From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Celeste MacCormack
SYLVESTER B. SAGE, of Catskill, dealer in carriages and harnesses, and present member of the New York Assembly from Greene County, was born in Prattsville on September 8, 1836, son of Hart C. and Clarissa H. (Van Luven) Sage.
The founder of the Sage family in America is said to have been David Sage, who came to New England in 1652, and settled at Middletown, Conn., where he died in 1703, aged sixty-four years.
David Sage of the later generation, grandfather of Mr. Sage, of Catskill, was one of the early settlers of Broome, Schoharie County, N.Y., and resided on a farm there throughout the greater part of his life.
Hart C. Sage, son of the second David here mentioned, was brought up on a farm in Broome, but after his marriage came to Catskill. Here he remained two years engaged in mercantile business, and at the end of that time went to Prattsville, where he carried on a store. He died at the age of thirty-six. In early life he taught school for several terms. He was prominent among the Odd Fellows, and after he went to Prattsville he built a hall there for the organization. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and conformed his daily life and walk to his professed beliefs. His wife, Clarissa, who shared his religious faith, was born in Broome. She was a descendant of one of the early settlers there, and one of a large family of children. She died at seventy, having been the mother of five children, namely: Osmar C., who is now deceased; Omar V.; Sylvester B.; H. Clarence; and Hart C., Jr., also deceased. Omar V. Sage is a well-known public man. He was Clerk of Greene County for two terms, and member of the New York Assembly two terms, and for the past five years he has held the important position of Warden of Sing Sing Prison. H. Clarence Sage is a professor of music, residing in New York City.
Sylvester B. Sage when a lad of eleven years lost his father, and at a very early age he was obliged to shift for himself. After working in Prattsville for a time as a clerk in a store, he was in business there down to 1869. He then sold out his trade and stock and came to Catskill, and for eleven years, from 1869 to 1880, conducted a grocery here. In 1880 he received an appointment as under sheriff, and this office he filled in an entirely acceptable manner for three years. At the end of that time he opened his present business, which has since proved to be such a success. In his extensive warerooms on Main Street are to be found vehicles of all kinds, harnesses, whips, and general horse and carriage furnishings. He does a larger business in this line than any other firm between Albany and New York. He makes many of the harnesses he carries in stock, and sells many at wholesale, keeping five harness-makers employed the entire year. All wagons and carriages to be found in his repository are built by the best manufacturers. He employs fourteen men in the store, and sells at both wholesale and retail. He is among the oldest business men on the street, and, with two or three exceptions, the oldest in the town.
In politics Mr. Sage is a Democrat. He held the office of Town Collector for a year, and that of Police Justice for six years, and was then appointed Under Sheriff. He has also been on the Board of Education several years, and was clerk of the board during the greater part of this period of membership. In 1897 he was elected to the Assembly, receiving three thousand, eight hundred and sixteen votes, against three thousand, four hundred and fifty-three for John B. Logendyke. During that year he was a member of the Committees on Internal Affairs and Villages. In 1898 he was again elected to the Assembly, against D. G. Green, of Coxsackie, and is now serving on the Committees on General Laws and Revision, the two best in the House.
Mr. Sage married, in 1861, Alice, daughter of Darius W. Smith, proprietor of a sale stable in 24th Street, New York. Of this union two children have been born – Francis V. and Clarence B. The latter is in business with his father. Mr. Sage’s business is located in one of the handsomest blocks in Catskill, and his residence, purchased in 1872, occupies one of the most sightly spots in the town.
Mr. Sage is a member of Catskill Lodge, No. 468, having joined many years ago. He held the office of Clerk for a long time, but has declined all other offices. He is at the present time vice-president of the Catskill Driving Park Association, and president of the Mountain Dew Brewery, and a director in both organizations; also a member of the Executive Committee of the Retail Carriage Dealers’ Protective Association, which is a national organization. In 1895 he was president of the members of the Presbyterian church. He is one of Catskill’s most progressive and most highly respected citizens.