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John Wagener is one of the owners of the Trook and Jennings mine and five-stamp mill, one mile southeast of Silver City. He is also proprietor of several stock ranches and since pioneer days has been active in the development of the business resources of this state. A native of Germany, he came to America hoping to better his financial condition, and whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own labors.
Mr. Wagener was born June 30, 1833 and in his native land acquired his education. When a young man of nineteen years he bade adieu to home and friends and in 1852 sailed for America, coming to this country in limited circumstances and without any knowledge of the language, manners or customs of the people. It is astonishing how rapidly our foreign-born citizens adapt themselves to new surroundings and be-come an integral part in our public life. Mr. Wagener took up his residence in New York City and began learning the wagon maker’s trade, at which he worked for a number of years. He then left the Atlantic for the Pacific coast, and in 1858 visited Idaho, when it was still a part of Washington Territory. He crossed the plains to Vancouver’s, thence came to Florence in 1862, and after engaging in placer-mining at the latter place for a year, went to Idaho City in the Boise basin, where he worked at placer-mining, receiving three dollars per day and his board in compensation for his services.
In January 1864, he arrived in Boonville, now called Dewey, and engaged in sawing lumber for the different stamp mills then being erected in that locality. In 1865 he aided in the erection of the mills. As the years passed, his diligence, energy, enterprise and capable management brought him success, and from time to time he made judicious investments in mining and ranch property. He has been the owner of several mining claims and for a number of years past has been principally engaged in milling ore. In connection with John Scales, he is now the owner of the Trook and Jennings mine and the five-stamp mill, situated on the War Eagle Mountain. The mill was built in 1864 by a Mr. Shonebar and was an arastra mill, but afterward five stamps were added to it, since which time an extensive custom business has been carried on and mine averages five dollars per ounce and the ore has yielded as high as two hundred dollars per considerable money made. The bullion from the ton. Both the mill and the mine are now on the market, for though a very desirable property, the owners are not so situated as to give it the needed development. Mr. Wagener is now the owner of several ranches, and is becoming quite extensively interested in stock-raising.
In 1884 was celebrated his marriage to Miss Christina Nelson, a native of Sweden, and to them has been born a daughter, Alice. Their pleasant home is located near the mill. In his political affiliations Mr. Wagener is a Democrat, but has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to devote his energies to his business interest. His activity in business has not only contributed to his individual success but has also been an active factor in the development of the state, and he is now accounted one of the honored pioneer settlers of Idaho.