William A. Wagoner and Sarah “Sallie” Jones

Story by Fred Gahimer

William A. Waggoner was brought to Rush County, Indiana from Harrison County, Kentucky in 1826 by his parents when he was only two months old. He was reared on his parents’ farm in Rush County and received a fair education in the country schools. He farmed throughout his life, and although he had no capital when he began, he became a prosperous and representative farmer and citizen. He eventually owned 380 acres of prime farmland. In politics he was a staunch Democrat. He served four years as a Orange Township Trustee. For more on William’s early years, see this story.

He and his wife, Sallie (Jones) Waggoner, were buried in the left-center area of the Moscow Cemetery.

In the 1850 census, William A. Waggoner (age 23), a carpenter, was living with his parents, John (46) and Nancy (32) Waggoner in Orange Township with siblings John, Jr.(22), a farmer, Sarah H. (19), Ellen (17), and Aris (14). John Sr., Nancy, and William A. Waggoner were born in Kentucky, and the rest were born in Indiana.

In the 1860 census, William (34) was a farmer in Orange Township with a farm adjacent to his parent’s farm. His household consisted of his wife, Sally (Jones) (31), and children Franklin P. (6), Hardin (4), and Ellenor (2). His wife and children were all born in Indiana. William’s assets were estimated as $6,000 re (real estate) and $700 pp (personal property).

In the 1870 census, William (42), was still farming, and his assets were now about $14,850 re, and $1,028 pp. Sally (37) was still keeping house. The children at home were Franklin (17), Nehemiah (14), Mary E. (12), and William Bracken (7).

In the 1880 census, William (53) was still farming. His household consisted of his wife Sarah (Sally, 47), keeping house, daughter Mary (22), and William’s father, John Waggoner (76). John was listed as born in Kentucky, and his parents as born in Pennsylvania.

The 1900 census listed William (73) as still farming, with only his wife Sallie (67) at home. William’s parents were listed as being born in Kentucky.

The Rushville Weekly Jacksonian Thursday, Sep. 4, 1902

William A. Waggoner, son of John & Nancy Waggoner, was born in Kentucky Aug. 2, 1826. Died Aug. 26, 1902, aged 76 yr and 24 da. He came to Rush County with his parents soon after he was born and spent his entire life here. He was united in marriage with Sallie Jones Mar. 25, 1852. This union was blessed by the following children: Franklin P., N. Hayden, Mary E., and William Bracken, all of whom with his wife survive him.

The deceased was one of the pioneers of Rush County, and grew to be very prosperous in world’s goods. He was known as an honest, sober, sincere, and charitable member of society and was honored and respected by all who knew him. He lived a life filled with kindness and good deeds to his fellowmen, and example for others to follow. The community lost one of its most highly respected and noble citizens; the sorrowing wife, a kind, loving husband; the children and grandchildren an indulgent, self-denying father and grandfather.

His last illness was long and severe, but he bore his sufferings patiently and quietly, putting his faith in Him who sees even the sparrow fall. Everything that medical aid and loving care could do was done, but eventually when reduced to a mere shadow of himself, the silver cord loosened, the kind heart was stilled, and the spirit took its flight to Him who gave it. Gone from his loving children and devoted wife, Whom he cheered and loved through a long useful life; Gone over the river of death, so dark and cold, To the beautiful home in the city of gold.

The Rushville Graphic Friday, Aug. 29, 1902

William A. Waggoner died Tuesday morning at ten o’clock at his home near Gowdy. His death was the result of typhoid fever.

Mr. Waggoner was born in Kentucky in 1826. A few months after his birth, his parents moved to Indiana, where he has lived ever since.

He is one of the respected citizens of the county. He served four years as township trustee and was one of the most highly esteemed men in the township.

Mr. Waggoner leaves four children to morn his loss: Mrs. J. A. Thrall, Frank and Bracken Waggoner of the county, and Hayden Waggoner of Missouri. Funeral services were held at Gowdy Thursday morning at ten o’clock at Ebeneezer Church. Burial at Moscow.

The Daily Republican Tuesday, August 18, 1908


Mrs. Sallie Waggoner died last night at her home west of Gowdy after a lingering illness of paralysis. Mrs. Waggoner was one of the old pioneers of Orange Township, being 75 years old. Most of her life was spent in the neighborhood where she died. Four children survive.

The funeral services will be held Thursday morning at ten o’clock at the Gowdy Methodist Episcopal Church, conducted by Rev. Loren Killison of Blue Ridge. Burial at Moscow.