Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dios Corides Hagle (1839-1898)

Portrait from the Chicago Tribune, April 28, 1896.

    Nineteenth-century political figure Dios Corides Hagle can lay claim to being one of the oddest named individuals to ever win election to the Illinois State Senate, and is also one of the few men profiled here who served in the legislatures of two different states (those being South Dakota and Illinois.) Like many of the men who've preceded him here, Hagle's first and middle names can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire and one Pedanius Dioscorides, a traveling physician in the army of Emperor Nero. Regarded as a master herbalist and the "Father of Pharmacy", Dioscorides authored the landmark five-volume work De Meteria Medica (On Medicinal Substances), which would become the "prime authority and source work on herbs and other medicinal substances in the history of Western Civilization, and quite possibly the world."
   The life of this oddly named man began in Brown County, Ohio, where he was born on September 11, 1839. The son of Abraham and Mary Williams Hagle, it is unknown as to why Abraham and Mary chose to split the name "Dioscorides" into two separate names and bestow it upon their son. Sources of the time frequently abbreviate Hagle's name as "D.C. Hagle", and you can imagine my surprise when I found out what those initials actually stood for!
    The Hagle family resided in Brown County until Dios was two, whereafter they relocated to Jefferson County, Illinois. The Hagles' later moved to the neighboring county of Wayne, where Dios would attend the "common schools", as well as working on his father's farm. He continued along this route until the outbreak of Civil War in 1861, and, finding that the quota for enlisted Illinois soldiers was complete, enlisted as a private in Company D of the 11th Missouri Volunteer Infantry. His time with that company extended three years, during which Hagle saw action at the Battles of Corinth, Iuka, the Red River campaign, and the Siege of Vicksburg in 1863. 
   Hagle's three-year term of enlistment expired in 1864 and following his return to Illinois again took up farming. Shortly after his return, he married to a Ms. Sarah Cunningham, who died in 1866. Around 1867 he began studying law in Clay County, Illinois and was admitted to the bar the following year. Hagle would remarry in 1869 to Mary Catherine George, with whom he had two children, Maud Araminda (1872-1958) and John W. (died aged three in 1878). 
   Soon after his admittance to the Illinois bar Dios C. Hagle established his first law practice in the town of Louisville. He spent several years in practice there and in the mid-1870s relocated to the South Dakota Territory, eventually settling near the city of Yankton, where he would reestablish his law practice. Hagle's time in the Dakota territory saw him enter into the field of politics for the first time, as he was elected to the Dakota Territorial House of Representatives in 1876. Representing the county of Hutchinson during his service, Hagle would be further honored during his term when was chosen as Speaker of the House, continuing in that role through the 1877 term.  In that same year, he decided to return to Illinois, his second wife Mary Catherine having died two years prior
   Following his return to Illinois, Hagle began practice once again in Louisville and married for a third time in 1879, taking as his wife Ms. Cerissa B. Ingham (1854-1931). Five children would be born to their union, and are listed as follows in order of their birth: Christa Bell (1881-1893), Dios Corides (1882-1930), Gail H. (1884-1969), Mary (1886-1904) and Dorothy I (1889-1933). 
   A year after his marriage Dios C. Hagle was elected as County Attorney for Clay County, Illinois. He was returned to that office in 1884 for another four year term and in November 1888 was elected to the Illinois State Senate for a four year term, representing the 44th district. During this term Hagle was named to several important committees, those being the Judiciary; Railroads; Finance and Claims; Corporations; Appropriations; County and Township Organization; and Engrossed and Enrolled Bills. 
   At the conclusion of his term in 1893 Hagle continued to be a prominent figure in Republican party circles in the state.  In April 1896 he figured prominently in the campaign of John Riley Tanner, then the Republican nominee for Governor of Illinois. Tanner (who had been married to Hagle's wife's sister Lauretta) had his name placed before the state Republican convention by Hagle, who was acknowledged by the Chicago Tribune as having been an "orator of no mean ability." In November 1896 Tanner won the Governorship, defeating incumbent Governor John Peter Altgeld by over 100,000 votes.
   With the incoming administration taking office in January 1897, Governor-elect Tanner appointed Dios Hagle as Assistant Attorney General of Illinois. In what would become his last public office, Hagle served under Attorney General Edward Aiken and died in office on February 6, 1898 at age 58. He had been ill for several months prior to his death, having suffered from pleurisy (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the lungs.) A resident of the town of Flora, Illinois at the time of his death, Hagle was survived by his wife and four children. He was later interred at the Elmwood Cemetery in Flora. Decades following her husband's death, Cerissa Hagle removed to California with her daughters Dorothy and Gail, and died there in November 1931.

Hagle's death notice from the Illinois True Republican, Feb. 7, 1898.

A death notice from the San Francisco Call, February 7, 1898.

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