ROBERT FAGAN, president of the Iowa Hardware Company of Vinton, before he entered the field of merchandise was one of the farmers of the central west who operated on a broad-guage plan and realized corresponding successes. His earlier career in agriculture was in Illinois, his coming to Benton county dating from 1882, when he located three and a half miles southwest of Mount Auburn, where for five years he operated what was known as the Peters Farm. He then rented the Dr. C. C. Griffin farm of eight hundred acres in Cedar township, which he conducted for twenty-two years, making it one of the leading stock farms in the county. He not only raised cattle and hogs, but bought and fed them for the market, his annual shipments averaging about two hundred head of cattle and two hundred and fifty hogs. The farm is now in the capable hands of his son, Harry H. Fagan. In December, 1908, the senior Mr. Fagan located in Vinton, purchasing a fine family residence just south of the depot, since which time he has given most of his attention to the management and the promotion of the large interests of the Iowa Hardware Company. Although his time has been chiefly engrossed in pushing his agricultural and business enterprises, he has always been so firm and earnest in his Democracy that he has actively participated in various campaigns, and has an enviable record for devotion to the principles which he believes to be most beneficial to the masses. Fraternally he is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., and is altogether a man who can always be depended upon to be in the front ranks of the useful and moral workers of the community.
Mr. Fagan is a Canadian by nativity, born in Ontario January 1, 1847, son of James and Mary (Daley) Fagan, both natives of Ireland who came to the Dominion as children and married there. In 1850 the family moved to Bureau county, Illinois, locating on a farm in LaMoille township. There the parents spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1863, aged sixty-three years, and the mother some time later, at seventy-four. Mr. and Mrs. James Fagan, who were faithful members of the Catholic church, became the parents of ten children, of whom the following eight are alive: Edward, a successful and retired farmer, now residing in Butte county, California; M. Fagan, a stockman of Bureau county, Illinois, who has also conducted a meat market for thirty-five years; John, a retired farmer residing at Arlington, that county; Mrs. Stevenson, of Boone, Iowa; Mrs. Baker, wife of a druggist of Britton, South Dakota; Mrs. Mclntosh, of Boone county, Iowa; and William, of Iroquois county, Illinois.
Robert Fagan was reared in Bureau county, Illinois, obtained but a very limited education, and started life with no capital except a sound knowledge of farming, a sound body, determination, integrity and a large fund of common sense, which, in the final analysis, is the best and largest capital with which to supply any ambitious young man. Mr. Fagan made a splendid use of his endowments, having forged along to success himself, and, at the same time, reared a fine family of sons and daughters.
Mr. Fagan was married in Illinois to Miss Martha E. Chaddock, who was born in Ohio, but moved to Illinois in the early sixties and resided at LaMoille, Bureau county, until the decease of her parents. Their eight children who reached maturity were as follows: Edward, who is now a farmer of Saskatchewan, Canada; Charles, of the Iowa Hardware Company, Vinton; Harry H., of Cedar township, already mentioned as superintending the farm; Ollie, also a Saskatchewan farmer; Hal, who is engaged in the grocery business at Vinton; Mabel, wife of Delbert Loveland, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where he is operating a canning factory; Maud, wife of Seth Witten, a general merchant of Saskatchewan; and Lorena, who married W. E. Brown, also a farmer of Saskatchewan.