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Wiggerman, Joseph C. 1860 and Hattie Wagner Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 11/15/2021 at 15:53:57

Wiggerman, Joseph C. 1860 and Hattie Wagner Family

This story was taken from the ‘Rock Valley Records & Recollections’ book written about 1976 in honor of the two hundredth birthday of our nation. It was a revision of the history written by Lottie Thomas in 1955. It was transcribed for this BIOS by Beth De Leeuw of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society and some research notes were added.

Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Wiggerman came to Rock Valley from Loretta, Tennessee, in May, 1892, from a land of flowers, thriving gardens and sunshine to find a typical Iowa May snowstorm. It was a most discouraging landing, but with the help and encouragement of relatives they decided to make Rock Valley their home.

About the last of that May, Mr. Wiggerman began working for Mr. Foppe as a delivery boy, with a small push cart. A year later in July, 1893, when the store was moved to the Warren block (Beverly’s) he was promoted to grocery clerk. In 1902, Foppe’s moved to their own building (Frank’s) and he was placed in charge of the clothing department. Mr. Wiggerman, or “Wig” as he is better known, used to boast of the distinction of selling shoes to families of five generations, for instance the H.S. Van Otterloo, R. Klay, and Grossenburg families.

When the Dutch first began coming over from Holland to settle in Sioux County, he used to interpret for them, to help them in sending money and letters to the old country for the immigrants’ transportation. He also aided the immigrants in locating their friends and relatives, and also helped the newcomers transact their business.

Mr. Wiggerman was a member of the band that gave Sunday concerts on the old steamboat, “Rock Valley,” that used to travel up the river to Doon. He served as the town clerk from 1896 to 1909, and as town treasurer from 1922 to 1926.

Mr. Wiggerman was born at Augusta, Kentucky, May 1, 1860, Mrs. Wiggerman was born at St. Mary’s, Ohio, on May 22, 1867. They were married at Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, February 10, 1891. Both were buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Their daughter, Euda, who worked as cashier in the Foppe Store for many years, resides in Florida.
(A revision of 1955 history written by Euga Wiggerman Bernard)

Source: Rock Valley Bee (1-7-1944)
Veteran Business Man Buried Wednesday Morning
Joseph C. Wiggerman, Rock Valley business man for over a half century, passed away Sunday [January 2] at the hospital, failing rapidly during the past two weeks. He was taken ill about two months ago, coming down with pneumonia which cleared up later, but his heart grew weaker and it was evident to his family and friends that he was losing ground.
Mr. Wiggerman was born on May 1, 1860, at Augusta, Kentucky, and grew up in that vicinity. He was married on Feb. 10, 1891, at Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and moved to Rock Valley in May, 1892. Starting to work for J. B. Foppe at that time, he later purchased an interest in the Foppe Pioneer Store Co. in 1907 and in 1914 became president of the company, remaining acting president until the time of his demise.
His wife preceded him in death on October 5, 1942. They are survived by the following children: Euda (Mrs. Harvey Barnard), Rock Valley, Ia.; Frank, Lincoln, Nebr.; Harriet (Mrs. C. J. Kessler), Carroll, Ia.; Rose Mary (Mrs. C. B. Kjelson), Fairview, S.D. Eight grandchildren also survive.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday morning, Jan. 5, at 9:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s church here with Rev. Father McGoey officiating at Requiem High Mass.
Old friends and business associates were honorary pallbearers, as follows: T. F. Higgins, P. J. Rielly, Ed. Hevern, F. T. McGill, Chas. Van Voren, James Quinlan, Walter Hynes, D. J. Scanlan, Edward Hellstern, Dick Roelofs, H. M. Corwin, Arie Vander Meer, Fred Kock, Joe Peters, Dr. A. L. Lock, Will Crowley, Baas Lems, W. B. Richter, R. Vander Vegte, Chas. Groth, John McKeegan, Bert McKenney, John Suhrentz, Peter Tuynman, and Henry P. Schmidt. Acting pallbearers were Matt Bantz, Walter Schemmer, Claire Barry, Gerald Hevern, Henry Kaskie and Martin Cullinan. Ushers were Dr. R. M. Schutz and Walter McNamara.
An article in The Bee, published May 9, 1930, and written by the late Editor A. L. Halstead, gives many high lights of Mr. Wiggerman’s life. It was written just after his 70th birthday, as follows:
On May 1, 1930, Mr. J. C. Wiggerman of Rock Valley attained the age of 70 years and on May 5, 1930, he has claimed Rock Valley as his home for 38 years, and has been working in the Foppe Pioneer Store for the same number of years, 38.
Mr. Wiggerman, or “Wig” as he is known to everyone, was born at Augusta, Kentucky, May 1, 1860. The greater part of his childhood was spent with his parents in Robertson county, around Mt. Olivet, Ky. He went to school until his thirteenth year, when he was obliged to quit and help his father at home.
At the age of 21, he re-entered school at Mt. Olivet and finished the Normal course, studying evenings to keep up with his class. He never fails to pay due credit to his old friend, Prof. Geo. Jett, now residing at New Richmond, Ohio, for his help and encouragement during those years of his life. At that time he earned $1.25 a week, his room and board, while going to school. After finishing the Normal course he taught in the Kentucky schools for three years, then moved to Loretta, Tenn., where he taught in a night school two years and was depot agent for the Louisville-Nashville Railroad.
When he and his wife left Tennessee in May, flowers were in full bloom, gardens were up and farmers were planting corn. When they arrived in Iowa the weather was cold and dreary and it was snowing. No flowers were in bloom, no gardens planted and the whole aspect was barren and gloomy. They were given warm clothing by relatives and friends. As first they were very homesick for the Sunny South, for here were no roads, no trees, no flowers and no birds.
About the last of May he began working for Mr. Foppe as a delivery boy, with a small push cart. The store was then located in the building now occupied by Kooiman’s store and the Rock Valley Furniture store. The grocery department was in the north room and the dry goods, presided over by Newt Finch, in the south room of the building, which at that time was Rock Valley’s first double store and known for many miles in every direction.
A year later, in July 1893, the store was moved to the Warren building in the space now used by Roelofs & Vander Bok. At this time he was promoted to grocery clerk. In 1902 the store was moved across the street into their own newly erected two story brick building, where he was placed in charge of the clothing department.
In 1907 the Foppe Company was re-organized and a corporation was formed by Mr. Foppe, Mr. Kearns, Mr. Wiggerman, and Mr. Ver Meulen, with the following officers: President Mr. Foppe; vice president Mr. Wiggerman; secretary and treasurer, Mr. Kearns. After the death of Mr. Foppe in 1914, Mr. Wiggerman was made President, Mrs. J. H. Kearns vice president, and Mr. Kearns was re-elected secretary-treasurer.
Mr. Wiggerman holds the distinction of selling shoes to two families of five generations, the Richter family and the Henry Henningfield family, and many families of four generations, for instance the H. S. Van Otterloo, R. Klay, Grossenberg families and many others.
In the early days the chief sources of pleasure were the steamboat, “Rock,” which sailed from Rock Valley to Doon on what is now known as the “Cut Off” – in those days the “First River,” and the old race track. Mr. Wiggerman was a member of the band that the Steamboat had chartered for the Sunday trips up and down the river. The steamboat is now anchored on Lake Okoboji.
Many years ago when the Dutch first began coming over from Holland to settle in Sioux county, he used to interpret for Reynold Klay, Sr., father of the late R. Klay. in sending money and letters to the old country for the immigrants transportation and in turn aided the immigrants in locating their friends and relatives and helped them transact their business.
Mr. Wiggerman served as town clerk from 1896 to 1909, as town treasurer from 1922 to 1926 and was a member of the Volunteer Fire Department from the time of its organization until his resignation, three years ago. He has served on the Commercial club and Booster club with regularity and has never been found wanting when projects for the betterment of business or for the good of the town were at stake.
He has always been a great out of doors man, finding much pleasure and sport in fishing, hunting and golfing and as a side line specializes in raising fancy chickens.
Mr. Wiggerman has many stories to tell of the early days of this country, the early panic of the nineties, the flood of 1897, the panic of 1907.
He has three sisters living who can boast of more than three score years and ten, Mrs. Mary Van Bimmel, of Loretta, Tenn., aged 80; Mrs. Agnes Anderson, Ind., aged 72. [Two lines from the original article got skipped. It lists all three sisters: Mrs. Van Bimmel; Mrs. Agnes Weckermeyer, of Cincinnati, Ohio, aged 78; and Mrs. Kate Hessler, of Anderson, Ind., aged 72.] Also two others who have passed the three score mark – Lizzie Wiggerman, known as Sister M. Bonaventure of the Order of Notre Dame at Grandin Road, Cincinnati, aged 68, and Miss Rose Wiggerman at Florence, Alabama, aged 64. (Ed. note: Mr. Wiggerman’s sisters all preceded him in death. He was the last member of the family.)
* * * * * * * * * *
A briefer obituary in the Sioux County Capital, January 13, 1944, says he passed away at the Sacred Heart Hospital at LeMars, where he had gone a week previously. It also gives his wife’s name, Hattie Wagner. Another, in the Alton Democrat, January 6, gives the names of two children who preceded him in death, Esther (Mrs. Harry Bangh) and Frederick.

Source: Rock Valley Bee (10-16-1942)
Mrs. Joseph C. Wiggerman (Wiggerman, Wagner, Beckenbach)
Hattie Wagner Wiggerman, the daughter of George and Rebekah Beckenbach, was born on May 22, 1867, at St. Mary’s, Ohio, and died at Rock Valley, Iowa, on October 5, 1942, at the age of 75 years.
Funeral services were held at St. Mary’s church, with the Rev. Father David T. McGoey officiating, last Thursday morning, October 8. Interment was at St. Mary’s cemetery here.
The deceased spent her childhood at Crawfordsville, Ind., where she completed her education and as a young woman moved to Florence, Alabama, to be with her brothers, George and Frank. In 1888, they moved to a farm near Loretta, Tenn., where she met Joseph C. Wiggerman and they were married at Lawrenceburg, Tenn., on February 10, 1891. On May 5, 1892, they came to Rock Valley, the home of the family since that time.
It was a happy home, blessed with six children, four of whom, with their father, survive the beloved wife and mother, as follows: Mrs. H. A. Barnard, Rock Valley; Frank, now at Lincoln, Neb.; Mrs. C. J. Kessler, Carroll, Iowa; Mrs. C. B. Kjelson, Fairview, S.D. The two children who preceded their mother in death were Mrs. H. M. Hough and Fred Wiggerman. She is also survived by eight grandchildren.
Mrs. Wiggerman was a member of the Rock Valley Woman’s club and of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Relatives and friends from away who attended the funeral included – Mr. Terry Wagner, Philip, S.D.; Mrs. Catherine Wiggerman and children, James, Nancy, of Maurice; Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Kjelson and sons, Vincent and Kenneth, Fairview; Mr. H. M. Hough, Marshall, Minn.; Cpl. L. C. Hough, Camp Blanding, Florida; Mrs. L. C. Hough, LaFayette, Indiana; Mr. Joe Sandschulte, Bancroft, Ia.; Mrs. Elmer Nelson, Lake View; Mr. and Mrs. Allen Patten, Alta; Mrs. Adelaide Weingartner, Marshall, Minn.; Mr. Leo Kessler, Mrs. Frank Daley, Mrs. Tony Grenahan, Carroll, Ia.; Mrs. Sarah Collins, Maurice; Mr. Bert Fritts, Ireton.
* * * * * * * * * *
A brief obituary in the Sioux Center News, October 15, 1942 gives some additional family information: She leaves to mourn three daughters, Euda, Mrs. H. A. Barnard of Rock Valley; Harriett, Mrs. C. J. Kessler of Carroll; and Marie, Mrs. C. B. Kjelson of Fairview, S.D.; and son Frank in the Veteran’s hospital in Lincoln, Nebr. Two of her children preceded her in death, Esther in 1930 [the Sioux County Cemetery Index says 1931] and Fred in 1937. Among funeral attendees from out of town were Pvt. Lavarre Hough of Virginia.
The Sioux County Capital of October 8, Rock Valley news

Source: Rock Valley Bee (8-8-1984)
Euda Barnard, 91, of Palmetto, Fla., formerly of Rock Valley, died Monday [July 30] in Palmetto.
Services were held at 10:30 a.m. Friday in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rock Valley. The Rev. William Wingert officiated. Burial was in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery.
Mrs. Barnard, the former Euda Wiggerman, was born Sept. 28, 1892, in Rock Valley. She worked as a bookkeeper in Foppes General Store. She married Harvey Barnard in Rock Valley. He was a pharmacist. They moved to Florida in 1958. Mr. Barnard died in 1964 in Florida.
Mrs. Barnard served as church organist for many years. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America and the Iowa Federated Womens Club. She was a charter member of the American legion Auxiliary of Rock Valley.
Survivors include one sister, Harriet Kessler of Palmetto.
Relatives attending the funeral were nephews La Vere Hough of Lafayette, Ind.; Kenneth and Vincent Kjelson, Sioux City; Harry Hough, Marshall, Minn.; Carol Jean Fusco, Saudi Arabia; and Barbara Stewart, Guaymas, Mexico.
* * * * * * * * * *
A similar obituary was published in the Sioux Center News, Aug. 8, 1984.


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