Frederick D Gay
Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/10/2009 at 12:02:19
Frederick D Gay, a country has but one chief ruler, be he king, emperor or president. Comparatively few men can attain to the highest offices in the civil or military life but commerce offers a broad and almost limitless field in which one may exercise his powers unrestrained and gain a leadership as the head of a chosen calling. Drawing the lessons which we do from the life of Mr Gay, we learn that the qualifications necessary for success are a high ambition and a resolute, honorable purpose to reach the exalted standard that has been set up. From an early age he has depended upon his own resources and has won the proud American title of self made man.
Mr Gay was born in Pittston, Maine September 25, 1853, and is a son of Joshua S and Sarah E (Jordan) Gay, the former a native of Stoughton, Massachusetts, and the latter of Biddeford, Maine, In the paternal line the ancestry can be traced back to John Gay, who came form the west of England, and landed in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 30, 1630. He took up his abode at Watertown in Massachusetts colony but in 1635 removed to Dedham, in Massachusetts, in company with eighteen others and there he was married in 1639. Unto him and his wife, Joanna, were born nine children. Calvin Gay , the great grandfather of our subject took up his abode at Walpole and served his country in the war for independence, valiantly aiding in the struggle, which resulted in the establishment of the American republic. He married Joanna Kingsbury. Ebenezer Gay, his son, was born October 11, 1792, at Walpole, Massachusetts. In 1810 he entered Harvard College and on completion of a four years course was graduated in 1814, in a class of sixty-two and was the last survivor of that class. The diary, which he kept in his early years, shows a young man of earnest piety.
He was a regular and devout attendant on public worships and the notes which he made upon sermons that he heard show at once a judicious criticism and a jealous regard for the doctrine which he believed to be true. Immediately after entering college he commenced reading the Greek testament a chapter daily and continued that habit until the last week of his life, using the same copy of the sacred text for three quarters of a century. Mr Gay was pastor of the Trinitarian congregational church at Bridgewater, Massachusetts, from 1823 to 1842, when he was dismissed at his own request. He remained a resident of Bridgewater, however, supplying churches in the vicinity either temporarily or as a regular pastor for nearly thirty years. His interest in the cause of education was manifested in his effective labor as a member of the school board of town and as a trustee of the Academy of Bridgeport for a generation. He was also active in the establishment of the normal school in Bridgewater. He also served as the representative from his town in the state legislature in 1842. As a preacher of the Gospel he ranked among the ablest of his denomination and his Catholic spirit opened the pulpits of the Unitarian churches in his vicinity, where he frequently acceptably preached. At length he removed from Bridgewater to Tompkins Cove, New York, and spent his declining years with his youngest son. He was married May 13, 1818, to Laura Sanders, of Wrentham and unto them were born three sons and two daughters. Mr Gay retained his mental vigor to the last and ever found special satisfaction in reading the current literature of the day and all classical works he was a man of scholarly attainments and broad and general information. His old age was full of peace to himself and comfort to his children. Like his father, who served in the Revolutionary war, he was a patriotic lover of his country, at all times and under all circumstances.
The Rev Joshua S Gay, the father of our subject also became a Congregational minister and for about forty years labored continuously in the ministry of that denomination in different churches in New England. He also did much missionary work in that part of the country. Through his own force of character and business ability he was enabled to make his way through college and theological school. His life was indeed an honorable one and the world is certainly better for his having lived. He married Miss Sarah E Jordan, who proved to him a faithful companion and helpmate on lifeís journey. Her father ,Captain Richard Jordan, was born in Biddeford, Maine and when twenty-one years of age turned his attention to the seafaring life and followed the same until two old to longer engage in that kind of work. He was one of the oldest Masons in the state at the time of his death and was a worthy exemplar of that craft, which is based upon the principles of the brotherhood of man. He served his country in defense of Fort Hill in the war of 1812. He made monthly trips by boat between Boston and Saco and was well known in both ports. He died at the advanced age of ninety-five years and his mother was ninety-seven years at the time of her demise. It was his daughter that became the wife of Joshua S Gay. By their marriage there were six children born, of who Frederic D Gay was the second in order of birth. Three younger children died with in fourteen days of diphtheria, and those stylizing are Ebenezer, a resident of New Jersey, Robert Henry, who is living in Maine, and the subject of this review.
Frederic D Gay acquired his early education in the public schools and at the age of sixteen years began earning his own living in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in the employ of a carpenter and builder with whom he remained for six months. The succeeding wither he attended school in Newbury port, Massachusetts, and the following spring removed to Vermont, where he began work on a farm. For four years he was employed in Massachusetts at farm labor and in 1876 he came to Iowa, settling first at Dubuque, whence he removed to Boone, in September 1877. Here he has since resided and has been and active factor in business circles throughout the intervening period. He is especially well known in insurance circles. For four years he served as collection clerk in the McFarland Bank form 1880 until 1884 and during that time was also connected with insurance interests. IN 1882 he was elected city clerk, in which capacity he served until 1889 with the exception of the years 1884. In 1894 he was elected a member of the city council in which he served for two years. He is also secretary of the Boone Building Loan association, filling this position since its organization in 1886. He is likewise secretary and treasurer of the Iowa Domestic Local Building and Loan Association League, having filled this position for the past eight years. During all this time Mr Gay has likewise been connected with the insurance business as a representative of some of the most reliable companies of the country and he owes his success entirely to his own efforts, his business capability and his resolute purpose.
IN 1884 was celebrated the marriage of Mr Gay and Miss Anna A Boss, daughter of John H and Martha A (Hoxsie) Boss, of Rhode Island. Her father, John H Boss, died about the year 1868, being killed on the Erie Railroad during the infancy of his daughter, Mrs Gay. Her mother and brother , Walter A Boss, came to Boone in the 70ís and the latter was killed on the Northern Pacific Railroad in may 1889, in a head end collision, at which time he was serving as engineer on the passenger train. The accident occurred at Crystal Springs. The mother was born at White Brook, Rode Island, September 26, 1833, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs Gay, December 29, 1897, in her sixty-fourth year. She was married September 6, 1859. She held membership in the Baptist church and her social and moral qualities made her respected and loved by all who knew her.
Mr and Mrs Gay have one son, Walter E, who was born February 11, 1889. Fraternally Mr Gay is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to both the subordinate lodge and encampment. In political through and action he has always been independent, carrying out his honest views without fear or favor. In business he has achieved success through honorable efforts, untiring industry and capable management, and in private life he has gained that warm personal regard which arises from true nobility of character, deference for the opinion of others, kindliness and geniality.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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