Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 769-70. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


A man of energy and ability, industrious, persevering and painstaking, Willis G. C. Bagley is well known throughout Mason City as cashier of the First National Bank, with which he has been connected for nearly a score of years. Entering the institution in a minor capacity, he has worked his way steadily and rapidly upward until assuming his present position of responsibility and trust, his advance being the result entirely of his own honest and persistent efforts. A son of the late Shepherd S. Bagley, he was born, October 29, 1873, in Rock county, Wisconsin, but was reared and educated in Mason City

Coming from honored New England ancestry, Shepherd S. Bagley was born, in 1839, in Maine. Possessing the spirit of restlessness characteristic of the American race, even in his early days, he migrated when young to the newer state of Wisconsin, and after his marriage embarked in business as a merchant in Cainville, a village, named in honor of his father-in-law, Seth Cain. Coming in 1877 with his family to Iowa, he engaged in the grocery business as senior member of the firm of Bagley & Shockey, subsequently conducting the business alone for a time. He purchased an interest in a marble shop, with which he was connected. Later he was again engaged in the grocery business, becoming connected with the firm of Purdy, McGregor & Company. After the death of his wife, he disposed of his interests in Mason City, and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was a resident until his death, in 1904, at the age of sixty-seven years, the last few years of his life having been an invalid. He married Louisa Cain, who was born in New York state, and died, in Mason City, Iowa, in 1896, aged fifty-five years. Six children blessed their union, of whom four are living, namely: Fred W., of St. Paul, Minnesota; W. S., of Waterloo, Iowa; C. A., of Denver, Colorado; and Willis G. C.

A lad of four summers when he came with his parents to Mason City, Willis G. C. Bagley was educated in the common and high schools. Leaving the high school in February, 1891, he became collector for the First National Bank, with which he has since been associated, having filled all of the intermediate positions up to cashier, the position to which he was elected in 1908, and which he has since held. Holding this office of great trust and responsibility with one of the strongest institutions of the kind in northern Iowa, Mr. Bagley is well worthy the title of a self-made man, and eminently deserves the success that he has gained in the business world.

Mr. Bagley married, May 15, 1895, Winifred Bogardus, who was born in Mason City, Iowa, August 31, 1874, and they are the parents of two children, Margaret L., and Burton B.

Politically Mr. Bagley is a steadfast Republican; and religiously he is a member and a trustee and the treasurer of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which Mrs. Bagley also belongs.

Mr. Bagley is active and prominent in man of the leading fraternal organizations of northern Iowa, belonging to Mason City Lodge, No. 375, B. P. O. E.,; Cerro Gordo Lodge, No. 70, K. of P.,; Benevolence Lodge, No. 145, A. F. and A. M.; Benevolence Chapter No. 45, R. A. M.; Antioch Commandery, No. 43, K. T.; Midland Lodge, No. 226, M. B. A.; Wilcox Camp, No. 709, M. W. A.; Cerro Gordo Tent, No. 53, K. O. T. M.; and Iowa Division, Post A., T. P. A.

NOTE: Willis G. C. Bagley was the president of the First National Bank when John Dillinger and his gang robbedit. Willis served at the Treasurer for the State of Iowa from 1939 to 1943 when he died while still in office. Willis died on October 20, 1943 in Des Moines IA. Winifred (Bogardus) Bagley died on May 11, 1967. Willis and Winifred were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2014



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