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Gage Family Collection

Identifier: spe-nhrc-gfc

Scope and Contents

The Gage Family Collection consists of family photographs that document the daily life of a middle-class family living in the Grand Boulevard community in the early 1900s. Besides the immediate family, individuals pictured here include Stanley’s brother, Edward Gage, and his son Henry Crum Gage. Also represented are Stanley’s sister, Portia Gage, her husband William Lee, and their daughter Portia M. Lee, who was born in 1907. Others living in the household are D. Milton Woods and Alfred Hayne, who were lodgers. The names of identified persons are transcribed as given by the donor. These are all exterior photos, taken in front of, or near, the family home at 4236 S. Prairie Avenue.

Sources: 1900 U. S. Federal Census; 1910 U. S. Federal Census; 1930 U. S. Federal Census; 1915 and 1916 city directories for Chicago.


  • 1908-1926, undated

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

Stanley and Katherine L. Gage married in 1905 and by 1910 were living at 4236 S. Prairie Avenue. Stanley was born in Illinois about 1877 and worked in real estate, as did his father. His son, William H. Gage, was born in 1912. Living at the same address were Henry H. and Mary B. Gage, Stanley’s parents.

The Gage home at 4236 S. Prairie Avenue is in the Grand Boulevard community, four miles south of the Chicago Loop. It is bounded by 39th and 51st Streets to the north and south, Cottage Grove Avenue and the Chicago Rock Island Railroad tracks to the east and west. The Grand Boulevard community area takes its name from the tree-lined street built in 1874. The street, Grand Boulevard, was later renamed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the 1870s great mansions were built along Grand Boulevard, with more modest homes and 3-flat apartment buildings springing up on the adjacent streets. Originally part of the township of Hyde Park, this area would become part of Chicago through annexation in 1889. Many German-Jewish and Irish immigrants moved to the area at the turn of the century, followed by African American migrants from the South after WWI. By the 1930s, African Americans made up 95% of the population of Grand Boulevard and the area came to also be known as Bronzeville.


.25 Linear Feet (in 1 box, includes 78 photographs)

Language of Materials



The collection contains 78 photographs of the Gage family who resided at 4236 S. Prairie Avenue in Chicago’s Grand Boulevard community in the early 20th century.


The photographs are arranged chronologically by year with persons listed alphabetically within. Circa dates follow at the end of each decade and undated photographs or photographs with unidentified persons are at the end.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Mr. Stanley Gage donated the Gage Family Collection to the Special Collections and Preservation Division at the Harold Washington Library Center in 2006.

Related Materials

Kircher Family Papers

Lanyon Family Papers

Slack Family Photograph Album

D.E. Terriere Diaries

Topel Family Photograph Album

Guide to the Gage Family Collection
Original author unknown, 2009 June. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875