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Edward E. Wagner, a member of one of the pioneer families of Iowa, was formerly numbered among the foremost lawyers of Sioux City but is now practicing in Mitchell, South Dakota, and he has also aided in framing the laws of that state.  He was born October 22, 1870, in Lyon county, Iowa, and his parents were James H. and Louisa (Conklin) Wagner, the latter a native of Ohio.  The father was born in Pennsylvania and in Linn county enlisted in the Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry.  He served for three years in the Civil war and was twice captured, spending fourteen months in a Confederate prison.  After the restoration of peace he returned to Linn county and in 1870 migrated to the Lyon district, transporting his household goods in a covered wagon and driving his cattle ahead.  he entered a homestead, which he improved, and in 1872, when the county of Lyon was organized, he was made its first treasurer.  He then moved to Rock Rapids, where he spent the remainder of his life.  He was elected a member of the board of supervisors, filling that office until his death on November 15, 1884, and his wife passed away September 7, 1901.

Their son, Edward E. Wagner, was the first white child born in Lyon county and his early education was obtained in its common schools.  After his father's death the subject of this sketch took charge of the farm, which he operated until 1890, and then sold the property.  He read law under the supervision of H. G. McMillan and in May, 1893, was admitted to the bar.  He began his professional career in Mitchell, South Dakota, and has spent twenty-six years in that state.  His ability brought him prominently before the public and from 1905 until 1907 he was a member of the state senate of South Dakota, bringing to his duties the complete armory of the well equipped lawyer.  In 1907 he was appointed United States district attorney by President Roosevelt and was reappointed by President Taft, serving until 1912, when he resigned.  He had previously served as state's attorney of Hanson county, from 1901 until 1903.  He was honored with the presidency of the South Dakota Bar Association and served for one in that capacity.  In April, 1919, he located at Sioux City, Iowa, where he practiced with much success until October 1, 1925, when he returned to his old home in Mitchell, South Dakota.  He is well versed in the minutiae of the law and powerful in forensic combat.

Mr. Wagner has three children:  Hazel L.; Ruth Motley, of Des Moines, Iowa; and Robert E., who is serving on the battleship Oklahoma of the United States navy.  He is a Knight Templar Mason, and a Noble of El Riad Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Sioux Falls.  He also belongs to the Elks Lodge and the Hamilton Club of Chicago.  He is a member of the Sioux City and Iowa State Bar Associations, the South Dakota Bar Association and the American Bar Association.  Mr. Wagner has been the recipient of many important trusts, all of which he had faithfully discharged, and his constantly expanding powers have won him distinction in his chosen profession.


Thoroughly imbued with western energy and enterprise, Lawrence B. Watt has steadily advanced toward the goal fixed by his ambition and is now numbered among the leading business men of Storm Lake.  He was born June 6, 1891, in Taylor county, Iowa, and his parents, Roland W. and Viola (Barton) Watt, were natives of Illinois.

Mr. Watt is a member of a family of several children and received his higher education in Grinnell College, completing his course in 1914.  He was connected with newspaper work until 1920 and then entered commercial job printing circles of Des Moines.  He was identified with the University Publishing Company for some time an don March 1, 1923, came to Buena Vista county, Iowa.  He purchased the Storm Lake Register, which he conducts along the lines of modern and progressive newspaper education, and has made it a popular journal, carefully edited and devoted to the welfare of the district, in which it has a large circulation.

On July 20, 1921, Mr. Watt married Miss Hazel Erickson and the children of this union are Dorothy, Elizabeth and Mary Ellen.  Mr. Watt responded to the call to arms during the World war and is a member of the American Legion.  He belongs to the Masonic order and is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church, while his political allegiance is given to the republican party.  He is a journalist of ability, a young man of pleasing personality and a valuable addition to the citizenship of Storm Lake.


E. La Clare White, a successful publisher, is well known in newspaper circles of northwestern Iowa as the owner of the News-Harald, and he also owns a half interest in storm Lake Register.  For ten years Spencer has numbered him among its leading citizens.  He was born August 4, 1884, near Fairfax, Missouri, and is the youngest in a family of four children.  The others are:  Lillian, the wife of H. E. Robinson, of Chariton, Iowa; Cline C., who lives in Riverside, California; and Chloe, who married Dr. F. S. Williams and resides in Villisca, Iowa.  Their parents were James R. and Ruth May (Cadwell) White.  The former, a native of Illinois, engaged in farming and merchandising as a young man and later spent several years in Denver, Colorado.  He next purchased some orange groves in California and is now living retired in Riverside, that state.

In 1890, when E. when E. La Clare White was six years of age, the family moved to the town of Fairfax and there he attended the public schools until hi parents migrated to Colorado.  He was a student in the West Denver high school and went with the family to the Pacific coast, spending a year in the Golden state.  He then returned to Colorado and for about nine years was identified with mercantile interests of Denver.  On the expiration of that period Mr. White engaged in the printing business in Forest City, Missouri, and worked for some time on the local Forest City Press, then edited by Fred R. Barkhurst.  Subsequently he located in Iowa, becoming a reporter on the Villisca Review.  In partnership with B. C. Hullinger he afterward purchased a half interest in the Review and for about nine years was a resident of Villisca.  In June, 1915, Mr. White sold his interest in the paper back to Mr. Hullinger and came to Spencer.  Since March 1, 1916, he has been manager, editor and owner of the News-Herald, which combines the best elements of modern journalism, and now has a wide circulation.  Its editorials are well written and his broad experience in newspaper work enables him to conduct the business without loss of time, labor or material.

On April 27, 1910, Mr. White married Miss Agnes E. Lundberg, who was born in Rhode Island.  Mr. White is liberal in his political views and regards the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of first importance, refusing to obey the dictates of party leaders.  He is a member of the Congregational church and shapes his conduct by its teachings.  He exerts a strong influence upon public thought and opinion and has made his paper an effective exponent of local interests, writing many articles which have led to the accomplishment of valuable results.


America has never proven to be "the land of opportunity" in a more emphatic way than in the noteworthy career of August Williges.  Coming to the United States with limited financial resources, but possessing elements of character which will invariably win success,  he faithfully and conscientiously performed every duty that fell to him and in the course of time forged ahead, gaining not only valuable experience, but also winning the confidence and good will of with whom he was associated.  His career since coming to Sioux City thirty years ago has been characterized by a very gratifying measure of prosperity and he has long been numbered among the representative men of this community.

August Williges was born in Mueden, Hanover, Germany, on the 26th of March, 1858, and is a son of William and Mary Dorothea (Isensee) Williges, both of whom died in Germany, their native land, the father at the age of ninety-one years.  He had served for thirty-five years as postmaster at Mueden and for a number of years prior to his death had been a pensioner of the government.  August Williges was educated in the public schools of his native city and at the age of fourteen years apprenticed himself to the furrier trade.  After serving four years, he spent the following five years as a journeyman furrier, as was the custom in that country, two years of that time being passed in Switzerland.  In 1881, desiring a field of larger opportunity for individual advancement, he came to the United States, locating in New York city, where he was employed for six years - 1881 to 1887.  In 1886 he took out his final naturalization papers and cast his first vote for Henry George for mayor of New York city.  In 1887 he went to Springfield, Illinois, where he became manager of the fur department of C. D. Roberts, a position which he held until 1895.  During the latter years of his service here he was casting about for a place in which to locate and establish business.  He had friends in the same business at various places in Illinois and did not care to complete with them.  At that time Sioux City was advertising its "Corn Palace" and was running a special train through from Massachusetts.  Notwithstanding the fact that the city was then practically bankrupt, it seemed to be a live town and in June, 1895, Mr. Williges arrived here, leaving hi family in Springfield.  He at once established business as a manufacturing furrier and having decided that he had made the right move he sent for his family, who arrived here six months after he had come.  During the three decades that he has been established here he has enjoyed a steady and continuous growth in trade and is now one of the leaders in his line in this section of the country.

While living in New York city, Mr. Williges was married to his old sweetheart from Heidelburg, Miss Regina Schruff, two children being born to them in that city.  They are now the parents of five children, namely:  Mathilda, the wife of Martin Jorgenson, who is associated with her father in the fur business; William A., who is in charge of the skin department and is factory manager of his father's business; Henry George, who is in charge of the sales department of the business; and Elsia and Eleanor at home.  The former is president of the Business and Professional Girls' Club of Sioux City.  Mr. Williges is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and served three years on its board of directors.  He belongs to Landmark Lodge, No. 103, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; Abu-Bekr Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks; War Eagle Tribe, No. 45, Improved Order of Red Men, and the Germania Club of Sioux City.  He has long been an active member of the Sioux City Rotary Club and he was one of the six men who comprised a committee which drafted the Rotary code of ethics, which was adopted by the Rotarians of Iowa in 1914, by the national Rotary convention in San Francisco in 1915, and later by the International Rotarians.  Despite his age, Mr. Williges retains his physical vigor to a remarkable degree, walking being his favorite recreation, and not infrequently he will walk ten miles after closing his business house for the day.  He is regarded as a good business man, an excellent manager, possessing sound judgment and keen foresight, and, because of his success, his fine public spirit and his cordial and friendly manner, he enjoys to a marked degree the respect and esteem of all who know him.


Among the prominent and successful business men of Sioux City, Hardy L. Wood, manager here of the branch of Crane Company, is entitled to specific mention in the history of this locality, for during the years of his identification with the commercial interests of this community he has in a large measure contributed to its prosperity and advancement.  Mr. Wood was born at Avoca, New York, on the 29th of December, 1861, and is a son of Alvin and Juliette (Roberts) Wood, both of whom were natives of New York state, the father being of English ancestry and the mother of Pennsylvania Dutch stock.  Alvin Wood was a farmer and school teacher during the early years of his active life, but later turned his attention to journalism, becoming owner and editor of the Avoca Advance.  In 1889 he came to Iowa, locating in Hawarden where he bought the Hawarden Commercial, publishing it for many years.  His death occurred in 1909, at the age of seventy-nine, and he was survived a number of years by his widow, who passed away in February, 1924, at the advanced age of eighty-six years.

Hardy L. Wood attended public schools of New York state and Haverling Union School, at Bath, New York.  For two years following the completion of his studies he taught school.  He taught his first school when but sixteen years of age, though at that time he held a state regent's certificate.  In the fall of 1880, when nineteen years of age, he came west, stopping a few months in Sioux Rapids.  He then came through with the building of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad to Hawarden, where he located and, soon afterwards, in partnership with Giles F. Hunter, established the hardware house of Hunter & Wood.  This proved a profitable venture and they conducted the business until 1890, when they dissolved partnership and for three years thereafter each operated a store and engaged in the plumbing and heating business, which he conducted until 1898, when he sold out in order to become associated with the Crane Company, of Chicago, as a traveling salesman.  After remaining on the road for eight years, he was appointed to the important position of manager of the Sioux City branch of the Crane Company, which position he has filled continuously to the present time and during this period his branch has become one of the most important business institutions of Sioux City, reflecting great credit on his business ability and his energetic and progressive methods.  In 1910 a new vitrified brick building was erected and the establishment is now housed in a handsome and well arranged structure, well adapted to the company's stock and business.

In November, 1887, Mr. Wood was united in marriage to Miss Carrie A. Melius, of Storm Lake, Iowa, and to them have been born three children, namely:  Florence C., deceased; Gracie M., who is the wife of Ralph E. Pierce, electrical engineer with the American Telephone & Telegraph Company at New York city; and Hobert L., who is engaged in the insurance business in Sioux City.  Mr. Wood is a member of Tyrian Lodge, No. 508, A. F. and A. M.; Sioux City Chapter, No. 26, R. A. M.; Columbian Commandery, No. 18, K. T.;  Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, A. A. S. R.; Abu-Bekr Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; and Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, B. P. O. E.  He also belongs to the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.  He and his family are members of the First Congregational church.  He has taken a commendable interest in the material, civic and moral welfare of the city, giving his unreserved support to every movement for public advancement and upbuilding.  For these reasons, together with his friendly manner, he has long held an enviable place in public esteem.


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