Merced Express [Merced, CA.]
Jan. 4, 1940

Last Rites Held Wednesday For Ex-Mayor

L. J. C.  Wegner, Veteran Councilman, Dies Monday Night.

Merced residents Wednesday paid tribute to veteran City Councilman Louis J. C.  Wegner, who died at the Mercy hospital Monday after an illness of several weeks.

Funeral services were conducted Wednesday in the Ivers & Alcorn Mission chapel with the Rev. W. A. Cash officiating. Fellow councilman and many, many friends and followers of the pioneer city official gathered for the final rites.

Born in Preetz, Keil, Germany, 80 years ago, Louis Wegner came to the United States in 1883 and settled in Merced during that same year. He immediately started in his trade as a building contractor and from the first was an ardent civic worker.

He was first elected to the council in 1902 and had served almost continuously since that time. In 1936 he achieved a life long ambition of becoming mayor and served in that capacity until 1938. He was a member of the board at the time of his death.

Throughout his long service to the city his particular hobby was the improvement of streets, sidewalks and sewerage facilities. He saw the early board sidewalks and dirt streets changed to cement sidewalks and paved thoroughfares throughout Merced. He was largely responsible for the laying of the city's present sewer system.

As a councilman his policies were clear cut. Once he took a stand on a project, he remained firm in his belief. Always progressive and looking towards the advancement of the city. Wegner played an important part in many Merced improvements

Perhaps the most convincing of his faith in the city was his constant attendance at council meetings. He never missed a meeting while he was on the board except when he was ill.

Not only was Wegner a faithful civic worker, but he was a hardworking member of several fraternal organizations. He was a pioneer member and leader of the Odd Fellows lodge, played a prominent part in the Elks and was a member of the Druids.

It was his frequent boast that he was consistently a Democrat in his politics and for many years he was a member of the Democratic Central committee here.

The city council Tuesday night paid tribute to his service in a special resolution.
It read:
"WHEREAS, God, in His wisdom, has taken from our midst L. J. C. Wegner, and honored member of this council: and
"WHEREAS, during his almost 30 years of service to the City of Merced he ever gave unstintingly of his time, energy and experience for the betterment and upbuilding of our city: and
"WHEREAS, many of our public improvements were in no small degree attributable to his vision and untiring work as a member of this council,
"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that by these resolutions we express our grief and sorrow at the loss to the City of Merced of a valuable member of this council and to the community of an active and public-spirited citizen;
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these resolutions be spread up on the family of our deceased friend and co-member as an expression of our deep sympathy.

Wegner leaves his widow, Mrs. Hedwig Wegner; two sisters, Mrs. Minna W. Juhl, Long Beach, and Mrs. Charlotte Schmidt, of Germany; six nephews, William Wegner, Merced, John Wegner, Yosemite, Jack Juhl and Herbert Juhl, Log Beach, Edward Juhl, Taft, Ronald Kaehler, Burlingame; and a niece, Mrs. Georgia McCay, Long Beach.

Pallbearers at the funeral Wednesday were Fred Zunker, William Pace, Joseph Cardoza, Senator Peter P. Myhand, George Bloss and Charles Ehlers.

He was buried in the Odd Fellows cemetery.

Transcribed by: Alma Stone