Early Business Leaders To Be Featured In Cemetery Tour

LIBERTY, October 8, 2014 - Some of Liberty’s early business leaders will be featured in the Liberty County Historical Commission’s 2nd annual historic cemetery tour.  “Whispers From the Past…..Tales and Tours in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery” will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 25th and 26th with two (2) tours each day at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Henry O. Ager (1852-1924) established The Ager Drugstore on Main Street in 1884 and was one of Liberty’s earliest business and civic leaders.  He was one of the founders and President of the First State Bank and was also President of the school board.  He married Bridget Elizabeth Garrity (1867-1931) after a 10 year courtship through correspondence!  The Garrity family had immigrated to the United States from Ireland and settled in Elroy, Wisconsin.  In 1893, Henry Ager visited the Chicago World’s Fair where he met Bridget!  It seems Henry could not get Bridget out of his mind when he returned to Liberty and they started a long distance romance through correspondence.  In 1903, after 10 years of letter writing, Henry traveled to Elroy, Wisconsin and he and Bridget Garrity were married.  Henry brought his wife to Liberty to settle down.  The Ager Drugstore burned to the ground on April 21, 1909, the same night their 2nd son John was born.   But that did not deter Henry who built a 2-story brick building to replace the original.  After Henry’s death Bridget continued to manage the Drugstore and in 1925 she built another business enterprise, The Ager Theater.

Clarence Allen Chambers (1882-1945) was another early business leader in Liberty.  He was born in Liberty in the “Octagon House” that his father Thomas Jefferson Chambers finished constructing after the Civil War.  T. J. Chambers started The Liberty Vindicator newspaper in 1887 and at age 11, Clarence joined his father in the printing and publishing of the newspaper.  C. A. Chambers was Mayor of Liberty from 1912 until 1924 and was a Charter member of the Rotary Club.  He helped establish the Liberty Hospital in 1930 and in 1935 bought the hospital and donated it to the Sisters of St. Francis who named it Mercy Hospital.  In 1909 he assisted in the formation of the Liberty County Fair and in 1911 he married Myrtle Green who was the first queen of the Fair.  He and Myrtle honeymooned in Havana, Cuba.  The “Octagon House” built by his father still stands today.

These early business leaders will come back to entertain attendees with tales of early Liberty during our tours.  Do not miss stories from bygone days in Liberty’s history during “Whispers From the Past….Tales and Tours in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery.  Reserve your tickets by contacting ticket chair, Sandra Sterling at 936-336-3716 or email: sandrasterling35@gmail.com.

 

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