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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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J. E. Waggener, merchant at Rush Tower, and farmer, was born in Plattin Township, December 23, 1847, and was educated in the common country school by his own efforts. At the age of eighteen he assumed charge of the Oakland school, near where he was reared, and taught two terms with excellent success. In 1868 he began clerking in the store of B. F. & J. M. England. In a few years the firm had undergone several changes, but he was retained as clerk, and in 1871 became a partner, the firm title being J. E. Waggener & Co. In 1876 he married Miss Florence, daughter of Thomas L. and Mary Donnell, who are among the esteemed pioneers of Jefferson County, where Mrs. Waggener was born in 1855. She is an accomplished lady, and by her union to Mr. Waggener became the mother of four children, three now living: Oliver M., Thomas D. and Lillie Lee. In 1879 Mr. Waggener abandoned mercantile life, and removed to his farm of 170 acres, situated four miles southwest of Rush Tower, and known as the “Parker Farm.” After living there three years his health became impaired, and he removed to Hematite, and again engaged in merchandising in partnership with B. C. Berry. In the spring of 1886 he returned to his farm, and soon after formed a partnership with J. S. Shannon, and has since been engaged in merchandising at Rush Tower, but lives on the farm, four miles away. He also has 120 acres two miles west of Rush Tower, which he holds for sale. All his property is the fruit of his own exertions. Mr. Waggener is a Democrat, and his first presidential vote was for Horatio Seymour in 1868. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is the son of R. G. Waggener, a native of Culpeper County, Va., born July, 1797, and of Scotch descent. He was in the War of 1812, serving six months in the United States army. In 1816 or 1817 he went to Kentucky, and for twenty-five years was a pilot on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. He was pilot on the first line of steamers that ran from Louisville to New Orleans. In 1835 he married Mary Moore, in Louisville, Ky., and in 1839 came to Jefferson County, where he settled near Rush Tower, and where he passed the remainder of his days as an enterprising citizen. He died January, 1885. The mother is still living on the old farm, and of the twelve children born to her marriage, nine are now living, and our subject is the sixth.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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