her Christian faith has sustained her, for she is a member of the Presbyterian church, helpful to all its good works, and she has found relief from her own sorrows in ministering to the woes of others; and she has demonstrated that she possesses great executive ability and remarkable capacity for business; and she is going forward with her work and her charities, firm in the believe that she will at last receive the reward of the good and the faithful.

Thank you Katie for taking the time to type this story from the book and emailing it to me....Jack Gageby 2/25/00