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Dorothy Gage

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Dorothy Louise Gage (11 June 1898 — 11 November 1898) was a niece of L. Frank Baum and Maud Gage Baum. Dorothy's sister Matilda Jewell Gage reported her belief that Baum had based the name Dorothy Gale on Dorothy Gage.

The girl was the daughter of Sophie Jewell and Thomas Clarkson Gage of Bloomington, Illinois; T. C. Gage was Maud Baum's brother. The Baums reportedly "doted on" their newborn niece. According to medical records, her death at the age of five months was caused by "congestion of the brain." Maud Baum in particular was severely affected by the baby's death; Baum, who was writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the time, may have named his heroine after the lost child in response.

Dorothy and Matilda had another sister, Alice, who also died young.

Researcher Dr. Sally Wagner discovered Dorothy Gage's grave in the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington in 1996. Mickey Carroll, who played one of the Munchkins in the 1939 MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz, restored the worn headstone and furnished a duplicate. The new headstone was dedicated in October 1997, when the Evergreen cemetery also established a separate children's graveyard, the Dorothy Gage Memorial Garden.

References

  • Troy Taylor. Weird Illinois. New York, Sterling Publishing, 2005.
  • Sally Roesch Wagner. "Dorothy Gage and Dorothy Gale." The Baum Bugle, Vol. 28 No. 2 (Autumn 1984).

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