Dan Hagan isn't older than dirt, but he's older than the state of Oklahoma
Dan Hagan of Keyes will celebrate his 100th birthday on Feb. 12, well ahead of Oklahoma 's birthday in mid-November.
Asked how he felt about turning 100, Hagan shrugged, “It's just another day. A drink and a piece of cake is all it amounts to.”
Dan was born Feb. 12, 1907 to Doctor Alexander and Nellie Hagan. The Hagans lived east of present day Keyes and were on their way to Guymon for the birth...they didn't make it. Dan was born in a farmhouse about six miles northeast of Guymon.
Dan's father was a Veterinarian who had learned the trade as an apprentice. But for many families living near Goff, in the early 20th century, Doc Hagan was their physician of choice.
Doc was a Spanish-American War Veteran, one of Teddy Roosevelt's Volunteer Rough Riders.
Nellie and Doc had lived an adventurous lives, as carnival workers, and hot-air balloonists.
At age three Dan made the family homeless by playing with gunny sacks, kerosene and matches. The family then moved to Trinidad , Colo. where Doc worked in the coal mines and Dan began his education in a Catholic School .
The year 1910 was a learning experience for young Daniel, not only did he burn his home, he saw his first automobile.
“Jimmy Johnson's wagon had no mules,” Dan remembers with a laugh.
On the trip to Colorado by wagon, the Hagans cooked and stayed warm by burning dried cow chips in a small stove in the wagon.
In 1909 the Hagans moved to Goff, a small village on Goff Creek six miles northeast of present day Keyes. The town was centered around a forty-acre site centered around a stockman's well. Dan's son Hank and his wife still use the well.
Dan's memory of the Panhandle's worst winter was 1918-19.
“The snow didn't melt until spring; and then on April 9, another storm blew in, killed a lot of cattle,” he remembered.
After returning to Oklahoma Dan continued his education at such small elementries as Pleasant Valley , Bunker Hill and Lone Star; he completed high school at Goodwell. While at school at Goodwell, the Hagans sent a message that he was to return home. The message was delayed in reaching him by a week. When the Hagans didn't meet him at the appointed time he walked home, a trip of about 30 miles “as the crow flies”.
In 1934, while attending a play party at Sandy Hook School near Sturgis, Dan met Bessie Whisennand.
“Her dad was supposed to be tough, the younger guys were afraid of him. Me I just charged in there,” Dan grinned. They married in November of 1938, and moved to Goff.
Over the years Dan has worked as a businessman, owning cream stations, and as a hide buyer.
In 1952 during the dust storms of the 1950s, he traveled to Fairbanks , Alaska hoping to farm up there, but got work in a bakery, making donuts.
“The only grain mill in Alaska had just burned, agriculture was on it's way out up there,” Dan explained.
Dan's party will be Sunday, Feb. 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Morton County Care Center Room 145.