1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gage, Lyman Judson

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GAGE, LYMAN JUDSON (1836-       ), American financier, was born at De Ruyter, Madison county, New York, on the 28th of June 1836. He was educated at an academy at Rome, New York, where at the age of seventeen he became a bank clerk. In 1855 he removed to Chicago, served for three years as bookkeeper in a planing-mill, and in 1858 entered the banking house of the Merchant's Loan and Trust Company, of which he was cashier in 1861-1868. Afterwards he became successively assistant cashier (1868), vice-president (1882), and president (1891) of the First National Bank of Chicago, one of the strongest financial institutions in the middle west. He was chosen in 1892 president of the board of directors of the World's Columbian Exposition, the successful financing of which was due more to him than to any other man. In politics he was originally a Republican, and was a delegate to the national convention of the party in 1880, and chairman of its finance committee. In 1884, however, he supported Grover Cleveland for the presidency, and came to be looked upon as a Democrat. In 1892 President Cleveland, after his second election, offered Gage the post of secretary of the treasury, but the offer was declined. In the “free-silver” campaign of 1896 Gage laboured effectively for the election of William McKinley, and from March 1897 until January 1902 he was secretary of the treasury in the cabinets successively of Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt. From April 1902 until 1906 he was president of the United States Trust Company in New York City. His administration of the treasury department, through a more than ordinarily trying period, was marked by a conservative policy, looking toward the strengthening of the gold standard, the securing of greater flexibility in the currency, and a more perfect adjustment of the relations between the government and the National banks.