2007 – The Dennis Sage Family

In the later years of the 1820s, Northwest Ohio and most of the area known as Waynesfield Township in Wood County (later to become part of Lucas County with the townships of Providence, Monclova, Springfield, Adams, Sylvania, etc.) was sparsely populated by trappers, traders, Indians, or in many cases, no one. The Miami River of the Lake which was now being called by the name, Maumee, had populous settlements in the communities of Fort Industry, Port Lawrence, Vistula, Perrysburg, and Maumee, where there were households, businesses and churches.
Some of the sense of community that these pioneers had lived with in their native states of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Pennsylvania also came with them. The lake boats from Detroit, Michigan and Erie, Pennsylvania, offered the goods and luxuries that were to be had in their home towns, but at an increased cost so that often they substituted goods produced in the home or locally, or did without them. Living 5 or more miles away from these communities increased the hardships and not many families lived in those areas.
In 1829, Dennis Sage located about 5-10 miles from the village of Maumee in what is now close to the corner of Airport Highway and Holloway Road. The census for Waynesfield Township (Springfield Township was still within these boundaries) for 1830 shows him as a 30-40 year old and living in his household was a 30-40 year old female and two boys, one between 5-10 years old and the other less than 5 years old. This 30-40 year old female and children may have been his sister, Chloe Lees and her children, since local history states that she arrived in the area shortly after Dennis.
In the census of 1840 for Springfield Township, Dennis’ sister is shown with her children and a 40-50 year old male living in the household. It was unusual for a woman to be listed as the head of household in these early census records unless she was a widow or the husband was incapable of caring for himself or was not living in the household for any number of reasons. Since there is no later mention of Chloe’s husband, William Lees, it could be assumed that this 40-50 year old man was Dennis. There is only one listing for a Dennis Sage in the census of 1840 for the whole country and that is in Nantucket County, Massachusetts. It lists a 30-40 year old African-American in the household. No one else is listed in the household. Since the Dennis from Springfield Township was not African-American, this is either a free African-American with the same name or the servant of someone whose name is the same. Since later history records state that Dennis had lived his life in Springfield Township after moving there it can be assumed that Dennis was living with his sister in Springfield Township.
From family records we know that Dennis was born on March 20, 1794 or 1795, in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Stephen and Esther (Hollister) Sage, who were from Middlesex County, Connecticut. He migrated to what is now Springfield Township around 1829. The History of Toledo and Lucas County written in 1888 states: “Dennis Sage was probably the first or among the first. He settled in the Township in 1829, and at the time of his death was the oldest living pioneer.”
By 1850, Dennis had married Sarah (Wood) Holloway, the widow of Herbert Holloway, and was living in Springfield Township, Lucas County, Ohio. He was around 55 years old at the time and no record exists of him being married before this time. She was the widow of Herbert Holloway (who died in 1846). According to some family records, Sarah was the sister of Thomas Wood, who was also a pioneer of Springfield Township. She was born February 14, 1819, in New York. She first married Herbert Holloway, the son of Peter and Sophia (Seymour) Holloway (who were also pioneers of Springfield Township). Herbert was born on March 27, 1806 and died on September 10, 1846, and is buried in the township cemetery. Herbert and Sarah had four children who are listed with Sarah and Dennis Sage in the 1850 census: Edwin, born 1837; Mary Jane, born ca 1840; George Washington, born 1844; and Herbert, born 1846.
Sarah and Dennis also had four children: Helen, born ca 1850; Stephen, born ca 1852; Ida E., born ca 1855; and Thomas W., born ca 1859. Sarah died September 22, 1871 and is buried in the township cemetery with Dennis, who died in 1887. Thomas W. owned the first hardware store in the township and village and was active in community affairs. Dennis was a Township Treasure in 1843-1845, 1847-1850, 1851, and 1853, and a Township Trustee in 1860. He was a farmer in the township until his death at the age of 93 in 1887.