Charles E. Warner, inventor of the famous "interlock tie," used in the manufacture of the various styles of wire fence made by the Warner Fence Company, of which he is president, is a native of Tazewell county, Illinois, born July 2, 1850. His parents were Emery and Priscilla (Ireland) Warner. His father was born at Rochester, N. Y., a son of Hiram Warner, who also was a native of the State of New York, and he was a cousin of H. H. Warner, the noted discoverer and proprietor of the celebrated "Warner Safe Cure" medicine. Emery Warner came West, in 1840, and purchased a farm in Tazewell county, Illinois. He was engaged in farming when the Civil war came on, when prompted by a spirit of patriotism he tendered his services in the defense of the Union, enlisting in the One Hundred and Eighth Illinois infantry. As drum major of the regiment's band he served until 1863, when he died of fever contracted while his command was stationed at New Orleans, and was there buried in the National Cemetery. On coming to Illinois Emery Warner married Priscilla Ireland. Her mother bore the maiden name of Hannah Lamb and was a relative of General Price, one of the ablest commanders of the Confederate army. Unto Emery and Priscilla Warner were born five sons and one daughter, of whom Charles E. Warner is the eldest. Upon Charles E. largely devolved the task of aiding his widowed mother in supporting and keeping the family together. In 1871 the family removed to Kansas and settled on a farm, in Coffey county, and to agricultural pursuits the sons were reared. However, Charles E. had learned the carpenter's trade, and he and his brothers, both being of an inventive turn of mind, evolved the idea of a hog-proof wire fence, one that would prove satisfactory to the farmer, as up to that time all barbed wires thus far in use would soon come loose. The Warners evolved the idea of a fence with a barbed margin, woven in at the bottom, and Charles E. Warner designed a machine with which to weave the wire, and this machine was first operated in the barn on the Warner farm. That was in 1895, and subsequently better machinery for the manufacture of the wire fence, which proved a gratifying success from the beginning, was largely thought and worked out by Charles E. Warner. Prosperity attended the adventure, the business grew in importance, and the Warner wire fence became one of popularity and increasing demand. The unparalleled success of the business was made possible by Charles E. Warner's invention of machinery for weaving the "interlock tie" into a handsome weave of great strength, without breaking, in the least, the surface of the wire The manufacture of the fence began at Waverly, Kan., but as the business grew it became necessary to locate elsewhere, that more favorable shipping facilities might be had, and places were selected at Ottawa (Kan.) and Pueblo (Col.) and the factories at these places have, for several years, been taxed to their fullest capacity in manufacturing the various styles of wire fences, to supply a constantly increasing demand. Charles E. Warner is president of the Warner Fence Company, Eugene L. Warner is secretary, and William H. Warner is treasurer.
In 1876 Charles E. Warner was united in marriage with Miss Ann J., daughter of Eli Stucker, an old and highly respected citizen of Ottawa, where he now resides, retired from activities as a farmer.
Charles E. Warner and wife have two sons and three daughters: Eugene L. is secretary of the Warner Fence Company; Leonard is manager of the company's Pueblo plant; Grace is the wife of Harvey Overman; Nellie is the wife of L. H. Cook, and Florence resides at home.
Mr. Warner and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are numbered among the most respected families of Ottawa. Mr. Warner has been an active business man. Endowed with a strong physical constitution, splendid health, and untiring energy, he has been able to accomplish much in life. He has never aspired to political honors, yet he has held minor positions of trust in the service of the public. Politically he is a Republican and fraternally a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.Pages 1440-1442 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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