Minnie Wagner Anderson (1860-1945)


Minnie Wagner was born in Ogle County, IL, in 1860. According to family lore, her earliest memory was of her father returning home from the Civil War. She spent much of her adolescence in Chicago and attended the University of Chicago and the Women’s College of Northwestern University, class of 1883. 

After a year in France she returned to marry Samuel Wells Anderson, son of Mons Anderson, a well-to-do merchant in La Crosse. Her stepmother’s family was also from La Crosse, so she was familiar with this area. 

Minnie Wagner Anderson and her husband spent their entire married life in La Crosse and raised a family of five daughters and one son. Their youngest daughter received her medical degree in 1920 and was one of the first women aviators in the United States.

After her husband’s death, Wagner Anderson left La Crosse to live with a daughter in Boulder, CO. She died there in 1945 and was buried in La Crosse with her husband.

Location: 410 Cass Street

1885: The home of her father-in-law Mons Anderson

2019: Le Chateau

Location: 208 Fifteenth Street South

1891: Home of Samuel and Minnie Anderson

2019: Private Residence

Wedding dress 1885 -1940

Worn by Minnie Wagner (Mrs. Samuel Wells Anderson) in 1885; subsequently worn by her daughter Mary Wagner Anderson (Mrs. Samuel Arthur King) in 1914 and her granddaughter, Norta Joan King (Mrs. John William Park) in 1940.

Materials: silk brocade, pearl buttons

From the collection of the La Crosse County Historical Society