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WAGONER, Ernest R.


Posted By: Annette Lucas (email)
Date: 5/23/2021 at 14:07:57

SOURCE: History of Jefferson County Iowa. A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement. Illustrated. Volume II. The S. J. Clark Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912.

Ernest R. Wagoner, who is successfully engaged in farming and stock-raising on ninety-four acres of land on section 35, of Cedar township, was born in Jackson county, Iowa, on the 27th of February, 1882. He is a son of Daniel and Margaret (Alexander) Wagoner, the father a native of Mercer county. Pennsylvania, of German extraction, and the mother of Dubuque, Iowa, and of Scotch descent. Before the war Daniel Wagoner, who was a carpenter by trade, removed to Iowa, locating in Jackson county, where he resided for forty-five years. After his sons were old enough to be of assistance he engaged in cabinet making at Otter Creek, Jackson county, the most of his time being devoted to the manufacture of coffins and wood work for buggies. He engaged in this occupation for eighteen or twenty years, then turned his attention to farming. Together with his wife and family he subsequently removed to Van Buren county, settling on a farm near Stockport, where he continued to make his home until death. In the spring of 1911 he went to visit a daughter living on a farm near Knoxville, Iowa, where he was taken ill and passed away on the 27th of May, 1911, at the age of eighty-four years. Following the death of her husband, the mother took up her residence with her son, our subject, with whom she is now living. Of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Wagoner there were born ten children, of whom our subject is the youngest ; the others are : Alexander, who is a ranchman in Idaho ; Susan, who married John Rudolph, a farmer living at Collette, Iowa; Elizabeth, the wife of Wilson Brown, a farmer near Knoxville, Iowa; Charley, a farmer living a mile west of Stockport ; George, who is a resident of Valparaiso, Nebraska, where he engages in contracting; Delia, the wife of Lee Ritchie, a farmer near Stockport ; Maggie, who married John Taylor, a farmer of Clay Center, Kansas; Emma, the wife of Cyrus Irwin, a cattle buyer and stockman of Maquoketa ; and Fred, a manufacturer of cement blocks at Valparaiso, Nebraska.

Reared at home, Ernest R. Wagoner obtained his education in the common schools of Jackson and Van Buren counties, which he attended until he was seventeen years of age. From the time he was old enough to be of assistance he had helped in the work of the farm, and after leaving school his entire attention was given to agricultural pursuits under the supervision of his father. He remained at home until he was twenty-two years of age, having during this period become thoroughly qualified as an agriculturist. In 1904 he began for himself by renting the August Keller farm, which contained a hundred acres, located in Cedar township. The operation of this property proved to be very lucrative, and at the end of a year he was in a position financially to purchase ninety-four acres of land on sections 35 and 26 of the same township. Three years later he erected upon this land a residence and barns and outbuildings, and here he has ever since resided. The cultivation of his fields he devotes almost entirely to such cereals as he can use in the raising and feeding of his stock, to which occupation Mr. Wagoner devotes his careful attention, to such excellent purpose that he is fast becoming to be numbered among the substantial farmers of his community. His endeavors to keep abreast with the most advanced ideas of modern farming are being at- tended with gratifying results. As he is able he extends the improvements upon his place, which is rapidly becoming supplied with all modern conveniences and accessories for both general farming and stock-raising.

On the 15th of November, 1904, Mr. Wagoner was united in marriage to Miss Mary Keller, a daughter of Anthony and Mary (Droz) Keller, both natives of France. The father, whose natal day was the 22d of February 1843, emigrated to America when he was eighteen months old. Here he was reared to manhood and educated and was married in Fairfield to Miss Droz. They are now living on a farm in Cedar township. Mrs. Wagoner is the youngest daughter and the fifth in order of birth of the six children born to the parents, the others being: Louis, who is engaged in farming in Lexington, Nebraska; August, who is at home; Edward, a farmer near Birmingham, Iowa, who married Iva Walker; Millie, the wife of Samuel King, a farmer of Cedar township; and John, who is the sixth in order of birth, a farmer of Cedar township. Mr. and Mrs. Wagoner are the parents of four children : Margaret, who is six years old and attending school in the home district ; Ernest, four years of age; Mabel, who looks forward to her fourth birthday; and Freddie, the baby of eighteen months.

Fraternally Mr. Wagoner was formerly identified with the Knights of Pythias of Stockport, and his wife with the Pythian Sisters, while his political allegiance is given to the men and measures he deems best qualified to serve the majority. He is one of the enterprising and progressive young farmers of the county, whose success seems to be assured.


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