Alfred Abraham Wagner: Jewish Merchant of Billings, Montana

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Alfred Abraham Wagner

Values Codes, I – E – L 

Alfred Wagner was born in Bielitz, Austria, in 1886.

In 1901, at the age of 15, he ran away from home because of a strict father, and came to the United States to stay with his uncle.

Along the way . . . .

A few years later Alfred Wagner moved to Chicago and then to Denver, Colorado where he met and married American-born, Jeanette.

Alfred Wagner worked in a  clothing store in Miles City, Montana.

Alfred and Jeanette Wagner with their 4 children.

Alfred and Jeanette Wagner with their 4 children.

As his family grew, he moved to Broadview, Montana, where he opened his own store.

Billings, Montana

After World War I, Alfred Wagner moved to Billings, where he opened a new clothing store – Wagner’s Men’s Wear – on the corner of Montana and North 27th Streets.

His son, Jerome, (Jerry), worked with him until he opened his own store in Billings, Jerry’s Wagner’s Men’s Wear. on Montana Avenue.

Community

Alfred Wagner was an active member of Temple Beth Aaron, being one of the first donors to build a synagogue in Billings.

He was an active member of B’nai B’rith Lodge #815 of Billings – considered one of the men that kept the Lodge together.

Fraternal

Alfred Wagner was a member of Billings Mason Lodge #113, A.F. & A.M.

Family

Alfred Wagner married Jeanette Posner, in 1911.

Jeanette Wagner of Montana

Jeanette Wagner of Montana

They had 4 children: Bernice, Phyllis, Jacob Jerome, and Marian.

In 1939, Alfred and Jeanette Posner traveled to Austria in 1939 to attempt to get other family members out, but succeeded with only child, Herta Miller, who married and became Herta Shapiro.

Jacob Jerome Wagner's Birth Certificate

Jacob Jerome Wagner’s Birth Certificate

The rest of their extended family was lost in the Holocaust.

 

 

Alfred Wagner died in 1948, and is buried at the Beth Aaron Cemetery in Billings, along with Jeanette and most members of the family that have passed since..

Jeanette Wagner died in 1959.

 

Sources

 

Samantha Silver is our Curator for this Alfred Wagner Exhibit

 

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