Biography of Peter C. Wagner
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

PETER C. WAGNER, of Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, was born February 2, 1829, in Prussia, Germany. In 1849, while still a young man, he came to the United States, settling in Allegheny, where he began working at the trade he had mastered in his native country shoemaking. He opened a shop and store for the sale of the product of his hand made work and two years later, on account of room, was obliged to move, and then located in the brick building at the corner of Main and Thirteenth streets, where he did a prosperous business, employed a large number of workmen, and continued there until 1871, when the machine made goods of New England and the east drove handmade work almost from the markets of the country. He therefore opened a regular shoe store. In 1883 he was obliged to seek larger quarters, moving this time to a point on Main, below Ninth street, where he remained until 1890, when he retired. He died January 1, 1892.

He was a director of the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank from its in&ption, and was the treasurer and a director in the Sharpsburg and Etna Fire Insurance Company from 1873 to 1881. He helped with his own hands and spade to dig the trenches for fortifications at Morning Side Road when General Robert E. Lee, Confederate leader, was expected to enter the city of Pittsburg [sic] during the Civil war period. Politically Mr. Wagner was a Democrat and espoused the Catholic faith.

He was united in marriage, in 1852, at St. Mary's church, Allegheny, to Elizabeth Bourged, of Allegheny, a native of Germany, born January 10, 1831, and came to this country at the age of two years. She died April 1, 1886. The children by this marriage union were as follows: 1. Mary S., born in 1853, unmarried and at home. 2. John H., born March 1, 1856, married Mary Schramm. 3. Elizabeth, born March 14, 1858; she entered the Sacred Heart Convent, Buffalo, New York, and is known to the world as Sister M. Brigitta. 4. Peter C., the subject of this memoir. 5. Amelia, born October 5, 1862, is unmarried and at home. 6. Sylvester N., born February 25, 1865, married Catherine Glauber. 7. Leo J., born June 9, 1867, married Henrietta Jehle. 8. Martha R., born in 1872, unmarried and at home.

Concerning the present whereabouts of members of this family it can be stated that Peter C., second son of Peter Wagner, the founder of the family in this country, was born at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, August 17, 1860, and married Alice (Derby) O'Leary, November 8, 1888. Six children were the fruit of this unioa: 1. Alice M., born January 18, 1891. 2. Mercedes J., born December 18, 1892. 3. Mary E., born May 6, 1895. 4. Peter C., born September. 21, 1900. 5. Josephine A., born March 18, 1902. 6. Margaret A., born May 7, 1905. The father was educated at the parochial and public schools of Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Duff's Business College in 1878. He remained at home with his father until 1879, and then engaged with Mr. G. W. Tilghman in the clothing business. In 1881 he engaged with Spang, Chalfant & Company as assistant bookkeeper and shipping clerk. Later he returned to Mr. Tilghman's store, in which he had worked and remained two years, when he was, appointed assistant postmaster under Mr. Casey at Sharpsburg. In 1887 he came to Homestead and opened a clothing store with Mr. Tilghman, the firm being Tilghman & Wagner. In 1888 he purchased the business and conducted it alone until 1895, when he took his brother, L. J. Wagner, as his partner, but in 1899 bought him out and has operated alone since that date. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Duquesne Council, Pittsburg [sic], No. 264, the C. M. B. A., Branch No. 70, of Homestead, and he has held the office of secretary of this branch for sixteen years. He also holds a membership in the Knights of St. George, No. 18, of Homestead, and belongs to the Brotherhood of Elks, No. 650, Homestead. He was one of the incorporators of the Homestead Savings Bank and Trust Company, as well as one of the directors and the treasurer of the Ammity Land Company, and president of the Business Men's Association, both of Homestead. He belongs to St. Mary Magdalene's Catholic church and in politics is an independent voter.

A Century and a half of
Pittsburg and her people.
By: John Newton Boucher
The Lewis Publishing Company

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