Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    Faithfulness to duty and a strict adherence to a fixed purpose in life would do more to advance a man's interests than wealth or advantageous circumstances. The successful men of the day are those who have planned their own advancement and accomplished it in spite of many obstacles and with a certanty that could have been attained only by their own efforts. This class of men has a worthy representative in Jacob G. Wagner, who began life amid unfavorable circumstances on a Pennsylvania farm and has risen to distinction in connection with the industrial interests of Miami county.

    He was born in Tulpehocken township, Berks county, Pennsylvania, September 28, 1843, and lost his father when only three months old. The home farm was then sold and the family became scattered. At the age of seven years Jacob was bound out to an uncle. He was a precocious boy, fond of study, and his uncle sent him to school for three months in the winter season until he was sixteen years of age, when he became a teacher and in this way earned, through the winter months, a portion of the money which enabled him to continue his studies in summer. By nature he was brave and chivalrous and when the civil war broke out his patriotic spirit was aroused and upon the 26th of October, 1862, when only nineteen years of age, he enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, under Captain Groh and Colonel Knoderer. The latter was killed at the battle of Deserted Farms. Mr. Wagner participated in a number of hard skirmishes, was in the siege of Suffolk and was discharged at Reading, Pennsylvania, on the expiration of his term, having served until August 12, 1863.

    Returning to his home he engaged in teaching, both in Pennsylvania and Ohio, through the succeeding thirteen years. In July, 1865, he came to Miami county, where he taught successfully in Bradford, Pleasant Hill, De Graff, Logan county, and Tippecanoe City, Miami county. At the latter place he subsequently accepted a position as superintendent of the Wheel Works, the business being conducted under the name of Ford & Company. He served in that capacity for two years and was also one of the stockholders of the company. In 1877 he came to Covington, where he purchased the S. M. Mohler Tile Works, which were at that time operated by horse power. Mr. Wagner remodeled and refitted the works, putting in a large steam engine and adding a brick plant, and it is now the largest of the kind in western Ohio, the output being very extensive. He also owns another tile factory at Laura, and a stone quarry at Ludlow Falls, Ohio, and is a very prominent and prosperous business man.

    Mr. Wagner was married to Miss Harriet, daughter of William and Susanna Pearson, of Miami county, and to them were born two children, Sarah and Mary. Sarah, the elder, is a graduate of Oxford College, of Oxford, Ohio, and Mary is a graduate of Wittenberg College, of Springfield, Ohio. In 1897, however, Mr. Wagner was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife and his sorrow was shared by many friends in the town and community. In politics he has always taken an active interest and is a stalwart and honored supporter of the Republican party. He is a conscientious and indefatigable worker in its behalf and for thirteen years he has served as a member of the Republican central committee, doing all in his power to promote the growth and secure the success of the party. He was reared in the faith of the German Reformed church, but is not a member of any religious organization. He is a member of the Masonic lodge, and is the oldest ranking commander of Langston Post, No. 299, G. A. R. His career has been indeed creditable and worthy of emulation, showing what may be accomplished through determined purpose and laudable ambition when guided by sound judgment.

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