Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Otto Wagner Family Monument at Oakland Cemetery

A unique monument honoring the family of Otto W. Wagner is found at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Otto W. Wagner was the son of Julius and Louisa Wagner. Otto was engaged in the ice business in Sandusky. On October 2, 1909, Otto W. Wagner died, at the age of 55. His wife Kate had passed away in July of 1891. The Wagner monument is in the shape of a tree, with the branches cut off. A tombstone in the shape of a tree branch that is cut off usually symbolizes a life cut short. Obituaries for Otto W. Wagner are found in the October 3, 4, and 5, 1909 issues of the Sandusky Register. Beside the tree shaped monument are individual stones, shaped like tree stumps, inscribed with the names, birth, and death dates of Otto and Kate Wagner.

Jay O. Wagner, Otto's son, died on February 12, 1957. He was assistant cashier at the Citizens Bank for 53 years. Jay's tombstone is just north of the tree-shaped Wagner monument.

Chester J. Wagner lived to be 94 years of age; he died on April 18, 1976. Chester's obituary, found in the April 19, 1976 Sandusky Register, stated that Chester was a lifelong Sandusky resident, and he had been a realtor for many years. Chester helped to establish the Firelands Campus, a branch of Bowling Green State University. In the early days of the automobile, Chester J. Wagner was one of the first manufacturers of left-hand-drive vehicles in the United States. Chester's wife, the former Stella Bittner, preceded her husband in death in 1959. Chester and Stella's grave marker is located south of the tree-shaped Wagner monument.

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