SAGE, RUSSELL (1816-1906), American financier, was born in Verona township, Oneida county, New York, on the 4th of August 1816. He worked as a farm-hand until he was 15, when he became an errand boy in a grocery conducted by his brother, Henry R. Sage, in Troy, New York. He had a part interest in 1837-1839 in a retail grocery in Troy, and in a wholesale store there in 1839-1857. He served as an alderman of Troy in 1841-1848, and as treasurer of Rensselaer county in 1845-1849. In 1853-1857 he was a Whig representative in Congress. He became an associate of Jay Gould in the development and sale of railways; and in 1863 removed to New York City, where, besides speculating in railway stocks, he became a money-lender and a dealer in "puts" and "calls" and "privileges," and in 1874 bought a seat in the New York Stock Exchange. He gradually accumulated a fortune, which at his death was variously estimated as from $60,000,000 to $80,000,000. On the 4th of December 1891 an attempt was made to assassinate him in his office by one Henry Norcross, who demanded a large sum of money, and upon being refused exploded a dynamite bomb, and was himself killed. Sage died in New York on the 22nd of July 1906. In 1869 he had married Miss Margaret Olivia Slocum (b. 1828), a graduate (1847) of the Troy Female Seminary (now the Emma Willard School). She inherited nearly all of his great fortune, and out of it she gave away a long series of liberal benefactions to various institutions
- Mr Sage's secretary was also killed, and one of his clerks, W. R. Laidlaw, jr., was badly injured. Laidlaw afterward repeatedly sued Sage for damages, claiming that Sage had used him as a shield at the moment of the explosion, but his suits were unsuccessful.