Unusual merit and stability of character must be possessed by the young lad who is thrown upon his own resources at an age when he should be in the school-room, yet who bravely fights the battle for a livelihood in which many of his elders are worsted, and eventually comes off victor over circumstances. This is found to be the case in the history of J. J. Wafer, who for the past five years has been engaged in business in Ottawa.
He is a native of St. Louis, his birth having taken place in that city some thirty-four years ago. His father, John Wafer, now deceased, was a son of the Emerald Isle, but in his young manhood he emigrated to the United States, and taking up his residence in St. Louis there married Miss Elizabeth Early. In 1876 they removed to Denver, Colorado, where they dwelt for years.
J. J. Wafer had but limited educational advantages, as he commenced serving an apprenticeship at the plumbing, gas and steam-fitting business when he was but eleven years of age. He made rapid progress in the craft, and at last was promoted to the position of foreman for the business house of W. W. Judd, of Denver, in whose employ he continued for eight years. He is a practical workman, understanding thoroughly every branch of his line of business, and all contracts awarded him are executed with a promptness and ability which make friends of all of his patrons. Since locating in Ottawa his place of business has been at No. 104 Main street, where may be found a complete stock of plumbers' supplies. He has succeeded in gaining a large and remunerative patronage, and his outlook is most promising.
Fraternally Mr. Wafer is a Knight of the Globe, and a member of the L O. M. A., and politically he is independent. In 1890 Mr. Wafer married Miss Ella Hayne, a daughter of William Hayne. Mrs. Wafer is a native of Ottawa, and is a lady of liberal mental and social attainments. A little son and daughter, Willie and Esther, bless their happy home, where is represented the acme of comfort and culture.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 145-146.