William Gay Sr.
Mary Ann Hayes
John Beeker
Christina Young
John B. Gay Sr.
Elizabeth Beeker
William Henderson Gay


Family Links

1. Permelia C. Cain

William Henderson Gay 2 3 4

  • Born: 11 Apr 1843, Prairie Township, White, IN, USA 2 3 4
  • Marriage (1): Permelia C. Cain on 23 Apr 1872 in , White, IN 1
  • Died: 22 Feb 1909, Prairie Township, White, IN, USA at age 65 3 4
  • Buried: 24 Feb 1909, Battle Ground: Pretty Prairie Cemetery, Tippecanoe, IN, USA 3 4

   FamilySearch ID: LW56-5FD.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Census in 1850 in District 130, White, IN, USA. 5 The 1850 census recorded in District 130 in White County: John Gay, farmer, 37, living with wife Elizabeth, 28; William H., 7; Ann S., 5; Elmina, 3; and Eliza Jane, 3 months. John was born in Ohio, the others in Indiana. His real estate was worth $3500.
His neighbor is James Gay, farmer, 41, living with his mother, Mary Ann, 67, and Joseph Gay, farmer, 32. The men were born in Ohio and their mother in Pennsylvania. James' real estate was worth $4030 and Joseph's $3000.

2. Census in 1860 in Prairie Township, White, IN, USA. 6 The 1860 census recorded John Gay, farmer, 47, living with wife Elizabeth, 38; William, farmer, 17; Ann S., 15; Elmina, 11; Eliza J., 10; Alvin, 9; Sarah A., 7; Charles, 5; Kissiah, 3; and Milton, 6 months. All were born in Indiana except father John in Ohio. John had no real estate value and William $3000.
Next door is James Gay, 53, farmer, born in Ohio, with wife Kessiah, 29, born in Virginia and sons John, 7, and George, 3.

3. Census in 1870 in Prairie Township, White, IN, USA. 7 The 1870 census recorded John Gay, farmer, 57, living with wife Elizabeth, 49; William, farmer, 27; Ansolena, 23; Elmina, 21; Alvin, 19; Charles, 14; Sarah, 16; Milton, 12; Kissiah, 9; and John, 7. The post office was Brookston. John's real estate was valued at $12000 and personal estate $1635. William had real estate worth $3000 and personal estate $420. Also on the census page is John's brother Joseph, 53, with his family, and on next page James Gay, 62, with his family.

4. Census in 1880 in Prairie Township, White, IN, USA. 8 The 1880 census recorded William H. Gay, farmer, 37, living with wife Permelia C., 27; Edward C., 7; Charles E., 3. Everyone and their parents were born in Indiana except William and Permelia's father's in Ohio and Permelia's mother in Virginia.

5. Book: Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana, 1899. 2
William H. Gay, the son of an honored pioneer, and himself a representative farmer of Prairie township, White county, was born in this county, April 11, 1843, and has always made his home here. In every way he has endeavored to perform his full duty to his family, his neighbors and to the state and country under whose protection it has been his happy lot to dwell, and without exception his acquaintances speak of him in the highest terms.

John Gay, the great-grandfather of our subject, was a native of England, who came to this country at an early day. His son William, grandfather of our subject, married Mary A. Hays, of Ohio, and their children were James, William, John, Joseph, Mrs. Nancy Page, Mrs. Elizabeth Fewell, Mrs. Mary Shigley and Mrs. Isabel Yeager. Elizabeth is the only survivor, and she has now reached her eightieth year. The father entered land and improved a farm, later assisting his sons to make a start in independent careers.

John, father of William H. Gay, was born in Ohio, and removed to this state with his parents. Upon arriving at man's estate, he entered some government land in this county, and on that property his widow is still making her home. He was a prosperous agriculturalist and left a goodly fortune at the time of his death, in May, 1888. In politics he was a Republican, and at one time he served as township trustee. For his wife he chose Elizabeth, daughter of John Beeker, then of Indiana, but formerly of North Carolina. He first lived in Washington county, and later in Tippecanoe county, this state, and was one of the true, sturdy pioneers to whose labors the state is greatly indebted. Politically, he was a Democrat, and religiously, he was connected with the United Brethren church. His children were Daniel, Leonard, Samuel, William, Barbara, Susanna, Elizabeth, Mary, Anna and Christina. To the union of John and Elizabeth Gay the following named children were born: William H.; Ansolena; Elmina, widow of John A. Hoilman; Alvin, of Porter county; Mrs. Eliza Klepinger; Charles A., Sarah A., Milton, Keziah, and John B., deceased. The eldest daughter and the four younger children are all living at the old homestead with their mother, who is now seventy-six years of age.

William H. Gay received excellent training from his father in agricultural work, and left school in order to engage in business with his uncle, William Beeker, where he stayed for one year, when, in February, 1865, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Fiftieth Indiana Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. Joining the regiment at Winchester, Virginia, Mr. Gay was placed on guard duty, and continued to act in that capacity until the close of the war, then not far distant. Having been granted an honorable discharge, he returned home and resumed his accustomed employment. In 1870 he purchased the land which he has since transformed into his present valuable homestead. A small tract only had been cleared, and a log cabin was the chief improvement upon the place at the time it came into his possession; but now a commodious house, good barns and other farm buildings stand on the place, and in every respect it is a model farm. In all his methods Mr. Gay is progressive, wide-awake and in the spirit of the times, and thus he has justly earned the reputation of being one of the foremost farmers of this region.

In 1872 the marriage of Mr. Gay and Miss Permelia C. Cain was solemnized. Her parents were numbered among the early settlers of White county, their later years being spent in Illinois and Nebraska. The father died in the last named state, December 13, 1896, and his widow is still living. Both were consistent members of the Methodist church. Of their four children William H. is a resident of Nebraska, and the two younger daughters are Mrs. Ida M. Marlett and Mrs. Nancy Mahaney. The union of our subject and wife has been blessed with five sons, namely: Edward C. , born May 29. 1873; Charles E., May 16, 1877; Harry E., June 14, 1880; John I., January 5, 1S83 (died May 13, 1893); and Roy C, born May 12, 1884. The young men, all bright and promising, are of great assistance in the care of the homestead, and are practical, energetic agriculturalists. Mr. and Mrs. Gay are members of the Methodist church, he being one of the trustees. Fraternally, he is a Master Mason. Politically, he is a Republican, and though he has never aspired to public office he makes a point of keeping posted in political affairs, and frequently attends conventions of his party.

6. Census in 1900 in Prairie Township, White, IN, USA. 9 The 1900 census recorded owning a home: Wiliam H. Gay, 57, born Apr 1843, , living with wife Permelia C., 47, Feb 1853; Edward C., farm laborer, 27, May 1873; Charles E., farm laborer, 23, May 1877; Harry E., 20, Jun 1880; and Ray C., 16, May 1884. Everyone and their parents were born in Indiana except William and Permelia's fathers in Ohio and her mother in Virginia.

7. Cause of Death: valvular disease of heart, 22 Feb 1909, Prairie Township, White, IN, USA. 4

8. Occupation: farmer on 22 Feb 1909 in Prairie Township, White, IN, USA. 4

William married Permelia C. Cain on 23 Apr 1872 in , White, IN.1 (Permelia C. Cain was born on 20 Feb 1853 in Princeton Township, White, IN, USA,10 11 died on 19 Sep 1915 in Prairie Township, White, IN, USA 10 11 and was buried on 20 Sep 1915 in Battle Ground: Pretty Prairie Cemetery, Tippecanoe, IN, USA 10 11.)


1 FamilySearch.org, Indiana Marriages, 1780-1992, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XFXK-LQV William H. Gay, 1872, Permelia C. Cain.

2 Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1899, 1075 pages), Volume 1, page 392. William H. Gay.

3 Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7131684.

4 Ancestry.com, "Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2017," Certificate 58. William Henderson Gay, father John Gay, mother Elizabeth Beeker, spouse Permelia C. Cain, informant Charles A. Gay.

5 1850 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHV6-BRC John Gay, White county, White, Indiana, United States; citing family 6.

6 1860 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4NC-HT1 John Gay, 1860.

7 1870 United States Census, John Gay Year: 1870; Census Place: Prairie, White, Indiana; Roll: M593_373; Page: 251A; Family History Library Film: 545872.

8 1880 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHSB-DVY William H Gay, Prairie, White, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district ED 185, sheet 337A.

9 1900 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M99G-YWG William H Gay, Prairie Township, Precinct 2 (east half), White, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 135, sheet 2B, family 42.

10 Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7131680.

11 Ancestry.com, "Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2017," Certificate 268. Permelia Gay, widowed, father Jordan Cain, mother Julia Leon, informant Edward Gay.

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