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Garons & Fetzers, Wagners & Shanns in NY and NJ

Updated March 18, 2003

Karen Wojtowicz Wagner

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GARON: Richard (Riccardo)Garon was born in Italy in 1873, the son of Jacimo Garon and Maria Giacone. Richard married Theresa (Tessie) Barbieri in B'klyn in 1897. By the 1920's The Garon's lived on third avenue near 108th street in East Harlem. Richard's oldest son,George, owned an auto shop in Inwood, NYC called Garons Coach Repairs and worked there with his youngest brother, Henry, in the 1930's. The site has a huge arch which was once part of the Seaman-Drake estate. By 1930, while George lived down the block from the auto shop, his dad and brothers had moved to Macombs Road in the Bronx.

FETZER: Phillip Albanus Fetzer was born in Germany in 1864, the son of Gottfried Fetzer and Katharina Pitz. Phillip started out in NYC as a baker living in Greenpoint, B'klyn with his first wife, Anna Just. Sometime before 1910 Anna died and Phillip along with his children Albert, Emma and Louisa had moved to 8th Ave. in NYC. Living with them was Greta Nussbaum, Phillip's neice. By 1920, 56 year old Phillip had a brand new bride of 30, Anna Scheuermann. By now he owned his own business called P.A.Fetzers which was run by his son, and had a new daughter named Elizabeth. Apparently the Fetzer's all moved to Scarsdale between 1925 and 1930, possibly to be near Phillip's brother Frank J. who was into real estate. Elizabeth grew up to marry Henry Garon.

(There is a rumor that the guy who invented chocolate ex-lax came to Phillip with the idea first. Phillip thought that it was just a silly idea, no one would ever go for it. The Ex-Lax guy went somewhere else and, well,you know the rest.)

WAGNER: Charles Wagner was born in NY in 1877. He married Elenore Duffy, fresh from Ireland, and the two moved to Brooklyn where in 1909 they bought the brownstone at 298 1/2 Marion Street. Charles was a plumber and he and Elenore had 2 kids - Chas Duffy and Violet Annie. Chas became a plumber and Violet was a public school teacher.

SHANN: Josephus Shann was born in NJ in 1819. His son Josephus Jr. moved back and forth between Brooklyn and NJ. He married Emma Alice Hunter and had several children. Herbert, the oldest, moved to Michigan. Arthur married Maryann Farrell, daughter of MaryJane Phelan and William Farrell. Their daughter Katherine married Chas Duffy Wagner. Josephus Shann Sr. was involved in NJ politics, he owned the Rahway Republican, was postmaster for a time and worked at the NJ customs house. His wife, Anne Caroline Crowell was the daughter of Stewart Crowell and Letty Thornall. These families have been in the USA since before the American Revolution and are cousins to the FitzRandolphs, Thornalls, Marshs, and other well known families from the colonial era.

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