Biographical Sketches

Biographies from Cole County People

Conrad Wagner

 Conrad Wagner
Conrad Wagner was born on a farm near Osage City May 1, 1849. He attended Jones’ Commercial College, St. Louis, graduating in 1869. He moved to Jefferson City where he worked in the brewery his father had recently purchased from John Gundelfinger, continuing here until his father retired from business in 1887. At that time he partnered with his brother, Lawrence, and continued to operate the brewery until 1892 when it was sold to the Moerschel Brothers.

He then engaged in the wholesale wine, beer and liquor business with his brother Lawrence in Colorado Springs. In addition to this and other property interests in Jefferson City, Mr. Wagner was a stockholder and director in the First National Bank.

He was united in marriage October 8, 1878, to Theresa C., daughter of Albert Walther, a farmer near Ewing Station. To this union were born four sons and one daughter: Adolph L., Edwin L., Frieda, Emil and Paul. Mr. Wagner was a member of the Evangelical Central Lutheran Church. The family resided at 113 West Ashley.

George Wagner

 George Wagner
George Wagner was born in Schwarzach, Bavaria, February 13, 1821, and immigrated to this country at the age of twenty, settling on a farm near Osage City in Cole County. He was educated in the private schools of Bavaria.

In 1846 he built the first brewery established in Cole County, two and one-half miles west of Osage City. He operated this enterprise until 1870 when he moved to Jefferson City and purchased a plant on the city’s south side. He ran this business with his sons Conrad and Lawrence until his retirement in 1886. His sons later sold the enterprise to the Moerschel brothers.

He was elected Sheriff of Cole County on the Republican ticket in the fall of 1878 and re-elected in 1880. He served as Alderman of Jefferson City a number of years. He was a member of the Evangelical Central Lutheran Church and also of the IOOF.

He was united in marriage February 27, 1849, to Anna R., daughter of Nicholas Wolfrum, an Osage City farmer who was also a native of Bavaria. Mr. Wagner was the father of thirteen children, seven who survived: Conrad, Lawrence, William W., Henry, Christopher, Louis and Katharine, the wife of George Peasner.

George Wagner died September 24, 1895, at the age of 74 years.

William Wagner

 William W. Wagner
William W. Wagner was born on a farm in Cole County, New Liberty Township, February 10, 1855, the son of George and Katherine Wolfrum Wagner. His father immigrated from Bavaria, Germany to this country in 1844. William received his early education in the neighboring schools, later graduating from Jones’ Commercial College of St. Louis.

As a young man he was Deputy Sheriff under his father, being afterward elected to that office, serving two terms. After engaging in various other pursuits, he became the proprietor of the Monroe House in Jefferson City.

Mr. Wagner was united in marriage November 16, 1876, to Miss Lena, daughter of John Bohrer of Jefferson City. Six children were born of this union, three boys and three girls: Victor, Alma (wife of Fred C. Binder), George, Stella, Alfred and Edwina.

Mr. Wagner was a stockholder and director in the Jefferson City Water Works Co., the Bridge and Transit Co., the Jefferson City Light, Heat and Power Co., being President of the latter. He also had interests in mining properties in the southern part of the county. He was a Knight Templar, member of the I.O.O.F., Elks, K. of P. and M.W.A.

Conrad Waldecker

Conrad Waldecker was born on a farm in Gasconade County, MO on November 22, 1857. At the age of 21 he entered Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, working as a teacher to help pay for his education. After studying law one year in the office of Peers & Morsey at Warrenton, he attended the Missouri State University at Columbia, graduating from the Law Department in 1889.

After spending a few months at his old home, he came to Jefferson City and became a partner of Hon. W. S. Pope, which partnership continued three years. In April 189e, he was elected City Attorney of Jefferson City and was re-elected in 1895 and 1897. In 1898 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Cole County and continued both offices until the expiration of his term as City Attorney in April 1899.

In January 1899, Mr. Robert P. Stone became associated with him, the firm being Stone & Waldecker. He made his home at 305 Monroe Street.

H. J. Wallau

 Henry J. Wallau
Henry J. Wallau was born in Alsbach, Germany in July 14, 1851. He came to Jefferson City September 25, 1882 accompanied by his wife and four children. Six more children were born to the couple. Their children were: Mrs. Mary (Leo) Dulle, Mrs. Anna (Bart) Wallendorf, Mrs. Helen Finnell, Sister Loretta of St. Mary’s Hospital, Mrs. Sam Eveler, Joseph, George, Albert, Mrs. Ralph Moore and Henry who died in 1918. (Henry had a twin who died as an infant). He had a total of twenty grandchildren. The first grandchild to be married was Louise Wallendorf.

He began work for Fred H. Binder on the Catholic Church, having learned the carpenter’s trade under an uncle in Germany. Leaving Mr. Binder’s employ, he worked for A. T. Manchester & John Beckby for three years. In the spring of 1886 he went into business on his own as a general contractor and builder, starting a planning mill on West Water Street.

His first contract on his own was that of Bockrath’s store building on Richmond Hill. Among the buildings he erected were St. Peter’s Hall, Lincoln Institute Normal Hall, Capitol Brewery and Ice Plant, G. H. Dulle Mills, Cole County Court House, Gasconade County Court House, Dormitory for Missouri University, hospital, chapel and kitchen at State Hospital No. 1 at Fulton, St. Mary’s Hospital, the Public Library, the Moerschel home on Swift’s Highway and the Missouri Pacific Station.

Mr. Wallau always took an interest in civic affairs and lent his aid to the development of the city. He was a staunch and loyal Democrat. He represented his ward for fourteen years, seven terms, in the city council and was twice elected mayor by large majorities. He was responsible for the covered water-way on Miller Street, carrying the waters of the branch under the street for two city blocks. He became largely interested in Jefferson City property and at the time of his death left a large estate in property. He purchased the sand boat from the Kay Brothers and formed the Jefferson City Sand Company.

He was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Catholic Knights of America, St. John’s Orphan Society and St. Peter’s Benevolent Society.

He was married to Miss Annie M. Dinkelbach in Germany on May 13, 1876. They made their home at 719 West McCarty.

Mr. Wallau was stricken with a mysterious ailment and was in St. Mary’s Hospital for about a month. He had an operation and showed marked improvement but complications later developed and he died in February 1927. His widow died in 1937.

G. W. Walther

 George W. Walther
George W. Walther, was a furniture dealer and undertaker in Jefferson City with his business located at 106 West High Street. He was a son of “Squire” Albert Walther, a native of Bavaria Germany who immigrated to America in 1839, later moving to Jefferson City in 1866. Here he engaged in the grocery business two years, when he disposed of his interest and returned to his farm where he died April 15, 1879.

George W. Walther was born on the farm eight miles east of Jefferson City February 8, 1853. His early education was in the neighboring schools. Coming with his father to Jefferson City in 1866, he finished his education in the public schools there. Except for the few years his father lived in Jefferson City, he was continuously with him on the farm until twenty-seven years of age, growing wheat and potatoes and raising livestock.

In 1880 he purchased the old homestead which he continued to run successfully until 1896, when he moved to Jefferson City and opened his furniture and undertaking business.

He was united in marriage October 27, 1881, to Miss Louise, daughter of Fred Guenther, a Morgan County farmer. One child, Hilda, was born of this marriage and she became the wife of Frank Wymore.

In the fall of 1894 Mr. Walther was the nominee of the Republican Party for the office of Collector of Cole County, but he was defeated by Thomas Mahan by a small majority. Mr. Walther was a member of the Evangelical Central Church, I.O.O.F. and Brotherhood of Elks. He lived at 128 West McCarty with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and their family.

The Walz Family

Anna Margaretha Meister was born in Germany in September 1849 and grew up in the Honey Creek area of Cole County. As a young woman she moved to St. Louis where she met and married Charles J. “Carl” Walz, a native of Baden, Germany and twelve years her senior. When Carl died in 1879, his wife returned to Cole County with their four children, Elizabeth Catherine, Charles Julius “Carl” Jr., Mollie (Amelia) and Henry.

Elizabeth, born March 1869, married Joseph Schmidli on January 28, 1890. She died December 1945 in Cole County. Mollie, born August 1876, married Martin Gipfert, son of Wilhelm Gipfert, on December 12, 1900. Henry, born January 16, 1880, worked for the Hugh Stephens Printing Company. He died in an accidental fall from an automobile May 9, 1927.

Carl Walz, born July 1870, married Anna Hutschreider in 1893. He died July 7, 1922. Their first child was born in Jefferson City in 1894. At the age of fourteen, Milo Walz went to work for the Hugh Stephens Printing Company as a bookbinder. In 1923 Milo Walz was married to Miss Esther Beck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Beck, of an old Jefferson City family. They had eight children: Doris, Milo, Jr., Herbert, Don, Ruth, Robert, Richard and James. Mr. Walz was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Evangelical Church.

In World War I he served in the 342nd Field Artillery, 89th Division and served about fourteen months overseas. Following his discharge at the end of the war he resumed his work with the Hugh Stephens Company.

In 1924 Mr. Walz bought the old Doerhoff store at 128 E. Dunklin Street after the death of Mr. Doerhoff. He remodeled the building and as the building grew he acquired additional space at 704 Madison Street and opened the enlarged store in November 1936 and converted the Dunklin Street store to a hardware business. In 1963 a Tru-Value Hardware store, managed by Milo’s son Don, was added at 713 Madison.

Carl “Buck” Walz, the second son of Carl and Anna Walz, was born in Jefferson City in 1898. He attended school in Jefferson City, Sweet Springs and Eldon. He worked for the Midland Printing Company prior to being elected sheriff in 1936. He was one of the local leaders of the Democrat Party and a member of the city council for eight years before being elected sheriff. He was also a leader in labor circles and served as president of the Central Trades and Councils and vice-president of the state federation of labor. He was a member of the Evangelical Church.

Mr. Walz was married August 9, 1919, to Miss Sophia Kuper of Bonnot’s Mill, daughter of Herman and Lizzie Fox Kuper. Mr. and Mrs. Walz had five children: Carl, Jr., Arthur, Howard, Wanda Lee, and Franklin Bedford.

Edwin M. Watson

 Edwin M. Watson
Edwin M. Watson was born in Callaway County, November 29, 1867, the son of Dr. and Mrs. B.A. Watson. When he was five years old his family moved to Columbia where he attended the public school until the age of 14, when he entered the office of the Columbia Herald where he remained three years.

In 1890 he graduated from the Missouri State University with an A.B. Degree. His first job was as a reporter on the St. Joseph Ballot, a Democratic paper established that year by Col. William M. Hyde. Soon after he accepted a position as staff correspondent and special writer for the Ft. Worth (TX) Gazette, which at that time was the leading Democratic daily of the Lone Star State. He later accepted a position as city editor of the Daily Mail of Ft. Worth, an afternoon paper.

In 1894 he returned to Columbia and entered the law department of the University, graduating in 1896. In the spring of 1897 he was nominated by the Democratic Party and elected to the office of City Attorney of Columbia, which office he resigned in November 1898 to accept the position of editor of the State Tribune Daily and Weekly.

Judge Henry J. Westhues

Judge Henry J. Westhues was born in Westphalen, Germany June 5, 1888. His parents were William and Teresa Peters Westhues, the father being a soldier of the Franco-Prussian War. In 1892 the family came to America and settled on a farm near Glasgow, Howard County, where William Westhues died October 6, 1921.

Judge Westhues attended parochial school at Glasgow then went to St. Louis University where he graduated in law in 1912. He began the practice of law in Jefferson City, was appointed city attorney in 1913 and elected to that office in 1914. In 1918 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Cole County, and re-elected in 1920. In 1922 he was elected judge of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit and re-elected in 1928. In 1930 he was appointed Supreme Court Commissioner to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge Berryman Henwood, re-appointed in 1931 and again in 1935 for a four year term.

Judge Westhues was a republican, a member of the Kiwanis Club, a Catholic and Knight of Columbus. He was married August 22, 1916, to Miss Helen Roer. They had seven children: Rosemary, Marie, John Henry, Marjorie, Jane, Elaine and Marilyn.

F. J. Weiler

 Frank J. Weiler
Frank J. Weiler was born on a farm near Lohman, June 9, 1874, the son of Joseph and Louisa Weiler. He was raised on the farm and educated in the district. He first worked for six months with H. Bockrath, shoe manufacturer, before moving to Russellville. There he worked for two years as salesman for B.W. Lansdown when he engaged in the grocery and restaurant business on his own. The business he continued with marked success for four years.

He disposed of the business in 1898 and embarked on the general mercantile business. Mr. Schubert joined him one year later and they incorporated under the name Schubert & Weiler Mercantile Company. Mr. Weiler is Vice-President of the firm.

May 18, 1897, he married Miss Dale Chambers of Russellville. They had one son, Herbert.

Judge Foster S. Wheatley

Foster S. Wheatley was born in Mayview, Lafayette County, April 15, 1892, the son of Thomas W. and Gertrude Maw Wheatley. His mother’s family came from England. The Wheatley family of six came to Jefferson City in 1906 where Thomas W. Wheatley held a position at the state penitentiary. He died in 1921 at the age of sixty-eight.

In his youth, Foster S. Wheatley worked in a variety of jobs including a shoe factory and bakeries. He was with the old American Express Company from 1911 to 1915 and in 1916 entered the employ of the Wells-Fargo Company, with which he remained until 1931. He was disqualified for service in World War I because of his vision. In 1935 he became police judge of Jefferson City.

Foster S. Wheatley was married in 1919 to Miss Lula Mae Rankin of Eldon, daughter of James and Ollie McClain Rankin. Mr. Rankin was an employee of theRock Island Railway. Judge and Mrs. Wheatley had three children: Rankin Waller, Harold James and daughter Jerene.

Dr. G. B. Winston

Dr. George Bickerton Winston was born in Green County, KY, June 9, 1822 and came to Missouri with his father who settled in Cole County in 1833. He graduated from McDowell’s Medical College in St. Louis with the class of 1846. The same year he volunteered for the war with Mexico, and was elected Second Lieutenant of Company F.

On his return from California after a few years, he began the practice of medicine.

He married Miss Sarah F. Hough of Jefferson City in 1853 and had three sons living in 1900: Dr. Warwick Winston was in Shanghai, China practicing dentistry; George Bickerton Winston was in Anaconda Montana practicing law; Charles A. Winston was residing in Jefferson City residing with his mother, Sarah F. Winston.

Dr. Winston was one of the unfortunate excursionists from St. Louis in November 1855, on the railway train that went down with the Gasconade Bridge.

Thomas Miller Winston

 Thomas Miller Winston
Thomas Miller Winston was born near Greensburg, Greene County, KY, September 14, 1816. He came to Jefferson City in 1833 with his uncle, Capt. Thomas Miller, a merchant for whom he clerked six years. In 1839 he formed a partnership with P.T. Miller and purchased the store of his uncle, continuing until they sold the business in 1846.

In 1847 he engaged in the livery and feed business, purchasing a stable located where the post office now stands. He later engaged in the mercantile business for a year then sold an interest to Mr. McKenzie and the operated under the name of Winston & McKenzie until the fall of 1851. In 1952 Mr. Winston purchased the drug store of Dr. P. Dorris, continuing the business several years.

He was appointed Sheriff under Governor Gamble to fill the unexpired term of William Bolton. He was elected to the office of sheriff, serving one term; he served two terms as Coroner of Cole County. In 1868 he was elected Door-keeper of the State Senate, serving three years and at the same time served as Commissioner of the Permanent Seat of Government, having charge of the construction of the stone wall around the Capitol grounds, built with convict labor.

March 6, 1877, he was appointed Marshal of the State Supreme Court, which office he continued to hold until the time of his death, January 29, 1885.

Mr. Winston was married December 19, 1848 to Miss Sallie Chapman Miller of Greenburg, KY. Six children were born to this union: Kittie C., died at the age of eighteen; George N., Benjamin W., Thomas M., Nannie M. and Ida. The family lived at 321 East Dunklin Street.

Edward H. Winter

Edward H. Winter was born at New Truxton, Missouri, April 5, 1879, the son of Frederick A. and Dorothea Winter. Frederick A. Winter served four years in the Union army. He lived for sixty years on the same Warren County farm, dying at the age of eighty-four. His wife died at the age of sixty-seven; they had thirteen children.

Graduating from Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton in 1905, Mr. Winter bought the Warrenton Banner the following year and published it until 1927 when in partnership with R. C. Goshorn he bought the Jefferson City Tribune and the Jefferson City Post, consolidating them into the Post-Tribune. Soon afterward they bought the Capital-News, organizing the Tribune Printing Company and publishing a morning and an afternoon newspaper. Mr. Winter was president of the Missouri Press Association in 1926. In 1933 he disposed of his interest in the Jefferson City newspapers and went into the investment business.

Mr. Winter, a Republican, was also active in state and local politics. In 1921-22 he was probate judge of Warren County. Following this he was for three successive terms representative from that county, being speaker of the house in the session of 1927. In 1928 he was elected lieutenant-governor, and served four years, and was the nominee of his party for governor in 1932 when a national Democratic landslide made his election impossible. He was chairman of the county and congressional committee, and member of the state committee. He belonged to a number of civic and fraternal organizations and was a member of the Methodist Church.

Governor Winter was married October 18, 1905, to Miss Adena M. Koelling, daughter of Charles H. and Martha Koelling of Warren County. Her father was for many years in the milling business. Mrs. Winter was a graduate of Central Wesleyan College. The couple had three children: Lyman Laurent and Karl Edward who went into business with their father; and Dorothea Martha Marie who married Paul R. Busch, a publisher in Howells, Nebraska.

George H. Wyatt, Jr.

 George H. Wyatt
George H. Wyatt, Jr., son of George and Sara Jane Owens Wyatt, was born on a farm five miles west of Jefferson City in Cole County, October 29, 1863. He was educated the local schools until he was thirteen then was placed in school at California, MO, making his home with an uncle, Judge Samuel H. Owens. In 1879 he entered the Christian Brothers College at St. Louis, graduating in 1881. He returned to Jefferson City and entered the law office of Smith & Krauthoff as confidential clerk and law student. He remained in this position three years then entered the Law Department of the Louisville (KY) University, graduating in 1885.

Returning to Jefferson City he engaged in the practice of law in partnership with Hon. W.S. Pope, and was later elected City Attorney. He soon resigned this position and went to Texas where he engaged in newspaper work for two years, most of the time editor-in-chief and business manager of the Trade Review of Waco, TX. Returning to MO in 1889, he established the Weekly Sentinel at Linn Creek, Camden County.

Because of illness he sold this plant and returned to Jefferson City. Recovering, he engaged in farming until January 1899 when he was elected clerk of the Joint Revision Committee, completing his work November 1, 1899. He returned to the practice of law.

His ancestors were among the early pioneers of Cole County, his grandfather coming here from Virginia in 1816 when Missouri was still a territory. His mother was a member of the Owens family, of social prominence in Kentucky. He was united in marriage in Louisville, KY December 17, 1886, to Rebecca Jessamine, daughter of Lucy Elizabeth (Young) and Walter Powhatan Mayo. Their children were Sarah Eugenia, Sherwood Mayo, Dorothy (called “Dottie Dimple”) and Walter P. They made their home on the Wyatt homestead five miles west of Jefferson City.

Harry Wyman

 Harry Wyman
Harry Wyman was born in Cleveland, Ohio September 14, 1867 where he attended school in his early youth. At the age of 11 he entered his father’s grocery store and continued as a clerk for three years. He went to Chicago where he was employed as a clerk by his brother in a large department store until the age of sixteen when he was made floor walker. He continued in the position five years when he entered the employ of E. J. Lehman, owner of the “Fair”. Here he was the assistant manager for four years.

He moved to Humbolt, KS where he managed a department store for his brother for three years before taking a similar position in Arkansas City, KS where he remained five years. He moved to Pratt, KS where he was in business for himself, merchandising groceries, clothing and men’s furnishings. After six years he moved to Tipton, MO where he was in the clothing business until he moved to Jefferson City and opened the Golden Eagle One Price Store in 1897. Mr. Gus Hirschland joined him in partnership and they continued to operate until 1900 when they disposed of their joint interest, Mr. Wyman leasing the store for five years.

Mr. Wyman was married in Humbolt, KS, January 1885, to Miss Maggie C. Neely who had recently moved there from Neelyville, IL where her father was engaged in coal mining (the town being named for him). Harry and Maggie had two children, Arthur and Barbara Middlemarch. The family resided at 319 Monroe Street.

Carl F. Wymore

Carl F. Wymore was the son of Frank H. and Hilda Walther Wymore. Frank Wymore, born in Liberty, Missouri, September 27, 1882, came to Jefferson City about 1900 where he worked in the furniture and undertaking establishment of George Walther, whose daughter he married. He afterwards became a partner of Mr. Walther in the well known Walther-Wymore Furniture Company. He retired about 1928 and in 1931 moved to California.

Frank was the son of John and Ida Pratt Wymore, Clay County pioneers of Virginia and Kentucky descent. John Wymore, a merchant in Liberty, died about 1902. Mrs. Wymore died in 1916. Her father, George Walther, a prominent Jefferson City merchant, was married to Louisa Gunther. Mr. Walther died in 1917.

Carl Wymore attended Westminster College at Fulton, then went to William Jewell where he completed undergraduate work. He received his law degree from the Missouri State University in 1935. He was admitted to the bar the year prior to his graduation and opened an office in Jefferson City. In 1936 he was elected prosecuting attorney on the Democratic ticket. Mr. Wymore was married August 6, 1938, to Miss Natalie Brown of Kansas City, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. C.A. Brown.

© 2006 - Cole County Historical Society