Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

FRANK WYGAL. In most cases when a young man or a young woman starts out in life, they are at a loss to know what to undertake, and the consideration of what they are best intended for by nature is the last thing which they consider. They are apt to be guided by circumstances, choosing the undertaking or enterprise that offers itself most conveniently, or are governed by considerations of gentility, selecting something that is genteel, or so considered, or taking up enterprises or professions that seem to offer the greatest reward for the least effort, or that give the most promise of social position. Frank Wygal, foreman blacksmith at the Springfield Wagon Works, selected a trade for which he was well qualified by nature, one that he liked, and, not being afraid of hard work, he has made a success at it.

Mr. Wygal was born on March 17, 1854, at Newcastle, Pennsylvania. He is a son of Daniel Wygal, who was born in western Pennsylvania, where he grew up, attended school, and learned the wagonmaker's trade, and finally went into business for himself at Newcastle, then came west, and continued his business in Eldora, Iowa, later moved to Cass, Missouri, then to Paola Kansas, being in business for himself all the while, and under the firm name of Wygal & Sons he operated a large concern at Paola, his sons, Frank and Sylvester, being associated with him. His death occurred in Kansas at the age of seventy-six years, having remained active in business to the end. He was active in Republican politics, and he was a member of the Presbyterian church. His wife, who was known in her maidenhood as Mary Cubberson, died at the age of seventy-four years. To these parents ten children were born.

Frank Wygal received a common school education. He spent his early boyhood in Pennsylvania, being eleven years of age, when, in 1865, about the close of the Civil war, his parents took him to Iowa. He went to work when eighteen years of age with B. Miller, manufacturer of wagons and buggies, with whom he remained three years, learning the trade, at which he became an expert in due time. He was then for a period of eight years associated with his brother and J. W. Miller in the same line of endeavor. He came to Springfield in 1884 and on August 1st of that year began working for the Springfield Wagon Works, as foreman of the blacksmith department, which position he has held continuously to the present time, a period of over thirty years, which fact is certainly a criterion of his fidelity, ability and good habits. He mastered all phases of the work in his department before coming here, and he has been quick to adopt new methods from time to time, thus keeping fully up-to-date, and he has done much to establish the sound reputation of this firm over the southwest. At present he has thirty hands under his direction. He resides in his own cozy home on Poplar street, which was built according to his own plans.

Mr. Wygal was married in 1882 to Katie A Bigelow, a daughter of Seth G. Bigelow and wife, and to this union two children have been born--Winnifred C., who is secretary of the Young Women's Christian Association at Reno, Nevada. She has been highly educated, having attended the Springfield high school, Drury College and the Normal, also the University of Nevada and took a postgraduate course at Columbia University, in New York. Olive, the youngest daughter who was educated in the common and high schools of Springfield, is the wife of R. M. Humble, a farmer of Stone county, Missouri.


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