Hagerman received its official name after Stanley Hageman and Jack Hess established a post office and store in town.
Originally, the plan was to name it after Hess. But apparently there was already someone else in Idaho with his name.
A decision was made to go with Hageman’s name. Somewhere in the process, though, it was misspelled “Hagerman” and it became the town’s name.
This history is chronicled in a 1993 book “Valley of the Mighty Snake: An Overview of the Cultural and Natural History of Hagerman Valley, Southwestern Idaho,” published by the Hagerman Valley Historical Society.
“In typical valley fashion, the city plat was not ‘officially’ registered with the county office until 1908 (Hagerman City Hall),” according to the book. “It didn’t seem to matter!”
In the book, Hageman is described as “reportedly young, blonde and very slim.”
He came from Ohio to work mining claims at Upper Salmon Falls. Hageman died at age 29 in Sept. 21, 1898.
“There was little indication at the time of his death that Hagerman would ever be a thriving community,” according to the book.
The town meeting place for farmers and ranchers, but more people started arriving.
Back in the late 1800s, some residents had planted orchards, but it was a risky venture due to the lack of storage facilities.
There weren’t many farms with more than 20 acres, according to the book, and families were self-sufficient but traded goods with neighbors.
William Priestly was credited with inventing a hydraulic ram to bring water up from Thousand Springs.
One of the town’s founding fathers, W.L. Coltharp, constructed a number of buildings in town. He also brought in the first movies and telephone lines to town.
To travel via water, people constructed private ferries and commercial ones declined, according to the book.
“Steel bridges marked the end for most of the ferries in this area by the early 1920’s,” the authors write.
The book also includes information about a prosperous sheep industry in the 1930s and 40s and trout farming.