Chronology of theFamily Wagner in Heiligenstadt

„ Feuerwehr - Wagner“

After the end of the Turkish siege of Vienna in September 1683, the rebuilding of the devastated villages on the slopes of the Kahlenberg hill began with the edification of a new parish register for Heiligenstadt.

The very second entry records the birth and christening of Sebastian Wagner, son of Georg and Maria Wagner.

In the years 1688 and 1696, Georg Wagner is mentioned as a godfather.

In 1716, Andreas, son of Georg and Maria Wagner, is baptized in Heiligenstadt.

In 1784, Franz, son of Johann and Elisabeth Wagner, is baptized.

On July, 20th in 1789, another son, Johann-Georg is baptized.

Proven by documents, there is an uninterupted lineage of ancestors from 1796 onwards.

On February 23th 1796, Joseph Wagner is born in Währing No. 64. According to the parish register, his parents are Karl Wagner and Maria,  née Schober. They trade fruit for a living.

Barbara Rieder, daughter of Mathias Rieder, vintner, and his wife Anna Maria, née Bichlmayr, is born in the same year.

In 1800, the birth of Joseph Riedl as son of the vintner Franz Riedl and his wife Barbara, née Auer, is documented as well as the birth of Magdalena Zellhofer, daugther of vintner Franz Zellhofer (also named „Zahlhofer“ in some documents) and his wife Elisabeth, née Rafl – both in Heiligenstadt.

In 1802, Franz Xaver Hengl is born in Grinzing as son of vintner Leopold Hengl and his wife Regina, née Pletz. Two Years later, Theresa Sauer is born in Grinzing, too. Her father is Martin Sauer, her mother Josefa, née Riedl.

In 1808, Josef Artmann (who is going to be a vintner, too) is born in Nußdorf to Georg Artmann and Maria (née Hameder).

In 1813, the birth of Katharina, daughter of vintner Josef Muth and his wife Josefa, née Kirlinger, is born in Nußdorf.

In 1818, Joseph Wagner (born in 1796) from Währing and Barbara Rieder (also born in 1796) from Unterdöbling marry each other.

In 1826, Joseph Riedl and Magdalena Zellhofer marry in Heiligenstadt. Six children come out of this marriage.

 

 In 1829, Franz Xaver Hengl and Theresia Sauer were married in Grinzing.

In 1831, Mathias Wagner was born in Oberdöbling as son of Joseph and Barbara (née Rieder). He became a vintner and married in 1863.

In 1832, a daughter was born in Heligenstadt to the couple Joseph and Magdalena Riedl, named after her mother. For the first time, the house Heiligenstadt No. 31 (the address turned into Hohe Warte No. 45) is mentioned in the parish register.

In 1837, Leopold Hengl, son of Franz Xaver and Theresia (née Sauer) Hengl, was born in Grinzing.

In 1838, the vintner Josef Artmann and Katharina Muth (a vinter's daughter wera married in Nußdorf. Their daughter Katharina was born three years later.

In 1846 the vintner Joseph Riedl died  in Heiligenstadt No. 31, aged only 46. He left his wife and six under-aged children behind. The transcript of the legacy is the oldest document in the Wagner family’s posession. Besides the house Heiligenstadt 31, it lists various vineyards in the following areas: „Hungerberg-Wintherleithen“, „obere Sandeln“, „Halterau“ (nowadays the location of Q 19 shopping mall), „Mooslacken“, „Nußberg – obere Schoß“, „Nußberg, mittlere Schoß“, „Schreiber“, „Purgstall“ „Langteufel“ and „untere Sandeln“ (nowadays adjacent to „Sandgasse“). Also included were tenure by lease, meadows and clover fields.

In 1863, the vintner’s daughter Magdalena Riedl (born 1832) from Heiligenstadt was married to Mathias Wagner (born 1831) from Oberdöbling. The newly-weds moved into Magdalena’s childhood house, Heiligenstadt No. 31. 

In the same year, Leopold Hengl from Grinzing and Katharina Artmann from Nußdorf were married in Nußdorf and lived thereafter in Grinzing, Cobenzlgasse 29.

These two couples will later on become the parents of Josef Wagner (the later „Feuerwehr Wagner“) and his futore bride, Maria Hengl.

In 1870, Josef Wagner was born to Mathias and Magdalena Wagner as the second of their two sons His brother Franz (born 1868) will marry Karoline N., but remain childless.

 

A.D. 1872 The volunteer fire brigade of Heiligenstadt is founded.

A.D. 1873 Maria Hengl is born in Grinzing to Leopold and Katharina Hengl. She has several siblings.

A. D. 1874 The cog railway, running from Nußdorf up to Kahlenberg, starts operating, the stream control of the Danube is completed, the  cemetary of Heiligenstadt is laid out and the land registry is changed into its present form.

A.D. 1876 First time infestation of the families’ vineyards with  phylloxera.

A.D. 1980 The wine-growing business of the house Hohe Warte No 45 (formerly Heiligenstadt No. 31) is jointly managed by both families (Wagner and Riedl). Phylloxera destroys many vineyards. In order to compensate, fruit and vegetables are grown and sold. Josef Wagner starts testing various experiments and trials to overcome that plague.

A.D. 1892 Heiligenstadt is, like many other outskirts, incorporated into the city of Vienna and is part of the new 19th district named Döbling.

A.D. 1894 The „First Vienna Football Club“ (nowadays shortly called “Vienna”) is founded in the tavern „Zur schönen Aussicht“on Döblinger Pfarrplatz. Their first match is played on Kuglerwiese.

A.D. 1898 On November 17th, Josef Wagner (born 1870) from Heiligenstadt is married to  the daughter of Grinzing’s vintner Hengl, Maria (born 1873) in Grinzing. As a dowry, she gets vineyards on the Mitterberg. The young couple live in the house Hohe Warte 45. The first five of eight children are born there. As the living conditions get strained,  Josef Wagner decides in the year

A.D. 1906 to build a new two- storeyed residental and estate building in the area of the „Riede Langenthal“  along Grinzinger Straße. He engages the Döbling architect and builder Adolf Micheroli for an amount of 47,000 Austrian crowns, financed by a mortgage load from the „Wiener-Communal-Sparkasse“.
As it happens, the architect is also the chief of the volunteer fire brigade of Döbling.

 

A.D. 1907 The volunteer fire brigade of Heiligenstadt celebrated their 25th anniversary. Their 37 yaers old chairman is Josef Wagner. From then on, and also due to his own house, he is called and locally known as „Feuerwehr Wagner“ (meaning „Fire Brigade Wagner“).
His brother Franz operates the vineyards from the house Hohe Warte 45 quite by himself and is called „Kirchen Wagner“ to distinguish his from his brother Josef's business. The house – it was demolished 1971- was located opposite the church.

With great diligence, he expands his wine-growing business as well as his tavern. He also rents out three apartments (noted as renters are Hahn, Kaufmann and Markuzy). Three more children were born to the couple in the new house.

In correct order of their birth, those eight children were: Maria (1899), Leopoldine (1901), Josefine (1902), Theresa (1904),  Franz (1906), Karl (1908), Karoline (1911) and Auguste (1917).

A.D. 1914 The years of World War I brought many hardships to the big family, yet Josef Wagner did not have to join the military. To improve their situation they purchased a cow, a goat and a pig.

A.D. 1919 Maria, the eldest daughter, was married while Auguste, the youngest, just turned two.

A.D. 1924 The elder of the two sons, Franz, assumes the work in the vineyards, while their father conducts  the work in the wine cellar. 

The Heurigen is very popular, shown by the „Josef Wagner Marsch“ - a march composed by the musician L. Kruschnik and dedicated to the upper.

A.D. 1925 The volunteer fire brigade is dissolved by decree of the city’s magistrate, the complete gear goes to the city’s professional fire brigade. Josef Wagner, who was their dedicated chief for more than 20 years, is concerned and disappointed to the core.

 

A.D. 1927 The family’s winery became one of the most advanced  those years. Josef Wagner worked  with the later principal of the viticulture professional school, Professor Fritz Zweigelt (✼1888, ✝1964) to develop new grape varieties, one of them later became the famous „Zweigelt“. Another expert was the viticulture surveyor Hofrat Franz Kober („Hofrat was the highest rank of the civil administration in the Austrian-Hungarian empire, meaning „court counsellor“). Together, they developed a new vine rootstock out of American vines which ultimately recieved the name „Kober 5 BB“ and still means the most used one in Europe today. Wagner and Kober developed a close friendship. Kober founded  the company „Kober & Kohlfürst Reben“ in Wiener Neustadt in 1926, which has since been engaged in wine production. The „Franz Kober Weg“ in Klosterneuburg is dedicated to his memory.

A.D. 1929 By mediation of Fritz Zweigelt, Franz Wagner was accepted as an intern by the „Staatsdomäne Eltville“ (Rheingau, Hessen) and worked there from October 1929 to March 1930. The viticultural expert knowledge he gained there was highly useful for the viticulture around Vienna (training wine on wires, height culture training, Cordon cut, etc.)

A.D. 1931 Josef Wagner passed away on June 6th after a short illness.
For the funeral ceremony at the cemetery of Heiligenstadt, his former comrades on the fire brigade and a brass band marched out.
The winery business was now conducted by his widow and their eldest son, Franz.

A few months later, the elder brother Franz Wagner (the „Kirchen Wagner“ - his widow died in 1938) died. Since his marriage had remained childless, he handed his estate on the Langacker down to those seven nieces and nephews who were not involved in the late Josef Wagner's business. For various reasons this plot of land was not  divided until 1972.


A.D. 1933 Maria Wagner, the mother of the eight children, dies in autumn. Now the whole management burden is resting on Franz. Some siblings have already married, and by 1938 all siblings except Franz have left their parents’ home:

Maria is married in 1919 to Franz Mayer („Pfarrplatz Mayer“),
Leopoldine is married in 1927 to Franz Bonitz, they live in Grinzing.
Josefine is married in 1934 to Erich Schübel-Auer from Nußdorf,
Theresia is married in 1928 to Josef Mandahus, barrel-maker on Pfarrplatz,
Franz marries in 1936 Antonia Barak and continues the familiy business,
Karl marries in 1933 Adele Muth from Nußdorf (also a vintner),
Karoline marries in 1936 Ing. Stefan Möser (an Engineer) and moves to Gersthof,
Auguste marries in 1938 Ferdinand Kastner, the owner of a taxi business.

Through acquisitions and leases,  the overall size of the family’s vineyards has grown to 40 hectare. Quoting Franz Wagner: „My debts equalled the total income of a postman in 35 years of service“.

A.D. 1936 The marriage of Franz and Antonia (whom he knew from the gymnastics club and whose father worked in the brewery in Nußdorf) brought them three children, born in rapid succession:
Franz (1937), Elizabeth (1938) and Erich (1939).
The acquaintance with Lenz Moser was intensified, and  together they tested new methods of viticulture .

A.D. 1938 Even before the second world war, Franz Wagner was officially suggested to collaborate with the Chamber of Agriculture. However, this activity was ceased after several disagreements.

A.D. 1941 The Heurigen operation could be continued until June. Mrs. Wagner and her three children moved onto a farm in Mittersill. Her husband stood his ground at home and sold the vine to retail shops.
Later on he told many stories about those years of war in his memoirs.

 

A.D. 1947 A cellar is built beyond the frontal part of the yard. The Heurige becomes increasingly popular with the guests. The buffet  in particular – with its own license since 1953 – is widely praised. The positive business performance of those years was the basis that in

1955 the family was able to purchase some plots and a house in Klosterneuburg/ Weidling for life-annuity. This property would become the younger son Erich’s and his family’s residence.

A.D. 1958 The Chamber of Agriculture attempts gaining the collaboration of Franz Wagner for the second time, but the project fails again. A long lasting foot ailment becomes pressing, and various spa stays are consumed by Franz in the following years.

A.D. 1963 the house undergoes major alterations (arcades, court , cellar), following the drafts of architect Steineder.
Franz Wagner falls off a barrel and suffers a serious spinal injury.

A.D. 1971 the old house of the „Kirchen Wagner“ at Hohe Warte 45 is finally removed and  some terraced houses are built on the plot.

A.D. 1972  A limited liability corporation) is founded in order to put the ownership of the wine-growing operation on a legally and economically founded base. Each family member becomes an associate. The parents Franz and Antonia Wagner become chief executives for one year.

From 1973 onwards, the three siblings run the business. Further construction works are performed.

A.D. 1977 Antonia Wagner dies. Her daughter Elizabeth takes responsibility for the buffet and the accounting.

A.D. 1986 Franz, the elder son, dies - not even 50 years old. He leaves three children (Franz 1964, Andreas 1965, Michaela 1967) and his wife Gertrude behind.

A.D. 1988 Franz Wagner sen., son of the founder of the Heurigen „Feuerwehr Wagner“, dies.
Now the overall responsibility for the operation shifts completely to the next generation: to Franz' widow Gertrude, her children Franz, Andreas and Michaela), Erich and his wife Christa, and Elisabeth.
As far as it is possible, even the children help with the family business.

 

A.D. 1994 Andreas withdraws from the family business and starts a self-employed career. His brother Franz becomes chief executive the following year.

A.D. 1998 Elisabeth exits the firm due to retirement. The following year, Erich retires, too and leaves the family business.  Michaela Asen-Wagner becomes chief executive. 

A.D. 2007 100 years after the opening of the Heurigen „Feuerwehr Wagner“, a walkway in the immediate vicinity is named after Josef Wagner.

A.D. 2008 Gertrude Wagner, mother of Franz, Andreas and Michaela, dies aged 66 after a long illness.

A.D. 2010 Elisabeth transfers her shares to her nephew Franz and her niece Andrea Hallama, which now joins in as the youngest employee.

A.D. 2011 Franz Wagner manages the wine-growing operation, and his sister Michaela and his cousin Andrea run the Heurigen. All associates are still family members exclusively.

The overall size of the wineyards is about 12.7 ha.

White breeds Grüner veltliner, Rheinriesling, Sauvignon blanc, Welschriesling, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer are grown. Red breeds are Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, Cabernet franc, Cabernet sauvignon, St. Laurent and Blauburgunder. There are mixed sets (field blends typical for Vienna), too.
Numerous awards attest the constantly high quality of the  home-grown wines.

Authored 2011 on the base of documents, photographs, memorabilia, discussions with family members and own research by Ing. Dr. Gottfried Moser, one of the grand children of the Feuerwehr Wagner.
Devoted to my grandfather to his 80th anniversary of death and to my mother Karoline (1911, 2006) to her 100th birthday.
Translated by Mag. Gabriele Wittmann in March 2014