The Gale Family

I was compelled to research and write about the haunting at the Volo Antique Barn in the fall of 2016. It wasn't just a ghost but it was about a person who wanted to live his life but was cut down at the age of twenty during the American Civil War.  His name was Henry Wallace Gale and his family owned the dairy farm that the Volo Auto Museum now sits on. 

I began to research the Gale family as well as other pioneer families that came to Volo, Illinois during the Civil War times.  If you look hard enough you can find out many things about the past, hidden away in esoteric and antiquated books.

The subject of interest at a haunting, Henry Wallace Gale, was a young man who had everything to live for before he died suddenly during the Civil War from Typhoid Fever.  His father, Gardner Gale, moved the family to Volo, Illinois from Vermont and was active in the community.  From the book, The Past and Present of Lake County, Illinois by Brookhaven Press/Schuler Books (originally printed in 1877) we can find a quick summary about Henry Wallace Gale's father.  His father was married twice which was not uncommon as many women died from childbirth complications back then.  He had three children with his first wife, Sophronia Smith, and he had six children by his second wife, Louisa Williams. He moved the family to Volo, Illinois in 1853. He was the Road Commissioner and School Director.  He was a farmer who owned 339 acres of land that was worth $8000 back in 1854.  His son, Henry Wallace Gale, who was a teacher at the Volo school, died at the age of twenty, in a hospital on February 16, 1863 in Nashville, Tennessee, after enlisting in the Union Army.

- The Past and Present of Lake County, Illinois by BrookHaven Press/Schuler Books (1877), page 441.

It appears that Henry Wallace Gale's father, Gardner, may have run for office in 1958 as possibly a Republican.  I am currently doing more research on this family.  Here is a screen shot from another book about the times.

- A History of Lake County, Illinois by John J. Halsey (1912), page 140.

In addition to being staunch abolitionists, the Gale family was not only involved in farming, law, and politics, but also in education.  Later on as the Civil War progressed, their cousin in Wisconsin was involved in Sanitation which was very much needed due to the number of Civil War deaths involving water and food contamination.   

Judge George Gale was a third cousin of Henry Wallace Gale per my preliminary research from Judge George Gale was one of the founders of Galesville, Wisconsin and Gale College.  He was a member of the Free Soil Party, a lawyer, a judge, and an educator.  He also wrote a book on the Gale family history. Here is what Wikipedia says about him:

George Gale (November 30, 1816 – April 18, 1868) was a Wisconsin pioneer, judge, and legislator.  Born in Burlington, Vermont, Gale was admitted to the Vermont bar. He then moved to Wisconsin Territory, where he practiced law in Walworth County, Wisconsin serving as District Attorney and as a member of the second Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1847-1848.[1]In 1850-1851, Gale served as a Free Soil Party member of the Wisconsin State Senate's 14th District.[2] Gale moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he became a Wisconsin county judge and then was elected a Wisconsin Circuit Court judge. Gale bought land north of La Crosse and helped plat the city of Galesville, Wisconsin in order to found Gale College; he is responsible for the creation of Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.[3] During the American Civil War, Judge Gale served with the United States Sanitary Commission. He died in Galesville.[4][5]

Here is a picture of him, courtesy of

With this picture, you can see the characteristic Welsh Gale family long face, curly hair and taller, slim features of the Gales.

There is also a Galesburg, Illinois that was involved with the underground railroad and was founded by another George Gale as well who was also involved in education and the founding of Knox College.  I have not yet concluded his family relationship to the Volo Gales.   Per Wikipedia:

Galesburg was founded by George Washington Gale,[3] a Presbyterian minister from New York state who dreamed of establishing a manual labor college (which became Knox College). A committee from New York purchased 17 acres (0.069 km2; 0.027 sq mi) in Knox County in 1835, and the first 25 settlers arrived in 1836. They built temporary cabins in Log City near current Lake Storey, just north of Galesburg, having decided that no log cabins were to be built inside the town limits.

As I have revealed in my book about Henry Wallace Gale, he was a teacher.  I did find an old school in Volo that was converted to a business.  I am still trying to research and determine if this was the school he taught at and it appears it may be as it is not very far from the Gale home in Volo, IL.  I took a few pictures of the old building that was modernized and it still has the old chalkboards inside.

The old Volo School that has now been converted in to a business

I have found a reference to an old log school in Volo.  Did Henry teach in this school before he went to war?  It seems to have been replaced by a frame school.  Perhaps he did, but research is ongoing. Here is a screenshot of the mention:

- History of Lake County, by John J. Halsey, LL.D, Illinois , University of Chicago Library,  1912, page 725 of 904. 

H. Wallace Gale's family were the pioneers in Volo, Il (Forksville, IL.), but whether they were the first is something I am still researching. Without a doubt, the Gale family had their act together for the times, and were organized with a large number of family members and a method that involved their participation in education, politics, law, sanitation, farming, and finally soldiers of the Union.  We can learn a lot from the Gales.  Too bad, there are not a lot of them around, today because we are indebted to them for our quality of life in America.

A very interesting passage was put in the book about the Gale family that was written by Judge George Gale (of Wisconsin).  He wrote that the Welsh believed they were descendants of the Trojans.

But these speculations to establish a Roman ancestry are quite unnecessary as Geoffrey ap Arthur, the Bishops of St. Asaph, in the twelfth century, proved quite conclusively, in the opinion of Edward I, that Britain was first settled by a trojan colony under Brutus, a grandson of Aeneas, from whose name the Greeks and Romans derived Britania.  This theory was first promulgated by the Welsh priest Tysilio, who flourished in the Seventh Century. - Gale Family Records in England and the United States by George Gale, LL. D., page 6.

Those that are familiar with my other books, know that I have researched the origins of mythology and have concluded much of it is based on a real family out of Crete and Tyre.  I call this family the Cronides.  The Trojans were descendants of Aphrodite (Greek Goddess of Love and a daughter of Zeus) via Aeneas.  After fleeing burning Troy, Aeneas took his father and a small group of Trojans and headed to Carthage.  He fell in love with Dido but was told by the gods his destiny was further from Carthage.  He left her, she committed suicide, and Aeneas married his future Italian bride, Lavinia.

Aeneas' grandson, Brutus, had accidentally killed his father with an arrow, and was banished. Brutus traveled up north and finally ended up in Britain.  He became the first king of a dynasty and King Arthur comes from his bloodline.  How closely the Gales are to this bloodline, I don't know but their family history states they were a very old family in England and were there before William the Conqueror came.

The boy, named Brutus, later accidentally killed his father with an arrow and was banished from Italy. After wandering among the islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea and through Gaul, where he founded the city of Tours, Brutus eventually came to Britain, named it after himself, and filled it with his descendants. - Wikipedia

Thus I conclude the Gales were probably of Trojan descent and possibly related to King Brutus of Troy and King Arthur and probably Cronide descendants.

Aeneas flees burning TroyFederico Barocci, 1598.

Per Wikipedia:

In Greco-Roman mythologyAeneas (/ᵻˈniːəs/;[1] Greek: Αἰνείας, Aineías, possibly derived from Greek αἰνή meaning "praised") was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy (both being grandsons of Ilus, founder of Troy), making Aeneas a second cousin to Priam's children (such as Hector and Paris). He is a character in Greek mythology and is mentioned in Homer's Iliad. Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil's Aeneid, where he is an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome. Snorri Sturluson identifies him with the Norse Æsir Vidarr.

King of Great Britain

The Brutus Stone in Totnes

From Wikipedia:


Research about the Gale family is ongoing.

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