Gage is a town in Ellis County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 442 at the2010 census. Located in the central part of Ellis County on State Highway 46, thirteen miles north of Arnett, the county seat, and on Highway 15, twenty-one miles southwest of Woodward, Gage developed primarily because of transportation access. The military road from Fort Supply to Fort Elliott/Mobeetie, Texas, passed near the future town, and two miles to the northwest a stage stop existed at the confluence of Little Wolf and Wolf creeks. In 1887 the Southern Kansas Railway (later part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) had constructed a line across northwestern Oklahoma from Kansas to the Texas Panhandle. A station called Gage, for a Chicago railroad financier, was established in July near Wolf Creek. Once the domain of various Plains Indian groups, by that time this region had become part of the Cherokee Outlet, opened to settlement by a land run in September 1893. Santa Fe railroad depot, Gage OK, 1906
After that, Woodward County included the site of future Gage. A year after the run several settlers, including John Barr and Frederick D. Webster, took up land near the railroad stop. A post office was designated in February 1895, with Webster as postmaster. By 1898 the community was big enough to support a half dozen stores, a hotel, and a sawmill. In 1901 activity surrounding the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache lands, to the south, attracted new people to the town and farmers to purchase land nearby. The town's residents voted to incorporate a six-block area in May 1904. Eighteen months later, anti-liquor campaigner and Guthrie resident Carrie Nation, on one of her lecture tours through Oklahoma Territory, made a brief visit to Gage's saloons and met a cold reception. In 1907, when Ellis County was created, taking in this part of Woodward County, Gage's 1907 population stood at 755 and in 1910 at 924, the all-time peak.
The growing community served as a cattle and grain shipping point for the surrounding area. Prosperity in the first decade after incorporation attracted two banks, five lumberyards, and more than two dozen retail establishments. Two cotton gins, a roller mill, and three elevators served farmers. The Brennecke Metal Manufacturing Company made water and stock tanks. A theater and the Wolf Valley Cornet Band provided entertainment. Travelers patronized three hotels and five restaurants. Residents could attend any one of three churches, and children attended a large school building.
Artesian Beach Park in Gage
Location of Gage, Oklahoma
As of the census of 2000, there were 429 people, 197 households, and 121 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,032.8 people per square mile (394.4/km²). There were 223 housing units at an average density of 536.9 per square mile (205.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.97% White, 1.40% Native American, 0.93% Asian, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.56% of the population.
There were 197 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $25,795, and the median income for a family was $32,750. Males had a median income of $22,788 versus $13,929 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,706. About 15.4% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.8% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.