Farming has always been one of the principal sources of wealth in Allamakee county and the men who give their energies and activities to scientific agriculture in this region are representative citizens. One of the most careful and systematic farmers of Paint Creek township is A. G. Hagen, who is now engaged in the cultivation of a large farm, in which field of endeavor he is meeting with well merited success. He is a native of Paint Creek township, born April 22, 1870, on what was known as the Hagen homestead. He is a son of Gilbert and Agnette (Coldor) Hagen, natives of Norway, extended mention of whom is made on another page of this volume in connection with the sketch of Peter G. Hagen.
In the district schools near his parents' home A. G. Hagen acquired a good education, while broad practical training came while assisting his father in the cultivation of the home farm. He was only thirteen years of age when his father died and six years later, upon the death of his mother, he was left to fight the battle of life alone. Being thus early thrown upon his own resources he developed an independent, resourceful disposition which stood him in good stead in later years. Going to North Dakota, he spent one year working there, and then, returning to Allamakee county, Iowa, was employed by various farmers in Paint Creek township for a few years. Later he worked for one year in the tin shop conducted by Hans Vold, at Waukon, and the succeeding year in Fisher’s grocery store of that city. When the Spanish-American war broke out his patriotic spirit prompted his enlistment and he became a member of Company I, Forty-ninth Iowa Volunteers, in the capacity of a private. He accompanied his regiment to Jacksonville, Florida, but there was taken ill with typhoid fever, and after spending seven weeks in the hospital at that city was brought back to Iowa and received an honorable discharge.
After he had fully recovered his health Mr. Hagen accepted employment on the farm of Mrs. Ed Leyse, in Paint Creek township, being thus engaged for about a year, after which he married Mrs. Leyse's daughter and for one year rented his mother-in-law's farm. Wishing, however, to engage independently in agriculture and feeling that his careful savings warranted such a move, he purchased what was known as the old James Tracy farm, comprising two hundred acres on section 19, Paint Creek township, which has since remained his home. Although at one time this had been an improved tract it had been allowed to run down and was in poor condition at the time it came into Mr. Hagen's possession. Nothing daunted, however, he at once applied himself with characteristic energy to its recovery and soon brought it into excellent condition, greatly enhancing its value by remodeling the house, the building of a large farm and neat fences and outbuildings and the introduction of modern and up-to-date machinery to facilitate farm labor. He was successful from the outset and later was able to purchase an adjoining tract of ninety- two acres which stands as a monument to his life of industry, thrift and enterprise.
It was on the 22d of November, 1899, that Mr. Hagen was united in marriage to Miss Karen Leyse, and unto them have been born four children: Grant, Leonard, Mabel and Cora. The parents are members of West Paint Creek Norwegian church, while the political views of Mr. Hagen are in accord with the principles of the republican party. He has been called a "good farmer," a phrase which speaks for itself and indicates progressive methods and practical ideas.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller
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