Holding marked prestige among the prominent businessmen of Colusa County is Colonel George Hagar. There are few men whose lives are crowned with the honor and respect which is uniformly accorded him, and through more than fifty years’ connection with the west his has been an unblemished career. With him success in life has been reached by sterling qualities of mind and a heart true to every manly principle. In his varied business interests his reputation has been unassailable, and to his duties of citizenship he has always displayed a loyalty that has classed him among the valued residents of the commonwealth. He has passed the eightieth milestone marking earth’s pilgrimage but is still connected with the active concerns of life, being the well known president of the Colusa County Bank, of Colusa, which position he has occupied since 1876.
Colonel Hagar is a native of Massachusetts, his birth having occurred in Lincoln on the 17th of February, 1820. His boyhood days were spent upon a farm, but not wishing to carry on agricultural pursuits as a life work he entered mercantile circles, and at the age of sixteen secured a clerkship in a general store in Keene, New Hampshire, where he remained for several years. Later he engaged in merchandising on his own account. He was one of the first residents of the old Granite state to be attracted to California as the result of the gold discovery on the Pacific slope. Believing that it would prove an advantageous field of labor even if he did not find wealth in the mines, he left his home and took passage on a sailing vessel which rounded Cape Horn and proceeded up the Pacific coast, arriving in San Francisco after a voyage of six months. He at once made his way to the mines, going first to Big Bar, where he studied the working of the sluices and made himself familiar with mining operations. Two months, however, served to convince him that the pursuit was not one which he wished to follow and he made his way to Stockton, where he conducted a general store for four years. In 1852 he came to Colusa and with others purchased the Jimeno grant. In 1860 he became a permanent resident of Colusa and has since been actively identified with the business interests, his efforts contributing largely to the material prosperity of the town. He became one of the charter members of the Colusa County Bank in 1876, and throughout its existence he has been its president. His thorough knowledge of the banking business, the safe, conservative policy which he has followed and his capable management have made the institution one of the most reliable and prosperous in this section of the state.
In 1867 Mr. Hagar was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Winship, of Colusa, and they have one daughter, Alice W., who is now married. Theirs is one of the most palatial homes in Colusa, both its external and internal appearance being such as to please the most fastidious taste, while its hospitality charms all who pass through its portals. In early life, while a resident of New Hampshire, he served as a member of the state militia, and thus won his title of colonel. In politics he has been a staunch Republican since the organization of the party, believing firmly in its principles, for it has ever stood as the champion of reform, progress and advancement. He is now an honored member of the Pacific Union Club of Pioneers, of San Francisco, and well does he deserve a place in the ranks of the organization, for he was one of the first to come to the Golden state after the discovery of the precious metal had been made. Prior to that time California practically rested under Spanish conditions, making little progress, but from all sections of the country there came good, enterprising men, chief among whom were the emigrants from New England, whose ingenuity, energy and unfailing perseverance enabled them to accomplish a great work in laying the foundation for the state and building thereon a substantial structure. He takes just pride in what has been done, for the works of man have vied with those of nature in making California one of the most wonderful as well as one of the most progressive states of the Union.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2011 Gerald Iaquinta.