WHO WAS CHARLES WAGNER
AND WHY DOES OUR SCHOOL
SHARE HIS NAME?

Charles Wagner was a German immigrant who came to California to seek gold. After he and his brothers experienced success mining gold, Wagner and a friend went to Montana and herded sheep back to California. It was in 1871 that he purchased the 100 acres of land that included this land for $1.50 an acre, with the intent to graze sheep and start a vineyard.
 
Wagner said he was attracted to his land because it had the tallest mustard plants for miles around. He grazed sheep on the property for years, but was unsuccessful with the vineyard. Sometime around the end of the 1870’s he set aside 22 acres of the property to plant seedlings for an orange grove. The school is built on part of the acreage.
 
Charles Wagner was accidentally killed while hauling a load of bricks in June of 1880. His widow, Josephine, married his brother, John Wagner, who took over care of the estate. The family continued to manage prosperous orange groves will into this century.
 
Charles Wagner Elementary School was dedicated in December 1963 to honor one of Placentia’s early settlers.  Many of our parents at Wagner are former students. We are proud of our school and its history and traditions!

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