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Captain Frank Hagan & Robert J. Hagan

The following biographical sketches are taken from A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians: The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry and Modern Activities by E. Polk Johnson, Volume II, published by The Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago and New York, 1912, pages 924-6

Captain Frank Hagan, who received his title through loyal service as an officer of the Confederacy in the Civil war, gained distinction and marked priority as a member of the bar of the state of Kentucky, where he took up his abode soon after the close of the war and here he was also a prominent and influential factor in political affairs. He was a man of exalted character and of fine intellectual and professional ability, ever commanding a secure place in the confidence and esteem of those who came within the sphere of his influence. He was engaged in the practice of his profession in the city of Louisville from 1866 until his death, which occurred at his home at 1030 South Third street on the 28th of March, 1909, at which time he was seventy-five years of age.

Captain Frank Hagan

Captain Hagan was born in the city of Hannibal, Missouri, on the 23d of September, 1834, and was one of the twelve children of Joseph Hagan, who was a son of Raphael Hagan, a pioneer of Kentucky. Joseph Hagan moved to Missouri long before the Civil war. The parents of Captain Hagan were born in Nelson county, Kentucky. Their parents came from Maryland and located in Nelson county, Kentucky. Here they spent the remainder of their lives. Joseph Hagan, the father of Frank Hagan, removed to Hannibal, Missouri, at a time when the present thriving city was represented by a mere straggling settlement. There his wife and himself passed the residue of their lives. The subject of this memoir passed his boyhood days in his native place and was sent back to Kentucky to receive his higher educational discipline. He entered the historic St. Joseph's College, at Bardstown, this state, in which institution he was graduated in 1852, at the age of eighteen years. He then returned to the parental home in Hannibal, Missouri, where he studied law under effective preceptorship, having received instruction in the offices of various representative attorneys, as at that time there were no law schools in the west. After having been licensed to practice law he engaged in the work of his profession in Hannibal, where he soon rose to a position of prominence therein, as well as in the domain of politics. He was twice elected to the legislature of Missouri and in the latter part of his second term he resigned his seat to go forth in defense of the cause of the Confederacy. He served throughout the period of the great conflict between the states, having been a member of General Marmaduke's brigade and having been captain of the cavalry under General Price. He was an active participant in many sanguinary engagements marking the progress of the great struggle and his brother Sylvester was killed by his side in one of these battles. He was mustered out of the service with his brigade at Shreveport, Louisiana, at the close of the war.

Captain Hagan established his home in Louisville soon after the close of the war and here engaged in the practice of his profession. His magnetic temperament and exceptional ability won him immediate success, and not long afterward he entered local politics. He was one of the organizers of the successful Democratic party in Kentucky after the war. Early in the '70s he was elected prosecuting attorney of Jefferson county, and such was the merit of his work that he held the office two terms. After retiring from this office Captain Hagan entered into law practice with George Caruth, with whom he was associated as a partner until Mr. Caruth removed from the city. Then Captain Hagan and Asher Caruth, brother of the former partner, formed a professional alliance, which continued for a number of years, until Mr. Caruth went to congress. From that time on Captain Hagan practiced law with his two sons, Robert J. and Egerton Hagan.

Throughout his career Captain Hagan bore a prominent part in politics, and for many years he was a leading figure in public affairs. He was an uncompromising Democrat, an oldtime party man and faithful to the tenets of his party. He was a delegate to many state and presidential conventions, and as he was a speaker of ability his services were at all times in demand.

Captain Hagan was reared in the faith of the Catholic church and in the same was a devout and earnest communicant. During the entire period of his residence in Louisville he was one of the valued members of the congregation of the parish St. Louis Bertrand and he was liberal in the support of all departments of the parish and diocesan work. He was a valued member of the United Confederate Veterans' Association and in his home city he held membership in the Filson Club. The Captain was a man of fine intellectual distinction and appreciation and a great lover of all that stands for the best in literature, and his private library, in which he took much pride and satisfaction, was the second largest private collection in Louisville. His genial and noble character gained to him staunch friends among all classes and conditions of men and he was held in high regard by all who knew him. He was courtly and dignified in his manners, chivalrous and kindly in all the relations of life and well represented the historic old-school regime, whose decadence must here be noted with regret.

The domestic relations of Captain Hagan were of ideal order. In 1857, when twenty-two years of age. was solemnized his marriage to Miss Zerelda Sloan, a member of a prominent family in Nelson county, this state. Of their six children only one is now living, Robert J., who is a representative member of the bar of Louisville and who is individually mentioned on other pages of this work. The devoted wife and mother was summoned to the life eternal in 1879, and in 1881 Captain Hagan led to the marriage altar Miss Virginia Egerton, of Louisville, who survives him and who still resides in the attractive old homestead, in which his death occurred. One son was born to the second marriage, Egerton, who is likewise a practicing lawyer in Louisville.

Captain Hagan had eleven brothers and one sister. Nine of the brothers became lawyers, one a farmer, and one, James, entered the priesthood of the Catholic church. The Hagan family, as the name indicates, traces its lineage back to staunch Irish stock and it was founded in America in the Colonial days, the first of the family having come to America with Lord Baltimore. A number of its representatives were found enrolled as valiant soldiers in the Continental line in the war of the Revolution and of this number was Raphael Hagan, who was an officer in the army of General Washington and who came to Kentucky after the close of the war. This worthy patriot was the grandfather of him to whom this memoir is dedicated.

Robert J. Hagan. Within his career as a member of the bar of Louisville Mr. Hagan has amply demonstrated the wisdom of the choice of his vocation, as his success has been of unequivocal order, based upon careful technical preparation and earnest application. He was born in the city that is now his home and the date of his nativity is June 19, 1876. He is a son of the late Captain Frank Hagan, to whom a memoir is dedicated on other pages of this work, so that further review of the family history is not demanded in the present connection. Mr. Hagan gained his early educational training in the public schools of Louisville and when eighteen years of age was here graduated in the high school for boys. He then began the study of law in the office of his father, who was one of the distinguished members of the Louisville bar and eventually entered the law department of the University of Louisville, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1897, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was forthwith admitted to the bar and began the active practice of his profession in his native city. In 1901 there came public recognition of his professional ability and sterling integrity in that he was made the Democratic nominee for the office of prosecuting attorney of Louisville. He was elected by a gratifying majority and served one term of four years. He gave a most excellent administration and was elected for a second term but the court of appeals unseated him and other officers elected. In this emergency Governor Beckham exercised his prerogative by appointing Mr. Hagan to succeed himself. He continued incumbent of the office for a total of six years and retired at the time of the inception of the administration of J. F. Grinstead as mayor of Louisville. Since his retirement from this office Mr. Hagan has given his undivided time and attention to the practice of his profession and he now controls a lucrative and representative business. He has been a zealous worker in behalf of the cause of the Democratic party, was chairman of its committee in his congressional district and has served as a member of the state central committee. As an effective campaign speaker he has taken an active part in nearly every political contest in the state since his early manhood. He is a communicant of the Catholic church, in which his membership is in the parish of St. Louis Bertrand, and in a fraternal way he is identified with the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks.

On the 1st of February, 1905, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hagan to Miss Mary Muir, daughter of Judge Jaspar W. Muir, of Bardstown, this state, where she was born and reared. Mr. and Mrs. Hagan have two children, Jasper and Florida.

The following wedding announcement is taken from the Kentucky Irish American, Saturday, 4 Feb 1905, page 1.

Hagan - Muir.

Most Brilliant Wedding Seen For Years in Old Bardstown Cathedral.

Not for many years has the historic old Cathedral at Bardstown been the scene of so brilliant and notable a wedding as that witnessed Wednesday, when Miss Mary Muir, of that place, became the bride of Robert J. Hagan, Prosecuting Attorney of the Louisville City Court. The church was brilliant with lights and the altars banked with plants and flowers. As the bridal party entered the church the organ pealed forth a beautiful wedding march, and upon arrival at the altar the two happy young people were met by the Very Rev. Dean O'Connell, who performed the marriage ceremony. The lovely bride was attended by three bridesmaids - Misses Mamie Muir, Anna Logan Muir and Theresa Talbott, all of Bardstown. William D. Wolf, of this city, was the best man, the other attendants being Judge Frank Daugherty, Hon. emmet Slattery, Lorraine Mix, Steve Fulton, Alphonse Merritt and Charles Cotton. Upon leaving the church the bride and groom and a large number of friends and relatives of the happy couple were entertained at an elegant wedding dinner at the home of the bride's parents, after which Mr. and Mrs. Hagan left for an extended Southern honeymoon trip. Upon their return they will reside in this city with Col. Frank Hagan, father of the groom. Quite a large number went from Louisville to witness the ceremony, thronging the church to its utmost capacity.

Effort has been made to eliminate errors, but their absence is not guaranteed. This web page is copyright 2011 by Charles Hartley. Permission is hereby granted to individuals seeking family history information to copy the contents of this web page for their personal use.

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