S. T. Gage



Stephen Thornton Gage (1831-1916) was born in Ohio and came to California in 1852 in record time for an ox team of 90 days from the Missouri River to Placerville. He tried his hand at mining but was more successful in providing mule train transportation over the Sierras between the mining towns in California and Virginia City, Nevada. In 1855 he was elected to the California legislature and served one term, then was Marshall and Deputy Collector of Placer County. He settled in Virginia City and became Internal Revenue Collector of Nevada. He invested in a mine there but sold his interest before the rich strike of the Comstock Lode. Gage began working for the Central Pacific Railroad in 1864 and was chiefly responsible for lobbying for the railroad company and influencing legislatures to make the accommodations needed for successful completion of the transcontinental railroad and other lines. He was appointed Assistant to the President of the Southern Pacific Company in 1885, serving as the right-hand man to Leland Stanford. Gage was responsible for obtaining coal for the locomotives and at one time had as many as 100 clipper ships transporting coal across the ocean. Later in life he continued to be helpful to Jane Stanford in some of her business dealings. Gage was an imposing figure at six-foot-three and was referred to as the "handsomest man in California" in some newspaper articles.

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