Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Milus Henry Gay (1842-1894)


   Hailing from Santa Clara County, California, Milus Henry Gay has the honor of being the first oddly named California politician profiled here since October of last year, when Caius T. Ryland (another strangely named California assemblyman) was profiled. Unlike Mr. Ryland, little information could be found on Milus Gay, but enough is available to give an adequate overview of his life and service in the California State Assembly.
  Originally born in Payson, Illinois on April 10, 1842, Milus H. Gay migrated to California with his family in the early 1850s, eventually settling in the county of Santa Clara. His education took place in the native schools of this county and he graduated from the University of the Pacific in the class of 1865.  He returned to this institution shortly after graduating to teach ancient languages and after a few years as chair of the language department, left to read law under the firm of Silent and Herrington.
  In 1872 Milus Gay married Indiana native Ella Sinex, with whom he had one son, Henry Milus (later a prominent California physician.) Gay later removed to the town of San Buenaventura in 1874, where he became involved in banking. He was a founder and later cashier/manager of the Bank of Ventura, serving in these offices for a number of years.


 A 1881 California Assembly Journal, with Milus H. Gay's name highlighted in yellow.

   In 1880 Milus Gay made the jump into politics, winning election to the California State Assembly from Santa Clara County. Taking office in January 1881, Gay was named to seats on the committees on Public Buildings and later, Road and Highways. His one term in the assembly concluded in 1883 and afterwards he returned to private life. He is recorded by his obituary (shown below) as also being an active Mason, as well as having a membership in the International Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights Templar.
  Shortly after leaving the legislature in January 1883, Milus Gay was appointed as the Superintendent of the Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, serving in this position until his death at age 51 on March 18, 1894. Despite my best attempts, a burial location could not be found for Milus Gay, but seeing that he was the Superintendent of one of the largest cemeteries in the state of California, it can be reasonably assumed that he was interred at the Oak Hill Cemetery. 

  Milus H. Gay's obit as it appeared in the March 19, 1894 edition of the San Francisco Morning Call.

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