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Below is a family biography included in The History of Benton County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Eugene Wager, a miller at Wager, Ark., was born in the French portion of Switzerland in 1821. He is a son of Joseph and Sophie (Clerc) Wager, the former being born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and the latter in Switzerland, There were four sons and three daughters, namely: Joseph Henry, an architect and painter, died in France; Eugene, the subject of this sketch; Isidore, a miller and mill-wright, died at Siloam Springs, Ark., and Gustave, a farmer in Iowa; Josephine (wife of Mr. L. Eplatenier), is dead, and Eugenia is married to E. Briot, of Chicago, and Cecile, married to the late Col. Arthur Jacobs, of Chicago. Joseph Wager having resided alternately in France and Switzerland, a portion of the children were born in France and others in Switzerland. In 1845 Eugene Wager left France for America, and after his arrival in this country hunting for a situation in a mill, was persuaded to go to Canada. Here he obtained employment, but his wish being to go west, he succeeded in the following spring in reaching Wisconsin, and at Milwaukee formed a close acquaintance with Mr. Solomon Juneau, the founder of the city. Through his influence he was enabled to better his condition considerably, and was employed in mills in East Troy and Whitewater. Here he was married, March 13, 1848, to Emeline Snider, and after living at Janesville a short time, at the request of Gov. Farwell, of Wisconsin, went to Madison to start up and operate his mill with the water power at that place. He next moved to Depere, where he resided for twenty-one years, engaged in milling, lumbering and mercantile business. Serious losses, mainly by fire, compelled him to retire from active business, and in 1864 he joined a party moving to Montana Territory, and there remained for nearly four years. On his return he concluded to make a journey in the South, and make the selection of a new home, when at last he located at Elm Springs, Washington Co., Ark. While here he purchased and restored the Thornberry Mill, and in 1876 he became the purchaser of what was then called the Valley Mills, but now the Wager Mills, on the Osage Creek, in Benton County, Ark. He still operates said mill, and resides here, and has imparted his name both to the post-office at that place and also the township. Mr. Wager and his wife are the parents of six sons and two daughters, namely: Francis E., a miner in Arizona; George O., a farmer and miner; Edwin G., a miner and merchant in Arizona; Orlando V., a merchant at Neosho, Mo.; Henry V., in Arizona, and William Wallace, at his father’s. The daughters are: Sophie E., wife of Hugh Ritter, of Elm Springs, and Ida Jane, wife of J. F. Wasson, of Springtown, Ark.

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This family biography is one of 240 biographies included in The History of Benton County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Benton County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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