The oldest undertaker in the city of San Francisco, in point of service, is Joseph Hagan, whose funeral home is
situated at 1712 Sacramento street, and who has been in this business here for a period closely approaching a half
century. Mr. Hagan is a native of Lancashire, England, where his birth occurred March 29, 1863, and he is a son
of Richard and Ermin Hagan. Richard Hagan was a brick building contractor by trade, and when Joseph Hagan was only
eight years of age he started to work for his father, first as a brick passer. The district where they lived had
many large clay deposits, and the bricks were made by hand on the site of the work being done. Later, he worked
in the cotton mills, which were likewise numerous in his home district. Following this, he was employed in the
building of concrete docks in Liverpool, England's greatest port.
In 1883, Mr. Hagan sailed for the United States, and came directly to San Francisco, where his brother, James Hagan,
had preceded him. He arrived in this city July 3, 1883. He likewise had two sisters residing in Humboldt county,
California, and in October of the above mentioned year he went there. He found employment in the lumber woods,
and later was a brakeman on a logging train running from Arcata to North Fork. He also worked for a brief time
in the gold mines on the New river in Trinity county, California.
In 1884, Mr. Hagan joined with his brother in the undertaking business in San Francisco, and their first place
of business was situated at 507 Valencia street. In five years, they dissolved partnership, and Mr. Hagan started
in business for himself on City Hall avenue. His next location was on California street, near Steiner street, and
for the past twenty seven years he has occupied his present location on Sacramento street, where he has recently
erected a beautiful and strictly modern funeral home. He has had conspicuous success in his business on account
of the skillful manner in which he has conducted his work, his care for detail, and his close study of human nature,
the latter a most important factor in his vocation. Mr Hagan was one of the organizers and has served two terms
as president of the San Francisco Funeral Directors Association, and holds the respect of his competitors through
his sincere adherence to the ethics of the profession.
On March 4, 1888, in San Francisco, Mr. Hagan took as his wife Miss Katherine Wickenhouser, who died in the year
1920. They became the parents of three children, namely: Fred and Dick, who are now associated with their father
in business; and Helen.
Mr. Hagan has taken unusual interest in civic affairs and is one of the strongest supporters of local improvementh
in San Francisco. He has served during the past seven years as president of the Polk, Van Ness and Larkin district
Association, and has also served in like capacity for a similar period in the Northern Federation of Civic Organizations,
comprising the northern section of the city. In fraternal circles, Mr. Hagan has figured prominently, and has held
high offices in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Manchester Unity; in the Improved Order of Red Men, the Ancient
Order of Foresters; and the Sons of St. George. European travel has been his favorite diversion, and within a period
of nine years he has taken seven trips abroad, visiting his old Lancashire home in England and the continental
countries. Wherever he has made contact, whether in his work, in social affairs or fraternal circles, he has acquired
friends and the possession of them has been one of his greatest satisfactions of life.
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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