Scope and Contents
The papers of the Hagans family of Preston County, West Virginia including Harrison, Elisha, George M., Henry C., John Marshall, Zer Hagans, and others. There are correspondence, invoices, account books, advertisements, and other business records, 1810-1895, relating to various family enterprises.
A chain of general merchandise stores were established, with outlets in Petersburg, Somerfield, and Bryants, Pennsylvania; Oakland, Maryland; and at Brandonville, Kingwood, Greenville, and Palatine, West Virginia.
There are several postal records including financial, correspondence, and certificates from Harrison Hagans' twenty years as postmaster, 1822-1841, at Brandonville, as well as magistrate records and deeds, most pertaining to the leases of right-of-way from Preston County residents to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for $1.00.
There are also financial records documenting Hagans' years as president of the Greenville Mining and Manufacturing Company which produced iron in Preston County in the 1830s. Other records document Hagans' interests in: county roads, schools, churches, government, and politics; the Preston Telegraph Company; a fulling mill, 1827; and a linseed oil mill, 1842. Hagans developed, patented, and sold in three states, ca.1845, a washing and wringing machine, and also completed working models of mowing and threshing machines.
The collection includes a volume of minutes of the quarterly conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1834-1859, and an 1832 editorial written by Harrison Hagans and addressed to "The Farmers, Mechanics, and All Who Labor for Their Daily Bread", regarding the tariff, the National Bank and state banks and the "anti-American" spirit which presides over the "administration of public affairs".
West Virginia statehood is documented by some of the 1861 Wheeling Convention papers of Delegate Harrison Hagans. There are also letters from family and friends written during the Civil War, and a copy of a U.S. Congressional bill regarding division of the state of Virginia (in box 1, folder 2).
Biographical / Historical
Harrison Hagans settled in Preston County, West Virginia in 1818. He was involved in several business ventures and held many appointed position throughout his life such as magistrate and postmaster in Brandonville, W. Va.. He was a delegate at the Wheeling Convention in June, 1861 and went to Washington in 1863 to lobby members of Congress to vote for the admission of West Virginia as a state. In 1866-67 he served in the West Virginia Legislature. Harrison Hagans died in May 1867.
12 Linear Feet (12 ft. (22 document cases, 5 in. each); (6 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (4 small flat storage boxes, 5 in. each); (3 small flat storage boxes, 3 in. each))