Submitted by Sharon Elijah, February 21, 2014


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         PHILIP WAGNER, deceased, one of the pioneers of Louisa County, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, March 3, 1808, and was a son of John and Esther (Crull) Wagner. His father was born in Rockingham County, Va., in 1778, while his mother was a native of New York, though born of German parentage. In 1800 John Wagner removed to Butler County, Ohio, where he became acquainted with Miss Crull, and in 1806 they were united in marriage. By their union eleven children were born, seven sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to man and womanhood, with the exception of John, who died at the age of eleven years. Mr. Wagner was a pump-maker by trade, but followed farming during many years of his life.

Our subject also learned the trade of pump-making. In his boyhood days common schools were few and inefficient, but believing that an education was necessary to success in life, he studied by himself the common branches, and became an apt scholar in his day. He was often called upon to settle up the estates of others, and the people of the community in which he resided often went to him for advice and counsel. In 1824, when sixteen years of age, Mr. Wagner removed with his parents from Guernsey County, Ohio, to Wayne County, Ind., and there formed the acquaintance of Miss Sarah Williams, who on the 25th of December, 1834, became his wife. To them was born one son, John Calvin, who now resides in San Francisco, Cal. After about one year and one month of happy married life had passed away, Mrs. Wagner was called to her last rest, dying in January, 1836. On the 2d of January, 1844, Mr. Wagner led to the marriage altar Miss Elizabeth Gower, and shortly afterward the young couple emigrated to the Territory of Iowa, settling in Louisa County, where he secured a quarter-section of land. To this he added from time to time until he at length owned over 2,000 acres of the finest land in that section.

By the second union of Mr. Wagner five children were born, one son and four daughters: Lucinda, who became the wife of Alexander Hidlebaugh; Melinda, who married D. H. Westbrook; George W., who is living on the old homestead, and wedded Martha E. Small; Louisa, who died in infancy, and Clarinda, who died at the age of nine years. Mr. Wagner was one of Louisa County’s prominent pioneers, and a self-made man. With characteristic energy he started out to succeed, and availing himself of every laudable opportunity, at length became one of the prosperous men of the community. He held several local offices of trust, including those of School Director, Road Supervisor, Township Trustee and County Supervisor. He was ever ready to assist in the advancement of the country and community in which he lived, and was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him. In early life in his political views Mr. Wagner was an old-line Whig, but when the Republican party sprang into existence he joined its ranks, and was ever one of its stanch supporters, always taking an active part in the political campaigns. He lived to see his children grown and settled comfortably in homes of their own. On the 18th of March, 1884, he laid to rest the companion who had shared his joys and sorrows for forty years, but when little more than a year had passed he was laid by her side, his death occurring April 20, 1885, at the age of . . .

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. . . seventy-seven years, one month and seventeen days. His pilgrimage of life was ended, but his death proved a sad loss to his family, his friends, and the entire community. His kindliness of heart and his upright life had won him an enviable place in the hearts of the people, and he made friends wherever he went.

Portraits of this worthy couple are here given, and their appearance in this volume will be a source of satisfaction to every patron of the work.

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Page created February 21, 2014 by Lynn McCleary