Updated: Oct 3, 2021
Louis Wagner spent his life carving stone. There are some beautiful examples of his work in cemeteries all over Montgomery County. His own family lot (#85) at Oak Grove showcases his skill in working with marble, limestone and granite. What makes these stones unique is the raised, rounded lettering on the polished granite stones. Only a few of the wealthiest families in Montgomery County have this type of raised lettering on their family markers.
Louis created this amazing ten foot tall limestone and white marble marker for his wife's mother Elizabeth Bielby who died in 1863. White marble is very soft and due to weathering, doesn't hold up well over time. This marble stone is over 150 years old and is still readable.
According to an article I saw in the Montgomery News Louis also created both of the life sized limestone chairs at Oak Grove. One can be seen in the Wagner family lot and the other chair is nearby at the D. S. Clotfelter family lot.
Aged Marble Cutter Dead
Louis Wagner, who for many years conducted a marble shop in Hillsboro, died at the Litchfield hospital on Thursday morning of this week, at 11:30 o'clock, aged 76 years, 5 months and 21 days.
The deceased was born in Germany August 24th, 1842. When but a boy he and a brother George came to America. He studied marble cutting in this country and located in Hillsboro in 1859.
He served with Company D 126th Illinois Infantry and was discharged July 12, 1865, being mustered out as captain.
He married October 13, 1871 to Miss Eliza Bilby who was a native of Yorkshire, England. She survives him, together with two sons, Leo and Carl and a daughter, Miss Annette Wagner.
The deceased was a member of the G.A.R., the Lutheran Church, the Modern Woodmen and Masonic Lodges. He will be buried at Oak Grove Cemetery but the funeral arrangements have not been announced as we go to press.
The Louis Wagoner family home was located on East Wood Street in Hillsboro. The home faced East Wood and King Street was on the left in the photo. This home is no longer standing. It was torn down and left as a vacant lot for a while. Later Fuller Brothers Construction constructed apartment buildings. Annette Wagoner lived in the home until her death sometime in the 1960's.