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Aug 14

Local Buildings by Abraham Bagley

Last week I wrote about Zion Lutheran’s church school in Chattanooga, Ohio, designed by Berne architect Abraham Bagley in 1904. 

That information was brought to my attention by a reader from Berne who is restoring an historic house that Bagley designed. She also sent me photos of some other area buildings that Bagley designed. 

Berne’s old Mennonite church, designed in 1899:

Old Mennonite Church, designed by A. Bagley, 1899. (photo submitted)

Zion’s church school, built in 1904:

Zion Lutheran School, Chattanooga, Ohio (c1904)

St. John’s Reformed Church in Vera Cruz, Indiana, built in 1909. It may still be standing and known as the Six-Mile Church:

St. John’s Reformed Church, Vera Cruz, Indiana, designed by A. Bagley 1909. (photo submitted)

The old Monroe Township school in Berne, built in 1910, last used as an Amish house but currently abandoned:

Old Monroe Township School, Berne, Indiana, designed by A. Bagley in 1910. (photo submitted)

The old school in Monroe, Indiana, built about 1911:

Old school, Monroe, Indiana, designed by A. Bagley 1911. (photo submitted)

Muensterberg Township School, built in 1912, currently used as a church:

Muensterberg Township School, designed by A. Bagley, 1912. (photo submitted)

Abraham Bagley also designed St. John’s Reformed Church in Defiance, Ohio, in 1910 and St. John’s Reformed in Archbold, Ohio, in 1914-15.

Below is some additional information I found about architect Abraham Bagley:

Abraham Bagley was born in Switzerland in January 1870 [1], the son of Peter and Magdalene (Klay) Bagley. He immigrated to America in the late 1800s and married Bertha Clara Gilliam in Berne, Indiana, on 5 November 1893. [2]

In 1900 Abraham Bagley and his family lived in Berne with two Gilliam in-laws, likely Bertha’s siblings. Abraham and Bertha had been married 6 years and no occupation was given for Abraham in this census enumeration. The Bagley family in 1900: Abraham, 30, Switzerland; Bertha C, 26, Missouri; Lila E, 5, Indiana; Martha A, 2, Indiana; Edwin H Gilliam, 22, single, Missouri, brother-in-law, brick hauler; and Sarah M Gilliam, 23, single, Missouri, sister-in-law, dry goods clerk. [1]

In 1910 the Abraham Bagley family resided on Franklin Street in Berne. Abraham’s occupation was architect. This enumeration indicates that he immigrated in 1889 and had been married 16 years. The two Gilliam women living with them are listed as boarders and both were clerks/sales at a notions store. Both women were born in Missouri, as was Abraham’s wife Bertha (Gilliam), and possibly were sisters. The Bagley family in 1910: Abraham, 40; Bertha, 36; Lila E, 15; Martha A, 12; Victor F, 9; Nora M, 6; Harman N, 2; Glennis J, 1 month; Martha N Gilliam, 27; and Emma R Gilliam, 25. [3]  

In 1920 the Abraham Bagley lived on Fulton Street in Berne. This enumeration indicates that Abraham was born in Switzerland, spoke German, and immigrated in 1895. [This date is incorrect because he married in Indiana in 1893.] His occupation was civil engineer. The Bagley family in 1920: Abraham, 49; Bertha, 48; Nora, 15; Harman, 12; Glennis, 9. [4]

In 1931 Bagley, age 60, was living alone in Fort Wayne, where he operated a saw sharpening shop in his home. He was incarcerated for public intoxication and hung himself in the Fort Wayne City Jail on 30 July 1931. [5]

Abraham and Bertha (Gillium) Bagley had the following children:

Lila Bagley (1894-1974), married Nicholas Frank Wagoner
Martha B. Bagley (1897-1976), married William Beavers
Victor F. Bagley (1901-1981), married Lillian Neuenschwander
Nora May Bagley (1903-2001), married Charles Sims
Harmon Noah Bagley (1907-1969), married Josephine Reusser
Glennis Juanita Bagley (1910-1980), married Tracy Day Luccack; married William S. Williams

His two sons also went into the engineering/construction building business.

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Monroe, Adams, Indiana, ED 7, p.14, dwelling 236, family 238, Abraham Begley; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 26 Apr 2020).

[2] Indiana Marriages, 1810-2001, Abraham Bagley & Bertha C Gilliom, 5 Nov 1893; Ancestry.com,  viewed 26 Apr 2020.

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Wabash, Adams, Indiana, ED 12, p.3B, dwelling & family 68, Abraham Brogley; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/ : viewed 12 Aug 2020).

[4] 1920 U.S. Census, Wabash, Adams, Indiana, ED 13, p.2B, dwelling 40, family 41, Abraham Bagley; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 26 Apr 2020).

[5] The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Ind, 31 Jul 1931, p.3; digital image, Newspapers.com, viewed 5 Aug 2020.

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