One of Rock Island’s native sons, a man upon whom devolves to a large extent the management and control of a great and growing industry, is the subject of this sketch, Robert Wagner, president of the Rock Island Brewing Company.
He is the son of George Wagner, the story of whose life and rise in the world appears elsewhere in this book, and Frederica Wagner. He was born in Rock Island, June 15, 1866. During his boyhood he attended the city’s public schools and private German schools, fitting himself for entrance in the University of Iowa, at Iowa City. After attending this institution, he entered the United States Brewers’ Academy, in New York City, where he perfected himself in the art of brewing and graduated in 1887, thus fitting himself to take charge of and continue the brewing industry which his father had build up. Having acquired a thorough theoretical knowledge of the subject, he returned to Rock Island, and being desirous of a practical working knowledge as well, he entered his father’s brewery as foreman. He continued in this position for two years, mastering every detail of the business, and then entered into the business with his father, where he remained until the formation of the Rock Island Brewing Company, a merger of the brewing industries of the city. He was elected president of this new stock company, and has held that office ever since. The constant expansion of the business of which he is at the head is largely due to his progressive ideas and able management.
Mr. Wagner was married on November 15, 1894, to Miss Thekla I. Klug, a Davenport young lady, whose father, Otto Klug, was a leading business man of that city and who has now retired. Mr. and Mrs. Wagner occupy a delightful home on Twenty-third Street in Rock Island, their new residence being one of the handsomest in the city. Here in their charming home they do a great deal of entertaining and take a leading part in the social events of the Tri-Cities.
In polities Mr. Wagner is a Democrat, em-bracing the political allegiance of his father. He has, however, never sought office him-self. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and is a director of the Peoples National Bank of Rock Island, in which both he and his father own a large amount of stock.
Like his father, Robert Wagner is an honorable and upright man, scrupulously conscientious in every business and financial transaction, and it follows that he has that large number of warm friends and well-wishers that such conduct always begets. He is a man of whom his native city may well be proud.