Paul L. Wagner (R29) Schuylkill County (1945-1964)
Paul L. Wagner, born Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, September 19, 1897; son of Samuel P. Wagner and Emma Elizabeth (Fox) Wagner; graduated, Tamaqua High School, 1915; graduated, Alexander Hamilton Institute; district sales manager, Bastian Brothers, Rochester, New York, Jostens Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota; city editor, Tamaqua Courier; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1939-1940; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1943-1944; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1945-1964; president, First National Bank of Tamaqua; Director Emeritus, Miner’s National Bank; married, Marguerite Orr; sons, Reverend S. Bruce, Durbin L., Paul Ott; ten grandchildren; died, September 10, 1991, Coaldale, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania; interment: Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Class ring salesman, Bastian Brothers, New York, Jostens, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retired from politics, president, bank director emeritus, First National Bank, Tamaqua. Responsible for negotiating a merger with the Miners National Bank of Pottsville, predecessor, Santander Bank. sports reporter, Evening Courier, Tamaqua.
Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:
Member, elder, first Presbyterian Church, Tamaqua, Superintendent, Sunday school, 25 years; teacher, Sunday school classes.
Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1939-1940; appointed, Committee to Investigate Manner of Conducting Civil Service Examinations, 1939-1940; unsuccessful campaign, reelection, House, 1940; Speaker’s appointee, Committee to Investigate Unemployment Compensation Civil Service, 1941-1942.
Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1943-1944; not a candidate for reelection, 1944.
Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 29th district, Schuylkill County, 1945-1964; appointed, Commission to Study School System, 1945-1946; appointed, Joint Legislative Sub-Committee on Municipal Authorities, 1945-1946; appointed, Joint Legislative Committee on Retirement Systems and Laws, 1947-1948; appointed, Joint Legislative Committee on Education, 1947-1948; appointed, Joint Legislative Committee on Post-High School Education, 1947-1948; appointed, Joint Legislative Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Child Welfare, 1947-1948; appointed, Post-High School Commission, 1947-1948; appointed, Joint State Government Commission, 1949-1956; appointed, Advisory Council on Library Development, 1961-1964; appointed, chair, first ever chair, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), 1963-1964; committee assignments, Education, (Chairman), Appropriations, Banking, Insurance, Law and Order, Military Affairs and Aeronautics, Mines and Mineral Industries, Public Health and Welfare, State Government.
His father died days after his initial election to the Pennsylvania State Senate.
First, Chairman, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, 1963–1964, helped to consolidate the commonwealth's school districts.
Wagner did not retire in 1964. Wagner had run for re-election on November 4, 1964, against Albert I. Nagle. The returns of the votes from the polls indicated that Nagle led by less than 600 votes. Attention then focused on 2,800 absentee ballots. When the Board of Elections met to count these, both candidates immediately entered challenges to a substantial number of the ballots before the envelopes containing those ballots were opened. After a hearing the Board filed its decision overruling the challenges in some instances and sustaining them in others. Both candidates then appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County questioning the legality of the Board's decision. Subsequently, the court ruled to sustain the decision of the Board in part and reversing it in part. Wagner then filed an appeal. By the time the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided to affirm, the next election cycle had taken place, November 1966, neither Wagner nor Nagle were able to claim the seat. Pennsylvania Senate Seat vacant, 1965-1966.
Last member, Tamaqua High School Class, 1915; guest speaker, Tamaqua High School 100th commencement exercise, 1990.
Pa. House of Representatives Biography:
The Pennsylvania Manual (1963-1964). Stine, C. (Editor). Crouse, J. (Editor). (Volume 96). The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 89 and 95. Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 87.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), September 12, 1991, Thursday, page 66.
Westlaw, Pennsylvania Reporter, Absentee Ballots Case, 423 Pa. 504 (1966)