Charles Hargens (1894-1997) born in Hot Springs, South Dakota. To earn some extra money as a boy, Hargens would sell sketches of his neighbors’ houses and barns. His family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, when he was 10. As he got older he did odd jobs in the Omaha studio of Albert Rothery in exchange for painting lessons. He visited Chicago frequently and spent all of his time at the Chicago Art Institute, which only furthered his interest in art.
He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and was granted one of the most prestigious awards the academy offered, the Cresson Fellowship to study abroad. His deployment in World War I set back his departure until 1921, but the scholarship still allowed him to study in Paris. Hargens and his wife moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1940, where he worked for the rest of his life.
Over the course of his career, Hargens was commissioned to produce illustrations for over 300 books and 3,000 magazines. He illustrated for The Saturday Evening Post, Open Road, Farm Journal, and others. He created advertising illustrations for Stetson Hats, Atwater Kent, and beer companies, and created many historical paintings of the American Revolution. In 1982 Hargens was granted an honorary doctorate degree in fine arts from the Dakota Wesleyan University of Mitchell, South Dakota.
Hargens created three covers for The Saturday Evening Post.