The Generations of Thomas Pine Petznick
Thomas Pine Petznick
Notes for Albert George Bagley
History of Fremont & Mills Counties, 1901
A. G. Bagley has spent the greater part of his life in Fremont County, whither he came with his parents when fourteen years of age. That was in the year 1859, and the work of progress and development seemed scarcely begun in this district, which was then situated on the wild western frontier. The Bagleys ably assisted in laying the foundation for the present prosperity and development of the county and the name has ever been a synonym for all that is commendable in citizenship and in private life. He of whom we write is recognized as one of the leading agriculturists in the vicinity of Randolph. He is descended from old New England stock and was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, April 26, 1844, his parents being Russia and Rebecca (Newell) Bagley.
Russia Bagley was born in Vermont and when a young man emigrated westward to Ohio, where he found and married Miss Newell, who was a native of Connecticut and with her parents removed to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in the pioneer epoch of its history. At that time Cleveland was a small village, containing only a few houses, and Indians were still very numerous in the country. There were no mills in that part of the state and the pioneer settlers had to pound their wheat and corn in mortars in order to make breadstuffs. The ladies of the household would exchange a pound of butter for a pound of salt. Many difficulties and hardships were endured in opening up the region to civilization, but there were also many pleasures known only to pioneer life. The husbands and fathers entered their land from the government and improved farms. The Bagleys and Newells were well known and honored people and were actively identified with the work of progress and improvement there. The father of our subject served through the war of 1812, and in recognition of the aid which he rendered his government he was given a land warrant, which he sold.
He was the second in order of birth in a family of five children, the others being George, a physician, who died in Ohio; Nathaniel, an agriculturist of Putnam County, Ohio; Parley, who died in Vermont; and Ruth, who also passed away. Russia Bagley's wife, Mrs. Rebecca Bagley, was the second in order of birth in a family of six children, the others being Polly, now Mrs. Edgel; Mrs. Adelia Colby; John, who died in Buchanan County, Iowa; Mrs. Almira Baker, of Fremont County; and George, who is a farmer and broom manufacturer.
After the marriage of Russia Bagley and Rebecca Newell they located upon his farm in Ohio, where they resided for many years, after which that property was exchanged for four hundred acres of land in Fremont County. Mr. Bagley had not seen the land at the time the trade was made, and when he came to the west he found that it was wet and not very profitable, but it has since been drained and has been transformed into a very desirable property. In 1859 he removed his family to Iowa, making the journey on steamboat by way of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. He located upon a portion of his land west of the Nishnabotna River, not far distant from Randolph, and there he improved a farm, making it his place of abode for many years, when he settled on another tract of land in Deer Creek. There he again developed a good farm, making it the permanent place of his residence until he was called to his final rest, on the 8th of November, 1885, when ninety-four years of age. He had enjoyed excellent health up to the time of his demise, and only a few days before his death he had walked to the polls where he cast his vote for the Republican candidate. He was a strong, athletic man, of brave and fearless nature, always energetic and industrious. When sixty years of age he could cut four cords of wood in a day, and by his hard-labor and honest dealing he acquired a comfortable competence for the evening of life. He never aspired to the honors or emoluments of public office, but served as a justice of the peace for a number of years. His life was the quiet honest one of the farmer and at all times he commanded the confidence and respect of those with whom he was associated.
His wife survived him and spent her last days in the home of her children, dying at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Clark, December 26, 1894, when ninety-three years of age. Her husband had been previously married before they were wedded, his first union being with a Miss Teuman, by whom he had six children, as follows: Helen, who became Mrs. Marble and died in Chicago, Illinois; Lemath, who became Mrs. Link and died in Kentucky; Mrs. Margaret Robe; William and Joseph, who died in Ohio; and Lucina, who is living in Missouri. The children born unto Mr. and Mrs. Bagley were: P. M., a prominent farmer and capitalist, who died in Fremont County; Mary, now deceased, who was married in Ohio to O. A. Clark, who entered the army at the time of the Civil war and while he was at the front she came to her parents in Fremont County, where her husband joined her after the close of hostilities, becoming a prominent farmer of this locality; Christiana, who is also deceased; Amy, the wife of William Rusk; A. G., of this review; Fanny, the wife of David Shultz, a farmer of Mills County; and Alvaretta, who died in childhood. Of the Methodist Church the parents were consistent and faithful members, and into the minds of their children they early instilled lessons of industry and honesty. Throughout his career the father was a sturdy farmer of sterling integrity and honor.
A. G. Bagley spent the first fourteen years of his life in his native state and then accompanied his parents to Iowa, remaining in their home until after he had attained his majority. He assisted in the work of improving and developing the farm and also spent some time in schools, but his studies were interrupted by his ill health. He suffered greatly from chills and fever. At the time of the Civil war, believing that a change of climate would benefit his health, he made arrangements to accompany the Rev. Moses Payne, who was engaged in freighting for the government, to New Mexico with ox teams. With other equipment, they took a coffin, for it was feared that Mr. Bagley would not survive the trip and arrangements were therefore made for the burial. The coffin was put in the wagon which he drove and he sat on it, slept by it and sometimes in it during the trip to Mexico, but it was never brought into use for him, as his health improved. The parson sold the coffin while they were in the south. Returning home, he resumed farming, and in 1869 he completed his arrangements for a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Wittenmyer. They located upon a farm in Fremont county, there residing until 1883, when they removed to a farm in Nebraska. Subsequently Mr. Bagley engaged in merchandising and in selling farm machinery. In 1885 he returned to Fremont County, locating in Tabor, having traded his Nebraska land for a large stock of merchandise. He handled farm machinery and agricultural implements, engaging in that line of business until 1888, when he again went to Nebraska where he followed farming and stock-raising until 1893. In that year he became a resident of northwestern Canada, where he carried on the same line of business until June 1899, when he once more took up his abode in Fremont County, his home being upon a fine farm in Nishnabotna valley. His residence adjoins the corporation limits of Randolph. He is now conducting general farming and stock-raising and has a very valuable and desirable place, in which no modern accessory or convenience is lacking. His home, recently erected, is a two-story frame dwelling, built in a modern architectural style, and in the rear are found large barns and substantial outbuildings.
Mrs. Bagley, who for a third of a century has been a faithful companion and helpmate to her husband on life's journey, is a lady of intelligence and culture, belonging to one of the honored early families of the state. She was born in Illinois, July 11, 1851, a daughter of Andrew J. and Martha (Hooper) Wittenmyer, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Adams County, Ohio, where they were married. They were of German and Scotch descent. They removed to Illinois and after a number of years, in 1868, came to Fremont County, where the father purchased and improved a farm, upon which he continued through a long period. In the evening of life he removed to Nebraska, where both he and his wife died, the latter on the 14th of February, 1893, and the former on the 27th of April, 1894. They were earnest and loyal members of the Methodist Church, and in his political faith Mr. Wittenmyer was first a Whig and afterward a Republican. Their marriage was blessed with seven children, namely: Frank, a resident farmer of Fremont County; Mrs. Elizabeth Bagley; Joseph, who is employed as a smelter by a gold-mining company; Carrie, the wife of James Henry; Anna, the wife of Joseph Henry; William, of South Dakota; and Emma, the wife of E. Asman.
Seven children grace the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley; Hattie F., now the wife of Dr. James Richardson, of northwestern Canada; Melvin, who is living in the same locality; Sylvia, the wife of W. Froste of Canada; Raphael, who also is living in the British province; Theressa, who makes her home with her sister in Canada; Verda, who is with her parents; and Claude, who was born September 30, 1887, and is still under the parental roof.
Mr. Bagley exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party, but office-holdings have no attraction for him. He devotes his time and energies untiringly to his business affairs, in which he has prospered. His capable management and keen discrimination have been active factors in his continued success, and today, as the result of his own well-directed efforts, he is classed among the successful citizens of Fremont County.
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