G. Harold Wagner

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G. Harold Wagner
Portrait of G Harold Wagner.jpg
G. Harold Wagner circa 1942
21st Treasurer of Pennsylvania
In office
May 5, 1941 – May 1, 1945
Preceded by F. Clair Ross
Succeeded by Ramsey S. Black
29th Auditor General of Pennsylvania
In office
Preceded by Ted A. Rosenberg
Succeeded by Weldon B. Heyburn
Personal details
Born (1900-07-19)July 19, 1900
Drifton, Pennsylvania
Died April 20, 1960(1960-04-20) (aged 59)
Asheville, North Carolina
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Mining and Mechanical Institute of Freeland

G. Harold Wagner (1900–1960) was a politician in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Originally a Republican while serving in Luzerne County politics, Wagner switched to the Democratic Party in 1934, before entering statewide office. After retirement from public life, he moved to Florida in 1955. Wagner died near his summer residence in North Carolina in 1960.


The text below is a transcript of an obituary published in the April 21, 1960, edition of the Wilkes-Barre Record newspaper. Grammatical and spelling errors are included below exactly as found in the 1960 newspaper article.

"G. Harold Wagner, 60, former Pennsylvania State Treasurer and Auditor General, died yesterday morning in an Asheville, N.C., hospital of a heart attack suffered Tuesday while at his summer home in Black Mountain, N.C.

Mr. Wagner, a former resident of Wilkes-Barre, Bear Creek, Penn Lake and the Back Mountain area, maintained residence at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., since 1955.

Formerly a Republican leader in Luzerne County politics, Mr. Wagner won election to the two state fiscal officers in the 1940s as a Democrat after bolting the GOP to support George H. Earle’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 1934.

Mr. Wagner was born in Drifton, July 19, 1900, son of the late George and Sallie Kitchen Wagner. His paternal grandfather, who came to America at the age of 14, was a member of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry in the Civil War. The grandfather was wounded in action, decorated for bravery under fire and advanced to become a commissioned officer.

Mr. Wagner’s father was elected Clark of Courts of Luzerne County in 1913 and reelected without opposition in 1917. On the death of his father in 1920 Mr. Wagner’s mother was appointed to fill the county vacancy as Clerk of Courts. His mother was a cousin of A. Mitchell Palmer of Stroudsburg, Attorney General of United States in President Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet and who recommended her as Clerk of Courts to succeed her husband. Mrs. Wagner was said to be the first woman to hold public office following ratification of the woman’s suffrage amendment in 1919.

Mr. Wagner attended Wilkes-Barre schools, Mining and Mechanical Institute of Freeland and Wilkes-Barre Business College.

After graduating from business college in 1917 Mr. Wagner became assistant ticket agent for Lehigh Valley Railroad in Wilkes-Barre and secretary to the valuation engineer of Delaware and Hudson railroad.

At outbreak of World War I Mr. Wagner enlisted in United States Navy at Newport, R.I., and was assigned to the U.S. Naval Mine Depot at Yorktown, Va., as a second class seaman. Three months later he was promoted to petty officer and was honora_ly discharged in April, 1919.

After World War I Mr. Wagner engaged in the real estate and insurance business in this area and became associated in the reorganization of the Dallas Post, later becoming editor and business manager of the publication.

Mr. Wagner served one term as treasurer of Dallas Borough and from 1919 to 1928 was deputy Clerk of Courts of Luzerne County. In 1927 he was named chief of the inheritance tax department of Luzerne County and in 1930, while specializing in the appraisal of real estate, was named county property assessor.

In 1931 he was appointed special auditor of county offices by the late Leonard D. Morgan, who was county controller. When the inheritance tax division of the State Auditor General’s office was reorganized Mr. Wagner helped train appraisers for work throughout the state.

On May 5, 1941, when he was a resident of Carey Avenue, city, Mr. Wagner became the first Luzerne County man to become State Treasurer. After four years as State Treasurer Mr. Wagner became State Auditor General on May 1, 1945. When Mr. Wagner was sworn in as Auditor General by former Governor Edward Martin he was accompanied by Governor David L. Lawrence, who at that time was Democratic state chairman.

After retirement from public life Mr. Wagner lived at Penn Lake and Bear Creek and in 1955 he moved to Florida where he became interested in real estate developments in the Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach areas.

Mr. Wagner leaves his wife, the former Dorothy M. Singer of Harrisburg and following children: Mrs. Eugene Cloutier, Charlotte, N.C., Mrs. J.C. Masvero, Shavertown; Kenneth, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Harold Jr. of Detroit. He also leaves following brothers and sisters: Charles W. Wagner, Shavertown; J. Merritt, Kingston, Mrs. G.B. Saunders, Old Greenwich Conn., and Miss Dorothy Wagner of Wilkes-Barre, who was visiting the Wagner family at Black Mountain, N.C., when her brother died. Mr. Wagner also leaves several grandchildren."