Waynesburg Families

Many wonderful families contributed to the company’s success over the years. The Dagenhards, the Williams and the Costellos are just a few. Their stories follow:

Joe Dagenhard was the underground mine boss. He was Irish. Joe and his brothers were renowned barroom fighters. Fifty years later, Joe attended a Magnolia/Navarre high school football game and became involved in a fight. Joe had both hands around a man’s throat and was pounding the man’s head on the ground. After several men separated them, Joe was heard to say as he walked away, ‘Don’t ever go to a game in your slippers, you can’t put the boots to them.’

During Prohibition JB, Joe and Jack Williams went to Cleveland to see an Indians game. Preparation for the trip included a visit to Dr. Bunkers in Magnolia, where each man was provided with a bottle to help him enjoy the trip. An exciting play at this game caused all the fans to stand and Joe’s bottle fell and broke. The memory of this massive Irishman standing with tears streaming down his face remained with my father for his lifetime. Joe’s son Ned succeeded him as mine boss after World War II. His other son John will be prominent in the hot top years. Dr. Bunker was the father-in-law of Fred Morrow, who joined Whitacre Greer after World War II.

Jack Williams was a pug mill operator and then plant superintendent during the years of the clay hot top development. His son Bob was shipping foreman in Magnolia and Waynesburg after World War II. Bob’s daughter Cheryl became an officer at the Bank of Magnolia.

Bill Costello was setting gang boss at Magnolia. His son Mike succeeded him at that position. Another son Nick worked at the Magnolia plant office after World War II and became a face brick salesman and sales manager. Nick died tragically of a heart attack in the early 1970s, while officiating a college basketball game. Another brother Vince was middle linebacker for the Cleveland Browns for 10 years. Vince was generous with his time and always gracious to Whitacre Greer employees and customers. Vince said to me one time, ‘When I first came to the Browns, I was fast and strong, but did not know where to go. When I retired, I knew where to go, but couldn’t get there anymore.’ This is instructive in matters other than football.