Born: Feb­ru­ary 26, 1859, Rockbridge, Mon­roe Coun­ty, Ken­tuc­ky.

Died: Jan­u­a­ry 25, 1933, Ow­ens­bo­ro, Ken­tuc­ky.

Buried: Rose­hill Elm­wood Ce­me­te­ry, Owens­bo­ro, Ken­tuc­ky.



James was the son of Fen­dall Reu­ben Ha­gan and Sar­ah Strode. He ma­rried three times, to Lil­li­an Ger­trude Jor­don, El­la Be­die Ev­ans (1894), and Ru­bye M. Vance.

A teach­er all his life, his prin­ci­pal work was in high schools in War­ren, Mon­roe, Met­calfe, Hart, and Da­viess Counties, Ken­tuc­ky. He was head or joint head of the Mon­roe Nor­mal for ma­ny years in Flip­pin, Ken­tuc­ky, with Pro­fes­sor T. C. Gil­li­an­wa­ters. Al­to­geth­er he taught for for­ty years.

Hagan mar­ried Ella B. Ev­ans of Tomp­kins­ville, Ken­tuc­ky, in 1892, and had two child­ren with her. After her death, he mar­ried Ru­bye Vance of Pa­du­cah, Ken­tuc­ky, in 1907, and had three sons with her.

Hagan was known as an out­stand­ing mu­si­cian, re­ceiv­ing his train­ing in Tomp­kins­ville; Bowl­ing Green Nor­mal; the Moo­dy Bi­ble Institute, Chi­ca­go, Ill­i­nois; and the Cin­cin­na­ti Col­lege of Mu­sic.

Hagan was as­so­ci­at­ed with such au­thors as Bliss, Steb­bins, Ro­de­hea­ver, Cole­man, Sho­wal­ter, the Vaugh­an broth­ers, and oth­ers. For about five years he trav­eled with a male quar­tet.

He came to Christ at age four­teen and joined a Bap­tist church. Af­ter hold­ing mem­ber­ship in the Bowl­ing Green and Ow­ens­bo­ro First Church­es for years, he spent his last days in the Sev­en Hills Church where he served as dea­con, Sun­day school teach­er, and choir di­rect­or.


His first mu­sic­al com­po­si­tion was writ­ten at age six­teen, and over 800 of his hymns were pub­lished. He al­so ed­it­ed two pu­blic school song books and was ve­ry ac­tive in put­ting mu­sic in­to the pub­lic schools.




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