Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897
[p. 427] master-mechanic of the Shenango Valley Steel Co. was born in Johnstown, Pa., Sept. 14, 1839, and is a son of Robert Gageby, and grandson of James Gageby, who was born in Londonderry, Ireland, and came to this country about the time the colonists were having their memorable dispute with George III over their conceived right to govern and care for themselves. Soon after landing on the soil of the New World, he took one of the important steps in life, and was joined in marriage with Janette Scroggs, also a native of the Emerald Isle; they settled at Fairfield, Westmoreland Co., Pa. Like the patriotic son of old Ireland that he was, he bore no love toward King George and his red-coated soldiery, and so with an earnest zeal to serve well the country of his adoption he enlisted in the Continental Army, and served through the rest of the war. When the colonies had at last effected a peace bought with blood, and hostilities ceased, he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and followed the occupation of a farmer the rest of his life. These seven children were born to them: Allen, who went to Virginia; David, who became a citizen of Indiana; James, who also became a resident of the Hoosier State; Neal, who moved to Iowa; Jane (Elder), who remained in Westmoreland County; John; and Robert, our subject's father.
Robert Gageby was born in Westmoreland County, where his early years were spent on the farm, going to school when he could at the neighboring district school. He learned the trade of a blacksmith, and went to Kentucky, where he worked for a few years in an axe factory. When the canal and railroad were being built from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, he returned to the Keystone State, and found profitable employment in the work attendant upon the carrying out of those projects; he finally settled in Johnstown, where he labored at his forge until the year 1870, when his death took place when he was aged seventy-three years. He married Rebecca S. Douglass, cousin of the late Thomas Scott, ex-president of the Pennsylvania railroad; she was drowned in the Johnstown flood at the age of seventy-four years. There were born to our subject's parents the following children: James H.; George W., our subject; Ellen M.; deceased; Mary E.; Jemima, D. (White), deceased; Arabella (McClure); Sarah J., deceased; Joseph S.; and John S. Of the above, Jemima D. (White), and Sarah J. lost their lives in the great Johnstown flood, which awful disaster cast a black shadow for many years over the beautiful valley. The family favored the Presbyterian Church. Our subject's father was a Whig and later a Republican.
George W. Gageby began to care for himself at the age of fourteen, commencing to work at that age in the Cambria Iron Works, serving his apprenticeship as a machinist. He remained with that company seven years, and then on the breaking out of the civil war enlisted in Co. G, 3rd Pa. Vol. Inf., and after serving his original term of enlistment of three months, he re-enlisted in Co. D, 54th Pa. Vol. Inf.; he was with Sheridan in the valley, and was located in West Virginia the greater part of the time; he was mustered out of the service and received an honorable discharge Dec. 29, 1864. His war days over he returned to Johnstown, and again entered the employ of the Cambria Iron Co., but after six months with them he went to West Virginia for a short stay, and then to Philadelphia, where he worked at his trade for the Pennsylvania railroad for one year, after which he again returned to Johnstown to work for the Cambria Iron Co. In 1873, he was promoted to the assistant foremanship of the shops, and in the same year was made general foreman, and remained with the company in that connection until 1883. In that year he went to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he became master-mechanic of the South Tredegar Iron Co.'s shops; after being with them but eight months, he was taken sick, and was compelled by that circumstance to return to his native town and seek a restoration of his health. In three months he had recuperated sufficiently to accept a position with the Niles Tool Works at the branch office at Chicago, Ills. During the time he was with them, he erected and started in successful operation the rolling-mill at Pullman Ills. He then returned to his native State again, and became foreman of the machine shops of the J. P. Witherow Iron Co. of New Castle, remaining with them in that capacity for three years. He then accepted a position as foreman of the Horton, McKnight shops in Pittsburg Pa., and for eight months fulfilled the duties of that position. Later on he returned to New Castle to work in the shops of the Wire Nail Co., and when the rod mill was built he set up and ran the engines for that branch of the concern for six months. He was then made night foreman of the mill, a position he held until 1893, in which year he set up all the machinery in the tin mill and started the same in operation. After a short rest he became engaged with the Shenango Valley Steel Co. as its master mechanic, a position he still retains. As will be noted by the foregoing account of Mr. Gageby's labors, he has been engaged in many important and trying positions, and his skill and knowledge of machinery has been thoroughly adequate to the most unforeseen emergency, enabling him to discharge his duties in a manner that has reflected credit on his ability, and that has never given his employers the least cause of complaint.
Mr. Gageby married Rose Pisel, daughter of Benjamin Pisel, and to them have been given the following children: Susan; Leonora; Viola. He is a strong, unyielding Republican, and always active in whatever will materially assist his chosen party. He is a member of the G. A. R. Post, No. 30, and has been through all of the offices; he also belongs to the Union Veteran Legion, and to the Royal Arcanum. As a Mason, he is a member of Cambria Lodge, No. 278, F. & A. M., and Chapter No. 195, R. A. M. It gives us pleasure to call attention to the portrait of Mr. Gageby that appears on a preceding page, for his worth is apparent to the most disinterested reader.
Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897
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