Wagner, J.H.

July 15th, 2007

Jacob Harvey Wagner 1842-1919

Jacob Harvey Wagner was born on December 19, 1842 in Montour County the eighth son of Daniel and Catharine (Follmer) Wagner. Mr. Wagner fought in the Civil War serving in the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania militia and then in the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry having been with Sherman’s army from Chattanooga to Atlanta and later with Wilson’s raid through Alabama. After the war he moved to Watsontown where he began in the lumber business. In 1866 he built a lumber mill under the name Wagner, Bly & Co. The following year the firm’s name changed to Wagner, Hogue & Co. In 1869 the mill burnt and was reopened under the name Wagner, Starr & Co. In 1875 this mill was totally destroyed by fire and in 1876 the firm was built at the present site of the old Zenith building under the name Watsontown Planing Mill Company. For twenty-three years this mill operated until it too was destroyed by fire in 1899. At this time the firm’s name changed again to the Watsontown Door & Sash Company and five years later in 1904 the mill, warehouses and offices were again destroyed by fire. In 1904 the office buildings were built out of concrete and is three stories. The other buildings are of brick, with stone foundations, while the roofs are of fire-proof material.

Politically Mr. Wagner was a Republican and served as Chief Burgess from 1883 to 1884.

Mr. Wagner was married on December 23, 1880 to Mary Jane Follmer. They had five children: Elizabeth C., Jay H., Edith M., William C., and Ned F. They were members of Trinity Reformed Church and he was connected with the Watsontown Lodge, No. 401, F. & A.M. being one of the first to be raised a Master Mason at Watsontown Lodge on May 13, 1868; as well as the G.A.R. Mr. Wagner died on February 24, 1919. His wife died on December 17, 1948. They are both buried at Watsontown Cemetery.

Last Modified: 08.08.09

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