Bio: Wage, Fernado C. (1841 - ?)




----Source: 1891 History of Clark & Jackson Co., Wis.

Fernado C. Wage, 1841


FERNADO C. WAGE, a well-to-do citizen of Neillsville, now retired after a successful agricultural career in this county, was born in Bradford County, Pa., April 6, 1841. He is a son of John D. Wage by the latter's second wife, whose maiden name was Susanna Fowler. His paternal grandfather was a Hessian soldier, who came to this country in the pay of the British during the Revolutionary War, but who, like many of his countrymen, who came on the same errand, liked this country so well that they settled here when their term of service was over. Some of them, indeed, did not wait that long, but when they got a good opportunity deserted from the British army and took up land here, subsequently becoming good American citizens. Mr. Wage's grandfather, however, was married, returned to Germany for his wife, whom he brought back with him to the United States. They had two children, John D. and one other, but of the latter all trace has been lost. John D. Wage was born Feb. 27, 1781, either during the voyage of his parents to America, or after their arrival and settlement in Massachusetts.


When he grew up he became a shoemaker, which trade he followed first in Massachusetts and later in Pennsylvania, to which state he moved. In 1856, however, he joined the throng of home seekers in the great Northwest. He had previously married in Pennsylvania Abbie, by whom he had eight children: George, Chapel, Henry, John, Caroline, Abigail, Emily and Elsie, and was now united to his second wife, whose maiden name was, as previously mentioned, Susanna Fowler. When he married her, however, she was the widow of Fred Cogswell, by whom she had three children--Fred, Orlando and Bulah. These three children remained behind in Pennsylvania. On starting from Pennsylvania for Wisconsin, Mr. Wage was accompanied only by Levi Marsh. They drove by team to Buffalo, N. Y., from which point they shipped their team to Chicago. They then drove by horse team to Sparta, Wis., where Mr. Wage's family joined him and where they spent the winter. In the spring of 1857 they resumed their journey, coming by ox team to Neillsville. On arriving here John D. Wage secured a preempted farm of 160 acres in Grant Township, which was located two miles away from the nearest neighbor, and he had to cut a road to his farm for his wagon. At that time there were only seven or eight houses in Neillsville; their trading-place was Sparta and the nearest mill was at Weston Rapids. In addition to his ox team, Mr. Wage had two cows and a pig with which to begin farming. For the family residence put up a log building, with a sloping roof covered with boards. Here he and his wife spent the rest of their lives.  He improved his farm and in time, after much hard work, became fairly prosperous. At the time he moved onto his place Grant Township was not organized and he was one of those who effected its organization. He also served as supervisor and was active in school affairs. A man of liberal views in religious matters, he was affiliated with the Universalist Church. His death occurred when he reached the advanced age of 85 years and six months. His wife died at the age of 71.  Both were laid to rest in Grant Cemetery, Grant Township.

Ferdinando C. Wage attended school in Pennsylvania, but had no further opportunity of pursuing his studies. In 1863, at the age of 22 years he entered military service as a member of Company 1, 14th Wisconsin Regiment, enlisting at Neillsville. His regiment was assigned to the 16th Army Corps and took part in the Red River Expedition, during which he had to do a great deal of marching. He took part in the fighting at Ft. Darusha at Mobile, Ala.; and in the last battle of Nashville, and was mustered out at Mobile, Oct. 9, 1865. Returning to Neillsville, he took up logging and farming, his homestead consisting of eighty acres of land in Grant Township, fourteen of which formed a part of the original homestead of his Parents. Clearing the farm, he also erected good buildings on it, residing there until the late seventies, when he moved to a tract of eighty acres in section 35, Pine Valley. There were some small improvements on this and he made others, erecting good buildings, until he had considerably increased the value of the property. Here he carried on agricultural operations until 1901, in which year he sold the farm and retired to Neillsville, where he has since resided. While a resident of Grant Township Mr. Wage served five years as supervisor, which office he also held for many years in Pine Valley Township, serving besides on the school board. In politics he has always been a Republican. As a veteran of the Civil War, he belongs to the Chas. Bacon G. A. R. Post at Neillsville.

Mr. Wage was married, Oct. 3, 1869, to Ruth Payn, who was born in Erie County, New York, Feb. 28, 1852, daughter of Algernon Sidney and Delaney (Coy) Payn. Her father, who was a blacksmith by trade, died when she was 13 months old. There were previously nine children in the family, of whom five were living at the father's death-Mary Ann, William, Selina, Elmira and Ruth. When 5 years old Ruth accompanied her mother to Sparta, Wis., where the latter spent the rest of her days. The Payns and Coys were respectively of Welsh and Irish origin. In September, 1905, Mr. and Mrs. Wage made a trip to the state of Oregon for health and pleasure. They have had no children of their own, but adopted a son, John, who died eleven years ago at the age of 20.



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