Pages 442-443, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




EPHRAIM GAY is a prosperous farmer residing on the Allen county line, four miles east of the town of Elsmore. He was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, on the 20th of April, 1838, and his father, Ephraim Gay, was also a native of that State. The mother, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Waterhouse, was the daughter of a Revolutionary soldier. Ephraim Gay Sr. died in 1838, at the age of forty-seven years, and his wife, surviving him until 1878, passed away at the ripe old age of eighty-three.

The subject of this review was the youngest of their eight children. He left home at the age of sixteen years in order to make his own way in the world, going to Iowa, where he secured employment on a farm by the month. He remained in the employ of one man for two years, receiving thirteen dollars per month, and then engaged in the operation of rented land for a year. In the spring of 1860 he arranged to drive an ox team to Salt Lake City, and after arriving at his destination he and another young man purchased an ox team of his employer, secured a stock of provisions and started for California, arriving in September of the same year, after about five months spent upon the road. Mr. Gay followed farming on the Pacific coast for two years, and then engaged in teaming for one year, after which he went to Nevada, where he located a gold mine. He was offered seven thousand dollars for the property, but thinking to become a million-


aire he refused to sell, but about that time the miners began to leave that portion of the country and he never realized anything from his property.

In the fall of 1865 Mr. Gay paid a visit to his mother in Ohio, remaining there for three months, after which he returned to Iowa and spent the summer. In the autumn of 1866 he came to Kansas, locating in Bourbon county, where he secured a claim of one hundred and sixty acres,—the first land which he ever owned. He made excellent improvements on the same, secured the title to the property, and resided thereon for fifteen years, after which he sold out and came to Allen county in 1884, purchasing a farm in Elsmore township. To this he has added until he now owns four hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land in Allen and Bourbon counties. He handles and feeds cattle and hogs, feeding all that he raises to his own stock. He is known as a wide-awake and enterprising farmer who gained very desirable success through his energy and perseverance.

In 1868, two years after arriving in Kansas, Mr. Gay wedded Mary Mason, with whom he lived happily for eight years, when on the 27th of November, 1876, she was called to her final rest, leaving her husband and three children, of whom two are living: Albert and Lilas, the latter the wife of Wesley Humphreys. For his second wife Mr. Gay chose Miss Martha Mason, a cousin of his first wife. They were married July 27, 1879, and now have eight children: Myrtle, wife of Morris Davis; Gertrude; Louisa; Della; Charles; Willard; Wesley and Jennie. The family is one of prominence in the community, and the members of the household occupy a leading position in social circles, while in business circles Mr. Gay enjoys an unassailable reputation. In politics he is a Democrat.

Previous | Home | Next