John Phillip Gagen
There is much
incentive in studying the life history of such a man as John P. Gagen,
who by his own indomitable courage and energy, finally rose above early
environments that were none too favorable, surmounting every obstacle
encountered in his pathway until he attained a position of eminence in
the business circles of the city of Lafayette, Indiana, second to on of
his contemporaries. He belonged in the large class of industrious
citizens of foreign parentage, his parents Patrick and Mary Gagen,
emigrated to America from Ireland, where they were born and where their
childhood were spent. They were the parents of ten children, but the
was called to rest ere they grew to maturity and the father married a
time, adding eight more children to his already large family, the
number of children being eighteen. However, he was a hard worker and a
good manager and provided well for them, giving them common school
and living to see them fairly well started in the battle of life. He
a man of honorable character and inculcated in his children those
that make for true manhood and womanhood, the glory of our strong
citizenship, which we are justly, went to boast.
To John P. and Adaline Gagen eight children were born, of whom only two daughters are now living, namely: Emma F., who was born in Tippecanoe County January 31, 1878, married Patrick Joseph Keefe, who is engaged with his father in the manufacturing business in Anderson, Indiana, where he resides. Mr. and Mrs. Keefe have no children. Esther Gagen, who was born February 5, 1883, married John Joseph Greenen, a resident of Indianapolis, where Mr. Greenen is engaged in the coal, lime, and cement business. No children have been born to them. Both Mr. Greenen and Mr. Keefe are energetic businessmen.
Mrs. Gagen is the only surviving member of her parents’ family, which consisted of four daughters. Her life has been singularly happy with the exception of the irreparable loss, occasioned by the death of her lamented husband John P. Gagen some four years ago. But he left her well provided for, her home at No. 1123 South Street, Lafayette, being one of the handsomest and most attractive in the city. It is modern in every respect, elegantly furnished and tastily kept. Mrs. Gagen is also the owner of the very fine landed estate consisting of three hundred and twenty acres near Dayton, Tippecanoe County.
Personally Mrs. Gagen is a well-preserved woman, vivacious in manner, affable and kind-hearted, always hospitable and she is beloved by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
An excellent portrait adorns her cozy home the likeness of her well-remembered husband, than whom a more popular and whole-souled man never lived in this city. He was a man who, while looking to his own interests, never lost sight of his duty to his fellowmen, fine natural traits, he was popular with all classes, and when his death occurred the entire city and community felt a personal loss.
Transcribed June 8, 2000 by Andy Sauer
Excerpts from the book: Past And Present Of Tippecanoe
Volume Two: pp. 815-816
Footnote: John P. Gagen family owned their own private railroad car. Esther Loretta Gagen visited her sister Emma Frances Gagen in San Francisco, California in 1906 during the great earthquake there. She described what she saw to me when I was around 8 years old in 1949. She was unhurt in the hotel that she was staying. You could see streets torn open, bursting pipes, dead people and vast destruction for a great distance. Recorded by grandson Andy Sauer June 8, 2000.
Footnote: Aunt Peggy (Yates) Greenen Drew told me that the manufacturing business Patrick Joseph Keefe was engaged with his father was the Anderson Stove Manufacturing Company, Anderson, Indiana. They made coal and wood burning stoves Recorded by Andy Sauer June 8, 2000.
*Note on marriage date: John Phillip Gagen married Adaline Green (also spelled Greene) on April 17, 1870 at St. Mary Catholic Church Lafayette, Indiana Tippecanoe County as recorded in the State of Indiana Marriage Book 13 Page 25. Andy Sauer.
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