JOSEPH WAGNER was appointed to the Camden Fire Department as an extra man with Engine Company 1 on July 8, 1878, taking the place of Benjamin Cavanaugh who had been promoted to Stoker. He was removed from his position on September 8, 1878, and was replaced by Joseph Cavanaugh. 

Joseph Wagner was born in Camden, New Jersey in August of 1857 to Joseph Wagner and his wife, the former Hannah Pridenhulst. His father's occupation was given as "produce dealer" in 1860 and "huckster" in 1870. The elder Wagner had also been a volunteer fireman in the days before the paid department was put into service. The Wagner family, which included siblings Margaret, James, Hannah, and Priscilla was living in Camden's South Ward when the Census was taken in 1850, and they. Sadly, Joseph Wagner's mother passed away prior to the 1870 Census. His father remarried, and it appears that Joseph Wagner lived with his stepmother Mary in his later years. 

The 1879-1880 City Directory shows Joseph W. Wagner and Joseph Wagner Jr., both working as poultry dealers, and both living at 208 Walnut Street. Joseph Wagner appears in the 1880 Census, living with his wife Josephine and a son, Frank Wagner, then 3 months old. His occupation is listed as "poultry dealer". The Wagners were then living at 232 Mount Vernon Street. The 1881-1882 Directory gives an address of 331 Sycamore Street and an occupation of sugar refiner. The 1883-1884 City Directory lists him at 255 Chestnut Street, working as a laborer. 

Politics in Camden in those times was a full-contact sport. In 1884 Joseph Wagner played a small role, which landed him in jail on a charge of perjury regarding an altercation he had with Deputy County Clerk Eli B. Morgan. He was charged, arrested, and given bail in November of 1884. As of this writing, it is not known as to how this saga played out. 

The 1884-1885 edition shows him living at 210 Walnut Street, and the 1885 Directory has him residing at 208 Walnut Street. Joseph Wagner does not appear in a number of the City Directories after the 1885-1885 edition, however, his brother James and stepmother Mary appear to have been in residence here all through the 1880s and 1890s. There is a listing for Joseph Wagner in the 1887-1888 and 1890-1891 Directories at 443 Liberty Street. Interestingly enough, a Josephine Wagner is also listed, at 1071 South 2nd Street, as a widow. As it is known that Joseph Wagner lived beyond this time, this may be more indicative of marital strife than death.

Joseph Wagner reappears in Camden City directories in 1897. He was then living with his stepmother at 210 Walnut Street, and selling produce across the river in Philadelphia. His brother James and James' wife Jane also resided at that address. In July of 1897 Joseph Wagner was in the right place at the right time when he helped extinguish a fire at Stephen Taylor's grocery store at 242 Mount Vernon Street.

The 1900 Census shows Joseph Wagner living with his stepmother at 210 Walnut Street. He was then working as a day laborer. James and Jane Wagner were also still living at that address. Joseph Wagner is listed as being single.

Joseph Wagner does not appear in the 1906 Camden City Directory or the 1910 Census, and may well have passed away. His brother James Wagner was still living at the Walnut Street address as late as 1910.

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 17, 1884

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 18, 1884

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 21, 1884

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 22, 1884

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 25, 1897