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"Obituary - Joseph "Joe" C. Wagner"

Name: Joseph "Joe" C. Wagner

Married: Dorothy Lucille Gilmore

Death date: May 1972

Death location: Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri

Burial date: Unknown

Burial location: Greenwood Cemetery, Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri

Name of newspaper publication: Herald-Free Press

Newspaper location: Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri

Date published: May 25, 1972

Obituary provided by: Lynda McKinney

"Transcript of the above obituary"

Title: Ex-legislator burns self to death.

Funeral services were held Saturday for a three-time Republican state representative from Polk County who killed himself Thursday morning by pouring gasoline on his clothing and setting himself on fire.

Polk County Coroner Paul Butler said Joseph C. Wagner, of Route 3, was despondent over the sale of his farm the previous weekend. The 82 year old retired farmer was a lifelong resident of his farm home.

Mr. Wagner apparently set himself afire about 8:30 A.M. Earlier that morning, his wife, Ruby, told the Polk County Sheriff's office she and her husband argued and he had beaten her with a hammer. He released her, she said, on the condition that she would come to Bolivar and obtain the necessary papers to commit Mr. Wagner to the state hospital at Nevada.

Mrs. Wagner, bleeding and bruised, came with a friend to Sheriff Roy Bruce's office. Later, when Circuit Judge Charles Barker arrived, they obtained the admittance papers and called the state hospital to inform them that Mr. Wagner would be arriving there the same day.

Just as Deputy Rick Richards was leaving the courthouse to get Mr. Wagner, a neighbor of the Wagner's called to report they had found him, apparently shortly after he had set himself afire in the yard.

A Polk County Ambulance was summoned by the sheriff's office, but Mr. Wagner died enroute to Cox Medical Center in Springfield.

Mr. Wagner was a World War I veteran and a member of the American Legion.

Funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m. in Butler Chapel and military rites were conducted by the American Legion at Greenwood Cemetery where he is buried.

Besides Mr. Wagner's wife, survivors include two brothers, Dick, of Bolivar, and Bill of Higbee; six sisters, Mrs. Elsie Eck, Read Oak, Okla., Mrs. Lilian Atrrera, Denver, Colo., Mrs. Louise Cox, San Diego, Calif., Mrs. Mary Gregovich, Yugoslavia, Mrs. Charmain Caldwell, Route 3, and Mrs. Frances Walkins, Higbee.

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