Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Family History Month - post 3

Today's Family History Month post is about my great-great-grandfather, Charles Frederick Wagner. He was the son of Charles Wagner and Friedericka Wendt. He was born around 1870, though I'm not exactly sure where, due to a lot of discrepancies in the records he appears or is mentioned in. I can't recall the exact source, but I learned years ago that he went by the nickname "Ding" for some reason.

Charles Frederick Wagner in 1906

He spent some time in Chicago, and ended up in Mille Lacs County, Minnesota, where he met and married Eldora Shute on 14 April 1898. Charles and Eldora's first child, a son (reportedly named Dewey) was born 6 March 1899, and passed away 9 days later on 15 March 1899. Having buried a son myself, I can only imagine the heartbreak they went through. They went on to have five more children together, a girl named Gertrude, and four boys - Charles, Howard, Ralph, and Donald (who went by Bill).

Sometime after 1910, the family moved to Snohomish County, Washington. According to my grandma Blossom (Charles's granddaughter), he would disappear for days or even weeks at a time, then come back, and then disappear again. No one apparently knew where he went during these absences. It may have been these absences that led Eldora and Charles to divorce by 1920.

I don't know much about his life after the divorce. He sent postcards to his son Charles (whom he called Charlie) with unusual messages, like:

You would make a St. Pat, if you had a girl just like me - Dad

Rem[em]ber the Sea - See
hoping to See Sea - you aga[i]n - Seen  (Dad)

He spent his later years in a nursing home until he became really sick, at which point he called Gertrude (who was living with her family in California) and went to live with her until his death on 13 November 1934.

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