James Wallingford Waggener is general superintendent of the Atchison Railway, Light & Power Company, and for many years had been in active charge of the varied public utilities directed under that corporate title. Mr. Waggener is an able business man, was educated for the law, and was in practice for a number of years until he transferred his talents to more active and constructive fields.
Mr. Waggener is a brother of Hon. Balie P. Waggener, the eminent Kansas Lawyer. The details of the family history will be found in connection with the sketch of that prominent Atchison citizen. James W. Waggener was born at Platte City in Platte County, Missouri, August 11, 1853. He acquired his early education in Gaylord College at Platte City, and in March, 1869, at the age of sixteen, came to Kansas with his mother. In Atchison he attended St. Benedict’s College. Leaving school in 1871, he began earning his living as a clerk. He clerked in different establishments, chiefly in drug stores. In the meantime he was attracted to the law, his brother having already attained distinction in that profession. He read law in the office of his brother, who was thea one of the firm of Horton & Waggener, and was admitted to the bar in 1881. For three years he practiced as head of the firm of Waggener & Everest, his partner being Frank Everest.
From the law Mr. Waggener first turned his attention to the contracting business, and operated quarries and furnished crushed stone in immense quantities to the Missouri Pacific Railway Company. That was his business until 1895. In the meantime, beginning in 1887, he was chief clerk in the legal department of the Missouri Pacific Railway in his brother’s office. In 1895 he gave all his attention to the contracting business, and besides furnishing crushed stone he took contracts for the paving of strects. He operated his quarry until 1904. In that year he took charge of the active management of the Atchison Railway, Light & Power Company and had continued with that corporation to the present. He is general superintendent and had two other superintendents undor him. The Atchison Railway, Light & Power Company is part of the great McKinley system of public utilities. The company owned and manages the local street railways, the gas company and the electric light and power plants at Atchison.
Mr. Waggener is a Democrat in politics and was a member of the City Council of Atchison from 1891 to 1893. He is also vice president of the Farm Loan Company, an organization promoted by his brother. Mr. Waggener and his family reside at 403 Mound Street. He is fraternally associated with Active Lodge No. 158, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Washington Chapter No. 1, Royal Arch Masons; Washington Commandery No. 2, Knights Templar; Atchison Lodge No. 647, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Atchison Council No. 99 of the United Commercial Travelers, and Unity Camp No. 356, Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Waggener first married, in 1881, at Plattsburg, Missouri, Miss Susie M. Collins, of that city. She died in 1895, leaving a daughter Grace, who died when seventeen years of age. In 1901 Mr. Waggener married Mrs. Ilattic E. (Clark) Bayley, of Connectient ancestry. By her first marriage she had two children; Hale H. Bayley and Maybell Bayley, the latter still at home. Hale H. Bayley is now general foreman of the Locomotive Finished Material Company of Atchison. He married Grace Roth and they have two children: Gwendolin, born in November, 1913; and Eleanor, born in December, 1915.