Schools and monasteries for the Duchy of Wiirtemberg. He was a theologian of
great ability, of profound learning and most dignified manners : under his charge
the church in Wiirtemberg was much advanced. He died August 13, 1659, and
was buried in the Cathedral Church at Stuttgart, where a Latin epitaph records
the honors he held in Church and State. By his first wife, Catherine Nuzbeck. a
widow of noble rank, he had three sons who became clergymen, and one daughter,
Catherine, who became wife of Chancellor Wagner. From a history of theology
published at Ulm, 1710, we extract the following:
"Dr. Melchoir Nicolai was an acute, independent and verv zealous theologian of great
uorightness in his life and conversation. His controversy with the Jesuit Forer. at Del-
bingen. is the best known & most suggestive of his controversial writings. His services to
the University (Tubingen) during the most trying period of its existence were very promi-
nent, for as Professor he maintained the doctrines of the Evangelical Church, and as Vice
Chancelor he fearlessly and thoroughly defended its rights.
IV ^U!\ CK 1573
â€¢â– * * * His writings were remarkable for an elegant and scholastic style, which he form-
ed especially by reading the writings of Augustine. Among the most remarkable is his
Compendium thcol. didactkum et Eleitticum, which in his lifetime was published in Wiirt-
emburg & subsequently, with polemical additions, by the Chancelor of Tiibingen, Mich.
Miiller, at Ulm in 1688. His life was written by his son in law Tobias Wagner in 1662."
From August PViedrich Boks' history of the University of Tubingen, we quote
tlie following, in reference to Dr. Tobias Wagner : "?Ie was a profound scholar &
as teacher and preacher on various occasions showed himself an accomplished
theologian: he was singularly clear in his expositions and moderate in his treat-
ment of controversial subjects. In theological casuistry he possessed extensive
knowledge and experience, and for this reason his counsel was often sought from
various and distant places in the most complicated cases." He was described in
the "Biographic Universelle" (Ed. 1827, vol. 50) : "Un des theologiens les plus
habiles et les plus feconds du dix-septieme siecle."
Among his most distinguished works, comprising seventy-five in all, are, "In-
quisitio Theologica in acta Henotica," 1664, and "Inquisitio in Oracula Sybillarum
de Christo," 1664; one of his works, "Examen Elenticum Atheismi Speculativi,"
had the honor of being included in the "Index librorum prohibitorum Benedict!
XIV, Romae, 1758."
Chancellor Tobias Wagner died August 12, 1680, in the eighty-second year of
his age, the fifty-sixth of his ministry, and the twenty-seventh of his residence at
Tubingen as Professor and Chancellor of the University. His funeral sermon was
preached by Dr. Henry Keller. His epitaph, written by Bened. Hopfifer, Professor
of Philosophy, is as follows :
"Hie, Hie Ronianae requiescit malleus urbis
Hie Evangelici conditur orbis honor;
Canitie et gravitate nitens, et fulmine zeli
Quantus in aeternae firmimento lucis erit."
A list of the works written by him is given in the above quoted work; it com-
prises thirty-eight in Latin and thirty-seven in German, in almost every depart-
ment of literature, those on theological subjects of course predominating. His
wife, Catharine (Nicolai) Wagner died 1670. They were parents of sixteen chil-
dren ; two of the sons became ministers of the Gospel, and two eminent physicians :
a daughter married Rev. John Hafner. Chancellor Wagner lived to see forty-
four of his descendants surviving.
Rp:v. George Conr.\d Wagn'ek, son of the Chancellor, was assistant pastor at
Herrenberg, Wiirtemberg, 1659-61, and later pastor at Bergfelden, Wijrtemberg,
where he died 1679, a year before his father.
Rev. George Conrad Wagner, son of the above, was born at Herrenberg,
Wurtemberg, near the close of his father's pastorate there, 1661. .At the time of
the death of his grandfather, the Chancellor, he was a student at the Seminary at
Tubingen, and in the "Egicedia" of the Chancellor, is a poetic eulogy written by
him. He was pastor at Hansen in Tiittlingen, Wiirtemberg, from 1690 to his
death in 1727. He married Anna Mary Merklin, born September 17. 1667, who
survived him, and after his death resided with her son, Tobias, at Horkheim, until
her death, December 28, 1740.
Rev. Tobias Wagner, the American missionary, was a son of Rev. George
Conrad and Anna Mary (Merklin") Wagner, and was born at Hansen, in the
J 574 ir.ic.yBR
town of Tiittlingen, Ducliy of Wiirtemberg. He was many years pastor at Hork-
lieim, near Heilbronn, and married there, 1733, Mary Christina Dorothea, daughter
of Franciscus de Gregoriis, Professor of French and Itahan Languages at the Uni-
versity of Tiibingen. The last official record at Horkheim in the handwriting of
Rev. Tobias Wagner, bears date June 13, 1742. Some time in that year he re-
signed his pastorate at Horkheim, to become a Lutheran missionary to America.
Leaving his residence in the little village of N'ordheim. on the Rhine, in Wiirtem-
berg, he came first to New England, and thence to a German colony near Scho-
harie. New York, hut soon afterwards came to Pennsylvania. His first residence
in Pennsylvania has not been definitely ascertained. On the records of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church, on Tulpehocken, near Stouchburg, Berks county,
Pennsylvania, the cornerstone of which was laid May 12, 1743, and the consecra-
tion of which took place at Christmas of the same year, appears the following
entry in German :
".A.fter the above named Evangelical Church was completed to such an extent by
the Building Committee appointed by the Congregation that the same could be
occupied for the first time on the high festival of Christmas, the Congregation
requested from the Most Reverend Heinrich Melchoir Miihlenberg, a Lutheran
Minister of the Augsburg Confession. As M. Tobias Wagner had come as a
Lutheran Minister from Wiirtemberg, via New England, Mr. Miihlenberg prom-
ised the congregation that he (Wagner) Would Move Up and serve this Church
and Congregation. He followed in God's name and not only solemnly consecrated
the Church on holy Christmas Day, with the word of God as the basis according
to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession and set it apart for the holy service of
God with the name of Christ Church, that many souls might be edified in the same
and led to eternal life, but he also performed the following ministerial acts by
preaching. Catechetical instruction, baptizing, administering the Lord's Supper,
marriages and burial of the dead. God grant his blessing on the same that he ma)
find the fruits of the same with joy in eternal life."
Pastor Wagner remained as pastor of this church until April 3, 1746. when he
resigned his charge and for the next six years preached at Reading and other
points in Berks county. On the organization of Trinity Lutheran Church in
Reading, 1752, he became its first pastor, and filled that charge until 1759, when
he resigned and returned to Wiirtemberg, again taking up his residence at Nord-
heim on the Rhine, where he died April i, 1764, as shown by the ancient church
records of that place. He was accompanied on his return to his native country
by his wife and their youngest daughter Maria, who remained in Germany; the
rest of the children, though at least three of them were minors and the youngest
but eleven years of age, were left behind in America. The widow was still living
at Monchheim, Wiirtemberg, in 1769, when Tobias Wagner, her son, paid a visit
to his mother and sister.
Rev. Tobias and Mary Christina Dorothea (Gregoriis) Wagner had issue:
Tobias Wagner, b., Horkheim, Germany. .\ug. 7. 1734;
Friedericka Dorothea Wagner, b. Horkheim. Germany. Sept. 26. I73,=i; m. at Reading,
Berks co.. Pa., Nov. 2, 1756, George Yoh ;
Johan Frederick Wagner, b., Horkheim, May 17, 1737;
Christian Leibrecht Wagner, b., Horkheim, Jan. 5, 1739;.
Catharina Elizabeth Wagner, b., Horkheim. July 9, 1741. and bapt. there. July 10; came
tci Pa. with her parents when an infant; m. at Reading. Pa.. Jerome Heintzelman. of
Lancaster, and was the great-grandmother of Maj.-Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman
(1826-80), a graduate of West Point, and a distinguished officer of the Union Army,
both in Mexican and Civil wars;
Godlove (Gottleib) Wagner, b., Berks co., Pa.;
JoHANN Christian Wagner (later known as John Wagner), b. Reading, Pa., June i(\
1748; d., Germantown, Feb. 15, 1832; m. Mary (Ritz) Baker; of whom presently;
Maria Wagner, b. Reading, Berks co., Pa. ; returned to Wiirtemberg, Germany with her
parents: m. there, Frederick Kemp; had a son, John Christian Kemp, b. April 17, 1798.
John Wagner, or as his baptismal record names him Johann Christian Wagner,
youngest son of Rev. Tobias and Mary Christina Dorothea (Gregoriis) Wagner,
was born in Reading, Berks county, Pennsylvania, June 26, 1748, and came to Phil-
adelphia and engaged in business there when a young man. He was engaged in the
business of importing woolen goods, from which he acquired a comfortable fortune.
He married, February 28, 1784, Mary (Ritz) Baker, daughter of Christian Ritz,
a native of Germany (born January 28, 1734, died December 7, 1823) ; and widow
of Charles Baker, who died August 12, 1780. She was born June 28, 1760, and
died August 23, 1839. She married Charles Baker, 1778, and had by him a daugh-
ter Elizabeth Baker, born October 3, 1779, died February 28, 1867.
On his marriage John Wagner took up his residence at what is now No. 25
South Second street, above Chestnut, where all of his children were born, later
removing to a house on the east side of Eighth street, between Market and Arch
streets, then the residential portion of the city. In 1794 he purchased as a country
seat, an estate on the banks of the Wissahickon Creek, near Germantown, then
known as Roxborough, extending along School House lane, a portion of which
has been the country seat of the family for five generations. Here the family
found an asylum during the prevalence of the yellow fever in the city. Here John
Wagner died February 15, 1832. His widow, Mary, died August 23, 1839.
Issue of John and Mary (Ritz) Wagticr:
Phebe Wagner, b., Phila.. Feb. 11, 1785; d. June 20. 1825; m. (first), Feb. 14, 1805,
Thomas Shipley, a prominent merchant of Phila., d. s. p.. May 31, 1813; she m. (sec-
ond), Nov. 20, 1821, John White, and had issue:
Phebe Wagner While, b. July 13, 1823; d. June 7, 1906; m., Feb. 12, 1846, George
R. Hoffman, of New York, b. Dec. 2. 1808, d. March 4, 1884; issue:
John White Hoffman, b. Feb. ig, 1847; d. Aug. 18, 1810 ; m. (first), June 25,
1872, Elvira, dau. of John C. Solev. of Boston, d. April i, 1873; m. (sec-
ond), Dec. 16, 1886, Florence, dau. of S. Kingston McCay, of Phila.;
Edward Fenno Hoffman, b. Feb. Q, 184Q: m., Oct. 16, 1887, Elizabeth, dau.
of Gen. George McCall;
Josiah Ogden Hoffman, b. Sept. :;, 1858; d. 1900; m., April 19, US83, Helen
Scott, dau. of John T. Lewis, of Phila.
Edward Wagner White, b. Nov. 17, 1824; d. .'\pril 7, 1887.
Maria Wagner, b. May ig, 1786; d. Oct. 28, 1858; ni., Dec. ig, 181 1, John Stille, descend-
ant of Oloff Stille, who emigrated from Sweden, 1641, and settled in what was later
known as "The Neck," the e.xtreme southern part of Phila.; she was mother of Dr.
.-Mfred Stille, the well-known physician of Phila., and Charles Janeway Stille, provost
of Univ. of Pa.;
John Wagner, b. May 8, 1788; d. .\pril 16. I78g;
Susan Wagner, b. Nov. 12, 1789; d. June 21, 1851 ; m.. Oct. 28, r8i3, .Andrew Byerly, h.
Oct. 5, 1782, d. Nov. 3, 1827; they had issue:
John W. Byerly, d. at sea, Aug. 20, 1835;
Elizabeth Byerly, m. (first) George B. Innes, (second) Rev. Erastus Dc Wolf:
Mary Byerly, d. May 25, 1843; m., Feb. 13, 1838, William P. Wells:
Edmund Byerly, b. Jan. 13, 1823; d. Dec. 9, 1898; unm.;
Phrebe Byerly, b. Dec. 29, 1820: d. Nov. 10, 1855; m., June 25, 1839, James Wilson,
who d. Nov. 21, 1848;
Susan Byerly, b. 1829; d. April 7, 1906; m. Morris Meredith;
William H. Byerly, b. 1826; d. April 21, 1851 ; unm.
Samuel Wagner, b. March 6, 1792; d. Feb. 11, 1879; m. Emilie Obrie Duval; of whom
Tobias Wagner, b. Nov. 21, 1793; d. Feb. 19, 1868; was educated in Phila., and entered
into an apprenticeship with George Nugent, merchant, 1810, and, Feb. 27, 1815, became
partner in the business with his employer, which lasted until April 5, 1818. when he
entered into partnership with Robert Taylor; on March 26, 1821, formed a co-partner-
ship with William Milnor, and his brother, Samuel Wagner, under firm name of Mil-
nor. Wagner & Co., to carry on the auctioneering business, but the firm was dissolved
June 4, following, and the business continued by the Wagner brothers, under firm
name of T. & S. Wagner, until March 26, 1831, when he retired from active business,
but up to a few years previous to his death, took an active part in public business as
a director for and manager of various institutions and companies, "and," says an
obituary notice of him, published at the time of his death, "it is not too much to say
that his name in connection therewith commanded unbounded confidence." He was a
member of board of managers of Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, Dec. 23, 1837,
until his death, and at a meeting of the board, held March 4, 1868, resolutions were
adopted, expressing the deep sorrow of his late colleagues in his loss, the preamble to
which was in part as follows : "In recording on the minutes of their proceedings this
notice of Mr. Wagner's death, the Board desire to express their high appreciation of
his virtues â€” illustrated during the whole course of his long life by word and by ex-
ample, â€” and in all the relations of life, whether as a private citizen, a man of busi-
ness or as a Christian Gentleman, he was a model which all men might be proud to
imitate; possessing great amiability of character, a sound discriminating judgment,
with the purest integrity of heart and mind, â€” he was a safe counselor and valuable
friend." He was also a director of Franklin Fire Insurance Co. many years, and the
resolutions adopted by board of directors, Feb. 24, 1868, testify in a like manner to
his noble, generous, and amiable characteristics. Mr. Wagner was a member of vari-
ous benevolent and philanthropic organizations, and contributed largely to the cause
of uplifting and Christianizing the human race. He was thirty years a member of the
vestry of St. David's Protestant Episcopal Church, Manayunk, Phila.; one of the most
active managers of Corporation for Relief of Widows and Children of Clergymen in
Communion of Protestant Episcopal Church in Commonwealth of Pa., and member
of the Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church for Advancement of Christianity
in Pa., to which he left a large bequest. He was also member of American Philo-
sophical Society; a trustee of Univ. of Pa., and a director of Academy of Fine Arts.
Mr. Wagner was stricken with paralysis, at Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York City, Oct.
27, 1853. and though he survived four and a half years, was for practically all of that
period almost a helpless invalid. An account of his last illness, and a beautiful tribute
to his character was written by his nephew and physician. Dr. Alfred Stille. Tobia.s
Wagner m., June 10, 1841, Mary, dau. of Samuel Rhoads, who survived him;
William Wagner, b. Jan. 15, 1796; d. Jan. 17, 1885; spent most of his boyhood days at the
old family country seat, and there began the collection of curious specimens of nature's
handiwork of great variety, â€” a work which was kept up with unfaltering interest dur-
ing his long life, â€” and which culminated in the large and valuable collection now con-
tained in the Museum of Wagner Free Institute of Science, founded by him. At an
early age he was placed in the academy of Dr. James Abercrombie, on Fourth St., be-
low Arch, from which he graduated with high honors in 1808. His desire to study
medicine under the celebrated Dr. Physick, was opposed by his father, who thought it
best for him to enter upon a mercantile life, and in 1812 he was employed in the count-
ing house of his brother-in-law, Thomas Shipley, but soon after became an apprentice
to Stephen Girard, though still keeping up his studies of Latin, French and mathe-
matics, as well as such researches into the realms of science as his duties in the count-
ing house would permit. In 1816 he was sent, by Stephen Girard. as assistant super-
cargo, with his elder brother, Samuel Wagner, in charge of the ship, "Rosseau," on a
long trading voyage to foreign ports, from which he returned in the autumn of 1818.
During this voyage he made large collections of minerals, shells, plants, and numerous
organic remains, which now enrich the museum. Leaving Mr. Girard, he engaged in
various business ventures, until 1840, when he retired from commercial pursuits. On
his second marriage, 1841, he went abroad on a two years' trip, and on his return
bought the suburban property then known as Elm Grove, now Seventeenth and Mont-
gomery ave.. where he took up his residence and lived until his death. Here he ar-
ranged his collections, and in 1847 began to give lectures thereon ; and the place be-
coming too small to accommodate the multitudes who flocked to hear him. 1852 the
hall at Thirteenth and Spring Garden sts. was secured for "Professor Wagner's Free
Scientific Lectures." and on May 21, 1855, the "Wagner Free Institute of Science"
was formally inaugurated, and an able corps of well-known lecturers began their work.
The edifice now occupied by the institute and museum, built by Mr. Wagner on his
own estate, at Elm Grove, was dedicated May 11, 1865, and a deed of trust made by
Prof. Wagner to the corporation, on condition that the property shall forever be used
for free instruction in natural science. He further provided for it in his last will and
testament, his total benefaction being not less than half a million dollars, besides the
results of years of scientific research and collection of specimens. Since Jan. i, 1866,
two courses of free lectures have been delivered each year, embracing most or all the
branches of natural science. Six lectures have generally been given each week during
the spring and fall sessions. Prof. William Wagner m. (first), Jan. i, 1824, Caroline
M., dau. of Dr. Benjamin Say; (second), March 29, 1841. Louisa, dau. of Archibald
Binney, of Phila. ; his only child d. inf.;
Anna Wagner, b. Aug. 17, 1797; d. Sept. 24. 1797;
Samuel Wagner, eldest surviving son of John and Mary (Ritz) Wagner, born,
Philadelphia, March 6, 1792, was educated at the Classical Academy of Rev. Dr.
James Abercrombie, Philadelphia, and, February 6, 1808, was indentured to Ste-
phen (jirard to learn the mercantile business. He acquired the confidence and esteem
of the famous merchant, and, March 7, 1815, started on his first business voyage,
an supercargo of Girard's vessel, the "Voltaire," Capt. Ezra Bowen, going first to
the East Indies and China, thence to Amsterdam, from which port he sailed for
Hamburg. April 25, 1816, arriving there May 5, and returning in the ship, "North
Star," arriving at New York, November 8, 1816. In January, 1817, he again made
an extensive voyage as supercargo of the "Rosseau," his younger brother, William,
accompanying him as assistant supercargo. This voyage occupied nearly two
years; arriving in New York on his return, November 15, 1818. In March, 1821,
he organized the business firm of Milnor, Wagner & Company, consisting of Will-
iam Alilnor, himself and his brother, Tobias. This partnership continued three
years, when Mr. Milnor withdrew, and the firm of T. & S. Wagner continued in
business with great success until 1831, when both partners retired from active
business life. During the rest of his life, he devoted himself largely to matters of
public interest, besides acting as trustee for many family trusts. He was especially
interested in church work of every kind, being one of the founders of St. David's
Church, Manayunk, and an active member of its vestry for many years, and serv-
ing as vestryman at various times in Christ Church, St. Mark's, St. Timothy, Rox-
borough, and St. Sauveur, Philadelphia. He was a founder of Bishop White
Prayer Book Society, and served continuously in its board of managers until the
end of his life. His probity, conservatism, sound judgment, and accurate knowl-
edge of the best business methods, gave great value to his services in all positions
of responsibility and trust. Stephen Girard gave evidence of his regard and confi-
dence by appointing him in his will one of the trustees to settle the affairs of his
bank, â€” a trust involving great responsibility and business skill. "He was an original
member of the Atheneum of Philadelphia, when it began its existence, in rooms
over Matthew Carey's Book Store, at Fourth and Chestnut streets, and took great
interest in the erection of its handsome building on Sixth street. It was his habit
through life, when in the city, to pass a portion of almost every weekday in the
enjoyment of the fine library and reading room of that old institution, and in the
congenial society of the gentlemen of culture who gathered there in those days.
He was married by his old preceptor. Rev. Dr. James Abercrombie, June 11, 1823,
to Emilie Obrie, daughter of James S. Duval, at the beautiful country place of the
bride's father, "Pomona Grove," Germantown. Their home in the city was a
large, old-fashioned house. 252 (afterwards 912) Arch street, until 1863, when,
owing to the inroads of business into that locality, they moved to 1819 Spruce
street. A considerable portion of each year was jjassed at "Ro.xborough Cottage."
the charming old family country place on the Wissahickon, which was a scource
of great pleasure and recreation to them, as it had been to those who had gone
before them, and has been since, to those who have come after them. He pre-
served his good health and active habits to a ripe old age, and died at his Spruce
street residence, February ii, 1879.
Issue of Saimtcl and Einilic Obric (Duval) Wagner:
John Wagnkk. h. April 13, 18J4; d. Doc. 22. ig02; 111., April 19, i>56o, Sarah A.
Wood; of whom presently;
Catharine Melinda Wagner, b. July 14, 1826; m.. April 28, 1853, Daniel Rodney
King, son of James and Mary (Rodney) King (b. Jan. 19, 1818, d. Jan. 13,
1880). He was noted for his knowledge and skill in horticulture, as well as for
his enthusiasm and liberality in the encouragement of that interesting science
in and about Phila. He served many years as president of Pennsylvania Horti-
cultural Society, and his glass houses at his beautiful country place, "Denbigh,"
on the hills of the Wissahickon, were among the most famous of their day. He
was also active in church work, both in St. Luke's Church, Germantown, when
his uncle. Rev. John Rodney, was rector, and later in St. Timothy's Church,
Ro.xborough, of which he was a founder. They had issue :
Emily Wagner King, b. July 30, 1854;
Mary Rodney King. b. Feb. 19. 1857; m.. April 15. 1880, Samuel Vaughan
Catherine Duval King, b. April iS, 1861 ; m. Thomas Arthur Meryweather.
who d. March 8, 1897. Issue, one son â€” Thomas Arthur Meryweather, Jr.
James Seraphin Duval Wagner, b., Phila., Sept. 21, 1828; d. Dec. 24, 1867; was
educated at Classical School, conducted by Henry D. Gregory, afterwards presi-
dent of Girard College, and received a thorough business training with the well-
known business firm of S. & W. Welsh, and was, during the greater part of his
business career, engaged in business with his elder brother, John; during the
Civil War, he was actively indentified with the operation.^ of the United States
Tobias Wagner, Jr.. b. March 9, 1831 ; A. Dec. 14, 1834;
Mary Sophia Wagner, b. May 2, 1834; d. Aug. 31. 1897; m., Oct. 2i, 1855, John
Vaughan Merrick, eminent scientist, engineer and philanthropist, son of Samuel
Vaughan Merrick, eminent engineer and manufacturer of machinery, etc., who
was first president of Pennsylvania Railroad. John Vaughan Merrick, b., Phila..
.\\\g. 30, 1828, was graduated from Central High School. 1843; became member
firm of Merrick & Sons, builders of machinery and marine engines, and had
charge of the designing of marine and other machinery used in a number of
Government vessels during Civil War; became head of firm i860, retiring 1870.
in 1862 was appointed member of board of experts of naval machinery, under
U. S. N. Dept., was an organizer of Zoological Society, and chairman of com-