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Frank Hageman, president of the National Bank of America at Salina, the largest bank in that city, and one of the strongest financial institutions in Central Kansas, is all but a native of Kansas and had been a resident of this state nearly continuously since the close of the territorial period. His name is one that had a very honorable and important connection with Kansas commercial life, his father, the late Miller Hageman, having been one of Leavenworth’s foremost wholesale merchants.
The late Miller Hageman was born at Reedsburg, Ohio, in 1826. His was an example of the typical American career of a youth who begins life without special influence or advantages and struggles to the top in business affairs. He was both a teacher and farmer in early life, but when about twenty-two years of age he engaged in merchandising with his brother Adam at Beardstown, Illinois. That firm prospered and his success there influenced Miller Hageman to direct his energies in a newer field and one promising great opportunities. In 1859, accordingly, he came to Kansas and established himself at Leavenworth, which then was by all means one of the first cities in point of commerce and trade along the Missouri River. He engaged in the wholesale grocery business under the name M. Hageman & Company. For a long period of years this firm stood second to none in the scope of its business connections in Kansas. Besides the main object of distributing supplies over a constantly enlarging retail district, the company also had retail stores at Pleasanton, Girard and Paola, Kansas. The wholesale territory included Salina and the entire northwestern part of Kansas. Before railroads were built across Kansas this firm distributed its goods to the retail merchants from wagons drawn by ox teams. Miller Hageman was the leading spirit and mainspring of this company’s large activities and success. He finally retired from business in 1884 and after that made his home in Kansas City, Missouri. He died in that city honored and respected on May 9, 1912. Though he never affiliated with any one church, he was a man of highest character and of utmost rectitude in both his personal and business relationships.
In 1854 Miller Hageman married Mary H. Chamblin, daughter of Samuel and Caroline (Thornbury) Chamblin, who were natives of Virginia. Mrs. Miller Hageman was born at Springfield, Illinois, in 1836, and died at Kansas City, Missouri, December 4, 1905. She was a life-long member of the Congregational Church. There were three children, one son and two daughters, the first born, a daughter, dying in infancy. The other daughter, Medora, born August 1, 1856, was married in 1875 to Harry C. McConnell, a native of Kansas and now a retired jeweler at Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. McConnell have two children: Harry, born August 1, 1876; and May, born May 1, 1878.
Mr. Frank Hageman was born at Beardstown, Illinois, November 1, 1858, but was brought by his parents to Leavenworth in 1859, so that he had no conscious recollection of his birthplace. He grew up at Leavenworth in the palmy days of that city, and derived his education from its public schools. In 1874, when he was sixteen years of age, he began an apprenticeship in commercial life as an employee of a wholesale show house at St. Louis, Missouri. He worked there as a shipping clerk until 1876, when he became bookkeeper for Neal W. Evans & Company. This was a firm of military traders operating at Old Fort Reno in Indian Territory. Mr. Hageman’s duties at that frontier post included acting as postmaster. He remained there several years. It was an eventful time in what is now Western Oklahoma. Fort Reno did duty not only as a point for distribution to the wild Indians of that section, but many times the soldiers were called upon to preserve order among the mutinous and hostile tribes, and there were several outbreaks. Mr. Hageman came into close touch with life on the frontier and he is one of the old timers who saw Western Kansas and Western Oklahoma when the prairies were frequently covered with large herds of buffalo and when the Indians were not the peaceful and thoroughly subjugated people they now are. The nearest railroad station to old Fort Reno while he was there was Wichita, Kansas.
In 1879 Mr. Hageman accepted another place as bookkeeper in a general store at Lindsborg, Kansas. He was in that town until 1882, in which year he removed to Salina and became bookkeeper for the local flouring mill. Gradually his interests took on a larger scope, and in 1884 he became assistant secretary for a local fire insurance company. He was with that organization until 1886, and helped set a vigorous record of business in that time.
For two years Mr. Hageman was in the real estate and loan business at Salina, and he then accepted his first connection with the American State Bank of Salina as assistant cashier. In 1890 this bank took out a national charter and he became its cashier. In 1894 the business was reorganized and the name changed to the National Bank of America, and since shortly after that date Mr. Hageman had guided the destiny of the bank as its president. There is good reason to associate the stability of the institution with the judgment and character of its president. The National Bank of America at Salina had a capital of $100,000, surplus of $50,000, undivided profits of $75,000, and its deposits according to a recent report aggregate $1,500,000.
Mr. Hageman while never a seeker for public office had used his personal influence and business position in many ways to the advantage of Salina. He had served as president of the Commercial Club and for twenty years was president of the Public Library Association. In politics he is a republican.
On December 6, 1882, at Lindsborg, Kansas, he married Miss Edith Bean, daughter of J. W. and Sallie (Jenkins) Bean, both of whom were natives of Virginia. Mrs. Hageman was born at Wilmington, Ohio, January 26, 1866, and had lived in Kansas since 1872, when she came to the state with her parents. She was educated in the public schools of Salina. Mrs. Hageman is not only a devoted home woman but had taken much interest in woman’s affairs at Salina, and was one of the organizers of the Current Literature Club and had held all its offices. She is also active in the Presbyterian Church and in other clubs and charitable organizations. Mr. and Mrs. Hageman have two children. Claire Dell, born October 20, 1887, finished her education in Ferry Hall at Lake Forest, Illinois, and in the University of Kansas. On June 15, 1910, she was married to Christopher N. Hoffman, who was born at Bainbridge, Pennsylvania, November 28, 1885, and is now assistant cashier in the National Bank of America at Salina.
Leah Mildred, the second daughter, was born May 20, 1890, and her finishing education was acquired at Lindenwood College at St. Charles, Missouri. In 1912 she became the wife of Theodore P. Worsley, Jr., who is teller in Mr. Hageman’s bank. They have one child, Frank William, born February 5, 1917.