Mifflin County Biographies
"History of the Juniata Valley and Its People, Vol. II" 1913

James B. A. Wagner


The Wagner family is one of those which have been well known in the state of Pennsylvania for a number of generations and, as the name indicates, they came originally from Germany. They brought with them many of the admirable traits which distinguish the natives of that country, and these have been transmitted in ample measure to their descendants. For the most part they were engaged in agricultural pursuits, although we also find the name in the annals of professional and commercial life.

Eli Wagner, who is apparently the first of this branch of the Wagner family to have settled in Pennsylvania, was born in 1826, and died October 18, 1861. He was the owner of considerable landed property, the greater part of which was located hi Armagh township. In addition to cultivating this land, he was engaged in trade as a cooper. He married Catherine Snook, who was also a native of Pennsylvania, and they had children as follows: Solomon, born July 10, 1837, married Julia A. Spigelmeyer, died 1898; Henry, born November 6, 1838, married Polly Ann Snook; Cornelius, born April 13, 1840. married Sarah Snook; Mary Ann, born July 13, 1841, married David Emmell; Edward, born September 30, 1842, married Amelia Steninger; Catherine, born June 13, 1845, married Leonard Bargo; Daniel, born January 1, 1847, married Sophia Steninger; Delilah, born June 14, 1848, married Mr. Derrough; Emmanuel, born April 16, 1850, married Alice Sunday; Levi, born October 5, 1851. married (first) Alice Snook, (second) Belle Shuck; John D., born August 17, 1853, married Rebecca Aumen; James B. A.; Amos, born February 17, 1859; Eli Lincoln, born February 11, 1861, died October 18, 1861.

James B. A., ninth son and twelfth child of Eli and Catherine (Snook) Wagner, was born April 17, 1857, in Mifflin, Armagh township, Pennsylvania. The common school of that section furnished him with what was considered a good education for that time, and he profited by it to the utmost of his capacity. He was engaged in the manifold labors of farm life until 1906, in which year he removed to Milroy. There he was in business for a period of four years in the store of his brother-in-law, then engaged in business for himself, and sells all kinds of machinery. In addition to this occupation a goodly portion of his time is occupied in the cultivation of his fine farm consisting of two hundred and fourteen acres, on which he is engaged in general farming. A part of this property is devoted to the purpose of stock raising, in which branch Mr. Wagner has met with undoubted success. In political matters he is a staunch supporter of Republican principles, and he and his family are devout attendants of the Lutheran church.

Mr. Wagner married, September 12, 1878, Sarah, daughter of Lewis and Fannie (Henry) Houser, and this union has been blessed with six children: 1. A son, died unnamed, July 26, 1880. 2. John Lewis, born August 3, 1881, married Bertha Ellen Longwell at Milroy, Pennsylvania. November 18, 1901, is now a letter carrier at Braddock, Pennsylvania; they have one child, Sarah Gertrude. 3. A daughter, died unnamed, June 26, 1884. 4. Norman Heister, born September 10, 1886, died March 22, 1891. 5. Ottie Jane, born November 1, 1889; married Arthur Brown at Milroy, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1908; they have one child, Catharine Rebecca. 6. Esther Coretta, born November 3, 1897, now attending Milroy high school.



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