Richard “Dick” Hargis

Richard “Dick” Hargis

LODI/MADISON/INDIANOLA, IOWA-Richard “Dick” Hargis passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, at Haven Hills Assisted Living in Lodi, Wis.

He is now with his wife Doris and Savior Jesus Christ. Richard Edwin Hargis was born to Carl and Lucille (Schooler) Hargis on the H.C Hargis Homestead in Polk County Iowa, south of Des Moines on June 4, 1926. He was the oldest of four children. The family soon moved a few miles south to the Dowell Family Farm in Warren County. Richard helped farm as a young boy and plowed with a team of horses during the Great Depression and World War II. He attended Mount Olive School, a one-room schoolhouse and Indianola High School his freshman year. At the age of 15, he left high school and put all his effort into running the family farm.

Richard was then drafted into the U.S Army in late 1946, and was deployed to Korea for five months. He came back to Dowell Farm in 1947, and in 1948, he met and married Sharlie Jackson and had one child, Suzan. They were divorced in 1952.

Richard left farming for odd jobs and moved to Ft. Dodge, Iowa in 1953. He took a job with an industrial laundry company, F.W Means. He met his wife Doris Taylor through her brother, Floyd and they were married Sept. 10, 1955, at Fulton Lutheran Church in Moorland, Iowa. Richard wanted to farm again so they moved to Dowell Farm until 1960. They had a son, Steven and moved to Sioux City where he returned to F.W Means as a manager. They moved to West Des Moines in 1963, and Dick took a plant manager job. They had a second son, Kevin and Dick earned his GED at Drake University in 1968. In 1975, Dick transferred to Madison where they bought a house on the eastside and lived there for 38 years. He retired in 1989, and they spent 15 winters in Florida with her family.

Dick and Doris were longtime members of Hope Lutheran Church. In 2009, they moved to Lodi to be close to Kevin’s family for support.

Richard enjoyed family history, farming, cards, travel, food, baseball, and boating (even though he couldn’t swim).

He is survived by daughter, Suzan Castle (Bill) of Cincinnati, Ohio; sons, Steven of Grapevine, Texas and Kevin (Heidi) of Lodi, Wis.; grandchildren, Megan Thaler (Danny) of Bandera, Texas, Holly Hargis (Fabien Hubert) of Paris, France, Jacob Hargis of Madison, Wis., Brock Hargis of Milwaukee, Wis., Hannah Hargis of La Crosse, Wis., Ben Castle (Jamie) of Cincinnati, Ohio and Alex Castle (Jennifer) of Denver, Colo.; five great-grandchildren; two brothers, Howard (Kara) of Tempe, Ariz., and Gary (Ann) of Omaha, Neb.; sister, Bonnie Stookey of Indianola, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.

Richard was proud of his family genealogy and wanted some of this shared upon his passing:

His grandmother, Tacy Dowell Hargis and aunts, Stella and Blanche Hargis, were school teachers in the Des Moines area. Family records had been passed down to them which they had preserved through the years. His brother, Howard Hargis also has added to the genealogy with modern research and organization. These are just a few highlights: The Hargis family originated in Europe and is said to be of Viking origin. One of the families left Denmark and emigrated to Normandy, France. In 1606, Louis Hargis emigrated to England. In 1642, George Hargis left for the new world while England was at Civil War. He was transported by Thomas Benton to Jamestown, Virginia and contracted with Mr. Benton to be an indentured servant for five to seven years. George Hargis’s sons, William and Thomas established a tobacco plantation known as Hargis Hope in 1668, in Charles County, Maryland near present Washington D.C. William’s bloodline is traced to Richard’s family. John Hargis II and family descends of William Hargis attempted to go West through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky with Daniel Boone in 1773. Their party of about 50 were attacked by Shawnee Indians; Boone’s son and Whiteside Hargis (John’s brother) and several others were killed and Whiteside Hargis’s family were taken prisoners into Kentucky and Ohio. John Hargis II served in the 15th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army from January, 1777 to September, 1778 during the Revolutionary War. He later brought his family back through the Cumberland Gap and settled in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Thomas Hargis who was Richard’s great-great-grandfather served in the War of 1812. His son HC Hargis was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1820, and was an early pioneer. He homesteaded a 500 acre farm in Polk County, Iowa in 1853, the farm Richard was born on. The house and part of this farm is still operational and is on Indianola Avenue. HC had a son Zackary Taylor who he had named after the 12th president. HC was active in politics and a member of the Greenback Party that had grown popular after the civil war. He once ran for treasurer of the Greenback Party but was unsuccessful. Zackary Taylor Hargis and his brother, Thomas took over farming. HC died in 1904. Zackary Taylor Hargis married Tacy Dowell, she was a school teacher. The Dowell’s were from the farm but many were educated and went to Drake University in Des Moines in the late 1800’s. They had five children. The youngest was a boy they named Hobart Carl. Carl married Lucille Schooler and Richard was their first of four children. Carl was a farmer and 1st World War U.S. Navy Veteran that was not deployed overseas. He worked in the Torpedo facility at the submarine base in New Haven, Conn. Carl ran the Dowell farm when it was owned by his Uncle CC Dowell who was first a lawyer then an Iowa State Senator and finally a U.S. Congressman (Republican) from 1915-1935 and 1937-1940; he died in office in 1940. Richard remembers eating holiday dinners at his house and that he always had to cut the turkey and be in charge. Richard’s mother didn’t like CC because they had to live on his run down farm and the road never got paved. Dowell was a pioneer on the Roads Committee during the 1920’s and 30’s when the federal highway system was being built. He also improved conditions at Ellis Island, New York. Because of this relationship, Richard’s father, Carl rode in a parade car through downtown Des Moines with Dowell, the governor of Iowa, and Charles Lindbergh when Lindbergh made his 82 cities tour across America in 1927. The Dowell farm is subdivided houses now on 250th street in Warren County and some of the woodlands are still intact. Richard’s mother, Lucille was a Schooler and Hastie. She was a farmer and homemaker. Her ancestors (Peter Schooler) came from Paxton Scotland. He was a carpenter for three years on the Iowa State Capital and made a special chair for the Supreme Court Justice. He later became a farmer. The Schooler’s settled around Scotch Ridge, just south of Des Moines. Her mother was Arminta Fox and her father was Edwin Schooler.

A memorial gathering will be held at HAVEN HILLS, 215 Dale Dr., Lodi, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dick’s name to Agrace HospiceCare. The family would like to thank Agrace HospiceCare and all the staff at Haven Hills for Dick’s care.

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