The Generations of Thomas Pine Petznick
Thomas Pine Petznick
Notes for Parley M. Bagley
A prominent farmer and capitalist.
He was born near Cleveland, Ohio, on Christmas day of 1835, and died on the old homestead in Fremont County, February 23, 1899 (Fremont County Cemetery Records book shows 1893). Reared in Ohio, he was descended from an honored New England family, his people having been valued pioneer settlers of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. They emigrated westward when the Buckeye state was an almost unbroken wilderness and Cleveland was a village composed of a few houses. The Indians were yet numerous and roamed at will over the country.
The parents of Mr. Bagley were Russia and Rebecca (Newell) Bagley, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Connecticut. Before his marriage the former removed to Ohio and the latter went to that state with her parents. His father and the family afterward became residents of Ohio and all settled in Cuyahoga County, where land was entered from the government and farms improved. All of the representatives of the family of the older generations died in Ohio.
The parents were members of the Methodist church. The children of the Newell family were; Polly, who became Mrs. Edgel; Rebecca, who became the mother of P. M. Bagley; Mrs. Adelia Colby; John, who died in Buchanan County, Iowa; Mrs. Elmira Baker, of Fremont County; and George, a farmer and broom manufacturer.
With his father and the family, P. M. Bagley came to Fremont County in 1859, and from his father he secured some land, which he improved, thus making a start in business life on a small scale. After his marriage, in 1864, he located upon his land, and for thirty-five years he and his wife fought the battle of life together, beginning when the country was new and hard labor lay before all who wished to make homes in this section of the country. Prosperity however, attended their efforts, and with one exception they became the largest tax-payers in the county. For many years Mr. Bagley was a rather frail man, but his wife was strong and well, and proved to him a most able assistant and companion, becoming his confidential adviser in all matters of business.
As he acquired some capital he purchased stock, believing that stock raising would prove a profitable industry, as the broad and unclaimed prairies of Iowa offered excellent pasturage. Ultimately he became one of the most extensive stock-raisers and dealers in this portion of the country, was recognized as an excellent judge of stock and seldom erred even in the slightest degree in making his purchases. His ability as a financier was widely known and his executive force enabled him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertook. Not only did he realize a handsome profit from the products of the soil and from his stock interests but also in later years through lending money. He was conservative, especially in discussing his business affairs. With friends, relying upon his own judgment, which was rarely if ever at fault. He found too, that his wife's advice and counsel were very valuable, and business affairs were discussed between them with mutual profit and satisfaction. When the business depression of 1895 occurred and there was little market for land, Mr. Bagley purchased extensively and thus became the possessor of some of the finest farms of the county, owning over two thousand acres at the time of his death. All are now extremely valuable and the Bagley estate is extensive. Adding continually to his property, our subject thus became the second highest tax payer in the county.
No children were born unto our subject and his wife, but the kindness of their heart prompted them to give a home to Miss Mary Dilts, a little orphan girl, born May 18, 1875. She became a member of their household when six years of age and has ever received from them the kindest care and consideration, and in return Mr. and Mrs. Bagley have ever had from her the love and attention of an own daughter.
In his political views Mr. Bagley was an influential Republican, and though he never sought office he was always well informed on the issues and questions of the day. He was strictly a business man, enterprising, industrious and at all times reliable. His career was as the day, with its morning of hope, its noontide of activity, its evening of rest, ending in the grateful quiet of night. As the result of his own labors he was enabled to enjoy the comforts and luxuries of life and to provide amply for his wife, and when called to his final rest he passed away respected by all who had known him. Mrs. Bagley still controls the old homestead and the estate, and is a lady of superior business ability. Her long association with her husband in his work well qualified her for the responsibilities which now devolve upon her. She was reared in the Christian church, with which she has always affiliated, yet her support is not withheld from other denominations. Her friends are many and the circle is constantly increasing by reason of her many excellent qualities of head and heart, which gain for her the respect, confidence and good will of all with whom she is associated.
3 Mar 1899 Tabor Beacon
Bagley, Parl, whose serious illness was noted in this paper last week, died from the effects of his ailment Thursday night. Funeral was held from the home in Randolph Friday conducted by the Methodist and Presbyterian ministers of that place. The deceased was 63 years of age last Christmas and is reported to have been the richest man in Fremont County. His estate is estimated from $150,000 to $300,000, all of which, with the exception of a few small bequests to his brothers and sisters, falls to Mrs. Bagley, there being no children. Randolph Cemetery says he died 23 Feb 1893 (sic).
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