Obit: Wagner, William (1859 - 1943)
Surnames: Wagner, Diamond, Shafer, Neupert, Phillippi, Walsdorf, Rasmussen, Peters
----Source: THORP COURIER (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 05/27/1943
Wagner, William (28 JUL 1859 - 18 MAY 1943)
Masonic services were conducted at the Thorp Funeral Home at 2:00 Friday afternoon, May 21st, by Thorp Lodge No. 264, F. & A.M., for William Wagner, pioneer newspaperman, who passed away at his home here (Thorp, Clark Co., Wis.) on Tuesday morning, May 18, 1943, at 9:00 o’clock, death being caused by the infirmities of old age. Mr. Wagner, who had reached the age of 83 years, 9 months and 19 days, spent nearly sixty years as editor, publisher, and owner of "The Thorp Courier". His sense of hearing and eyesight failed considerably during the past year and thus impaired his one recreation, reading. Up to nine months ago his attendance to his duties at the printing office were regular and daily with but few exceptions during the whole fifty-nine years.
William Wagner was born at Beaver Dam, Wis., on July 28, 1859 and had reached the age of 83 years, 9 months and 19 days.
He was educated in the schools of his native city and also learned the printer’s trade in the Beaver Dam Argus office, setting his first line of type in May 1876. In the seven years following he was employed on the Milwaukee Sentinel, Evening Wisconsin, the Buffalo, N.Y. Courier, and the Colby Phonograph.
In November 1883 he came from Colby to Thorp and established "The Thorp Courier", a weekly newspaper, it first issue being dated November 23, 1883.
This community at that time was but a mass of woods and the editor found it necessary, together with our other pioneers, to endure many hardships for subsistence. With the advent of the Wis. Central railroad he made regular trips to nearby towns, Boy and later Stanley and Cadott in search of work.
A few years after establishment of the Courier, Mr. Wagner, on Dec. 26, 1885, and Miss Katherine Diamond of Colby, Wis., were united in marriage. They had five children, Maud (Mrs. Matt Phillippi), who died in 1929, Florence (Mrs. Jos. Walsdorf) of Milwaukee, Alice (Mrs. Arthur Rasmussen) of Modesto, Calif., Gretchen (Mrs. Kenneth Peters) of Lansing, Michigan, and William S. Wagner of Thorp.
As a pioneer newspaperman in Thorp, Clark County, he took an active part in civic affairs, serving three years as village assessor, two terms as village president and as a member of the school board. He was instrumental in the platting and incorporation of the village in June 1893.
Mr. Wagner fostered the establishment of a public library in Thorp in early days and carried about one hundred volumes in his print shop for a period of time until taken over by a civic organization.
Receiving an appointment as postmaster during Cleveland’s administration, her served in that capacity from 1885 to 1889 and from 1893 to 1897. He again filled that office under President Wilson from 1915 to 1925.
Mr. Wagner was the first Master of Thorp Lodge No. 264, Free and Accepted Masons upon its receiving its charter on June 12, 1895. He also demitted from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge from Colby, Wis. to assist in the organization of Thorp Odd Fellows Lodge in 1885, and served as it first Noble-Grand.
Besides the four children who survived, are his wife and two sisters, Mrs. Theresa Shafer of Colby, Wis. and Mrs. Mary (Cari) Von Neupert of Stevens Point, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Interment was made in the East Thorp Cemetery, complete Masonic Services being conducted by members of the Thorp Lodge No. 264, F. & A.M. of Thorp, in charge of A.L. Devos, of Neillsville, as Master. Pallbearers were R.G. Lawrence, Albert Childs, Art J. Hansman, Jos. E. Lund, Newell E. Qualle, and H.E. Brandensen.
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