O. J. Hager

O.J. Hager

O. J. Hager occupies a notable place in financial circles of Waukon as president of the First National Bank, while his connections with other leading institutions through investment of official service make him also one of the country’s most conspicuously successful financiers. He is a native son of Iowa, born in Allamakee county April 7, 1867, a son of Fred Hager, who was among the early settlers in Iowa and who came to this section of the state in 1849. He married here Miss Wilhelmina Helming and after the wedding took up a claim some six miles beyond Waukon which he cleared, broke and fenced and upon which he made many substantial improvements, replacing his original farm dwelling by a good brick residence and making his property one of the finest and most valuable in the section. When he left the farm he moved into Waukon and there spent the last years of his life, passing away November 4, 1909, having survived his wife since 1891.

O. J. Hager was reared upon his father’s farm and acquired his primary education in the public schools, supplementing this by a three years’ course in Decorah College. After laying aside his books he taught for four years but at the end of that time came to Waukon, where he aided in organizing the First National Bank with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Hager was made cashier and he served in that capacity for five years, advancing afterward to the position of president, an office which he still holds. The bank purchased an old building which they tore down and replaced by the present modern and commodious structure which is complete in furnishings and equipment and a worthy competitor with the finest financial institutions in the state. The capital stock has been increased to one hundred thousand dollars and an extensive and growing patronage has been build up, much of the success of the concern being due to Mr. Hager’s able and far sighted management. He is connected in an important way with various other banks in this vicinity, being president of the Waterville Savings Bank; vice president of the New Albin Savings Bank, and a stockholder and director in the Dorchester Savings Bank. He is connected in a similar way with the Brownsville State Bank of Brownsville, Minnesota, and has come to be known as one of the authorities on finance in this part of the country, his standing being based on twenty years of able work along financial lines.

Extensive and important as are his banking interests, Mr. Hager has yet found time to devote to other lines of activity and during the period of his residence here has been prominently connected with many profitable business enterprises. He is a real-estate dealer on an extensive scale, buying and selling Iowa and Minnesota lands and specializing in improved and unimproved farm properties, in which he has valuable holdings.

On September 20, 1900, Mr. Hager married Miss Ella Stevens, who was born, reared and educated in Waukon. She is a daughter of Peter Stevens, one of the original settlers in Allamakee county and for a number of years a prosperous farmer. He later moved to Waukon. Mr. and Mrs. Hager are the parents of two daughters, Helen and Anna. The family are members of the Presbyterian church and are well known in religious and social circles. They occupy a modern and beautiful residence in Waukon which Mr. Hager erected and which they have made a center of hospitality for their charming circle of friends. Fraternally Mr. Hager is connected with the Knights of Pythias and his political allegiances is given to the republican party. A man of high worth and sterling integrity, he is widely known throughout Allamakee county, a community which has known him during his entire life.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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