ebookHistory of Watertown, Wisconsin


Ashley D. Harger


Hargerís Times

January 5 to September 7, 1878



05 17†††††† Select SchoolóWe call the attention of parents to the card of Mr. Ashley D. Harger, which will be found in this paper.Mr. Harger keeps one of the best schools in this city and thus far has given the amplest satisfaction to those parents whose children have attended it.Ever since its commencement it has been growing in public favor and well deserves a large and liberal patronage.We sincerely hope it will meet such a degree of encouragement as will make it one of the standing and prosperous institutions of our city.We commend it to all who have children to educate.†† WD


07 26†††††† Ashley D. Harger closes the summer term of his private school this week.The autumn term will commence the first of next October, when we hope this useful and successful institution will be crowded with pupils.He will make it every way worth of public patronage, and labor to give entire satisfaction to parents by giving their children the elements of a thorough education.This is for what schools like his are established, and he has the ability and experience to accomplish it.†† WD



Watertown Republican, 05 25 1887


Ashley D. Harger, well known in Watertown for over forty years, died at Hot Springs, Ark., Thursday, May 19, 1887, in the 58th year of his age.The sad news was conveyed here by a telegram to his brother-in-law, Daniel Jones, received about three hours subsequent to his decease.


A few months ago, in his capacity as traveling correspondent of The Chicago Times, Mr. Harger visited the Bear Valley country in Arkansas, near Hot Springs, which has recently developed rich iron mining resources, and wrote several of his characteristic letters extolling in the highest terms the advantages of that region.


He was prostrated from overwork and exposure in the mines, and lay on a bed of sickness two weeks at Hot Springs when called to his final rest, receiving as his friends have the consolation of knowing, good care all through his illness.


Ashley D. Harger was born in Pamelia, Jefferson County, N. Y., August, 1829.At the age of 16 years [1845] he came to Watertown and entered the store of Jones & Jackson, remaining here only a year, when he returned to New York.A few years later he returned here and remained until the spring of 1852, when his adventuresome spirit prompted him to take a journey to California in search of gold.The route then was overland, across the plains and through the passes of the Rocky Mountains.Dr. Edward Johnson [note: Watertownís first druggist and doctor], of this city, was one of his companions on the trip, and we venture to say that the two have never met since their return from the Eldorado fields that they did not recount an incident connected with the perilous journey or refer to some experience in the mines.


Mr. Harger was a person imbued with strongly marked characteristics, and being human, was not without foibles and weaknesses, which must now be buried beneath the recollection of a naturally kind, open heart and a most friendly, warm, sympathetic and generous nature that he possessed, and brought into action whenever the occasion demanded.


After his return from California, where he spent several years, Mr. Harger followed teaching, both in this city and in the country about here, his last work of this kind being done in one of the districts in the eastern part of the town of Watertown.He subsequently entered the life insurance field as solicitor, and traveled in the state of New York for several of the leading companies.In Wisconsin he worked up an extensive business for the Phoenix of Hartford.


In August, 1870, he launched into the newspaper business by the purchase of The La Belle Mirror at Oconomowoc.Under this name it was issued three weeks and then merged into The Oconomowoc Times, which Mr. Harger published until June 27, 1877, when the last number appeared.It is generally admitted that much of the present prosperity of Oconomowoc as a summer resort is largely due to the pen of Mr. Harger, the advantages and beauties of the place being heralded abroad through the columns of The Times in a manner that commanded the attention of people both far and near.The Times material was brought to Watertown, and from January 5, 1878, to September 7 of the same year, he conducted Hargerís Times.The next and last newspaper venture of Mr. Hargerís was The Milwaukee Blade, which he published for a short time.


Mr. Harger was a terse, vigorous and versatile writer.At times he was quite brilliant in delineation, and possessed fine descriptive powers with the pen.He could be caustic and severe in expression, and then again soothing and pathetic.He was a ready speaker, and upon questions in which he was interested he was often heard.He was full of feeling, and had a boldness to express his sentiments on every subject in a manner that left no doubt in the mind as to how he stood on the question at issue.


Mr. Harger was married in 1859 to Miss Leontine A. Pagnier, of this city, who survives him with a son and daughter, all residing at Denver, Col.


The funeral of Mr. Harger was held at Oconomowoc yesterday morning, the remains being escorted to Zion Episcopal Church in charge of the Oconomowoc Masons, where the services were conducted by Rev. J. B. Finn, of this city, and at the grave according to the Masonic ritual, this being in accordance with Mr. Hargerís dying request.