Agen family papers, approximately 1920-1980

Overview of the Collection

Agen (Family : Agen, John B., 1956-1920)
Agen family papers
approximately 1920-1980 (inclusive)
10.92 cubic feet (9 boxes)
Collection Number
6282 (Accession No. 6282-001)
Papers and other various materials of a wealthy entrepreneur in Seattle during the early 20th Century along with those of his daughter
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John Bernard Agen (1856-1920) was a wealthy entrepreneur in Seattle in the early 20th Century. He came to Seattle shortly after the Great Fire of 1889. He started the Mount Vernon Milk Company in the Skagit Valley, and soon began exporting condensed milk to the Far East and Alaska, in addition to operating the John B. Agen Company in downtown Seattle at First Avenue and Marion Street. Later, John B. Agen sold the Mount Vernon Milk business to the Carnation Company. Agen married Florence Ryan in 1900 and they had three children: Katherine, Florence and James.

John Agen's daughter Katherine (1901-1991) married into the Baillargeon family in 1923, who were another powerful and wealthy entrepreneurial family in Seattle. Her husband Cebert Baillargeon died in 1964. In her lifetime she helped establish the Seattle Art Museum, was a member of the National Council of the Metropolitan Opera, and served as co-chairwoman of the Met's first auditions in the Pacific Northwest. She was a trustee of the old Seattle General Hospital, a president of the Junior League, a prime supporter of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and member of the Sunset Club, the Highlands Orthopedic Guild, the Seattle Garden Club and the Country Club of Seattle on Bainbridge Island.

During World War II, Mrs. Baillargeon was active in French War relief, and was later awarded the Medaille de la Reconnaissance Francaise by the French government. Mrs. Baillargeon also was a volunteer supervisor of the U.S. Army's Pacific Northwest interceptor command, based in the King County-City Building.

[Information obtained from Katherine Baillargeon's Obituary in The Seattle Times]

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Financial records, photographs, maps, date books, journals, gardening related papers and magazines, clippings, programs, and miscellaneous papers.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Status of creator's copyrights is unknown; restrictions may exist on copying, quotation, or publication. Users are responsible for researching copyright status before use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donated by Bill Baillargeon, 2019.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
1 Financial statements and cancelled checks 1948-1955
2 Financial files 1948-1954
3 Misc papers: business documents, maps, photographs, clippings, and programs 1947-1965
4 Misc papers and photographs 1962-1972
5 Social books, correspondence (invitations, cards, post cards, etc.), notes, and newspaper clippings 1938-1978
6 Date books, journal entries (typed and handwritten) 1904-1956
7 Misc. including photos, correspondence, magazines, and gardening related materials 1956-1978
8 Misc. photos and financial records 1928-1959
9 Misc. newspaper articles, financial documents and awards posters 1941-1967

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Businesspeople--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Gardening--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Women benefactors--Washington (State)--Seattle

Personal Names

  • Agen, John Bernard, 1856-1920--Archives
  • Baillargeon, Katherine, 1901-1991--Archvies

Family Names

  • Agen family--Archives

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • University of Washington. Libraries. Special Collections Division (host institution)