Many historiographers of the present day have acquired the habit of giving prominence to lawyers, doctors, and others whose paths in life he in the learned professions to the exclusion of those who are really the bone and sinew of the country in which they live, namely, those who give employment to, and consequently feed, the masses, and whose efforts in life have tended to build up the towns in which they live and give the proper tone to the community. Of this most worthy and honorable class. Samuel Nagel, of Geneva, Ontario county, New York, is an exceptionally fine example, having worked his way to his present eminent position in his town by his own unaided efforts.
Samuel Nagel, born in Germany, September 15, 1855, was the son of George Nagel, who was also a native of Germany, followed farming all his life and died at the age of eighty-four years, was the possessor of a comfortable fortune, and held in high esteem in the town in which he lived. Samuel Nagel was educated in his native town and at the age of twenty-one years came to this country, thinking it offered better chances for advancement for a young man of energy and ability. Upon his arrival here he located at Seneca Falls, New York, and worked for a time for John Bauer, a mason, having learned that trade before leaving Germany. At the end of a year there was a great falling off in the building industry in this country, and Mr. Nagel accepted a position on a farm, making the engagement from month to month, and remaining for two years. He then rented this farm for a period of five years and was reasonably successful in its cultivation. He next moved to Seneca Falls, where he was employed to run the elevator in the Gleason Knitting Mills, and at the expiration of fourteen months abandoned this work, removed to Geneva and returned to his calling as a mason. He worked for one year steadily without the loss of a single day, and then established himself in business as a contractor, with which line he has since been closely and prosperously identified.
The most important buildings which have been erected in Geneva and the vicinity during the past twenty-four years have been erected under Mr. Nagel’s direction and supervision, and have given eminent satisfaction, not alone by the beauty of their appearance, but by their artistic and excellent workmanship. He has obtained a reputation for doing work of the finest character and work that will hear the closest investigation, every detail having received its proper share of attention. Among the structures he has erected may be mentioned : The Masonic Temple in Geneva; Schneirel building, which is the highest building in Geneva; Dwyer, Hill and Prospect Avenue School buildings, the latter the largest high school building in Geneva; the electric light plant building; a fine block on Main street for himself; and about two hundred other buildings in the town of Geneva. At present he is engaged in erecting the new Tuberculosis Hospital, at Holcomb, Ontario county. In 1904 Mr. Nagel bought a tract of land in Geneva, and he is now (1910) having it laid out in streets, is improving the property in various ways, and is erecting a number of fine residences, making this an exclusive and desirable residential section of the town. His own home, which was erected under his personal supervision, is a model of its kind, containing, as it does, every conceivable improvement of the present day, and it is beautifully and artistically furnished throughout. Politically, Mr. Nagel is a Republican, and he is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
While Mr. Nagel owes his remarkable success in a great measure to his natural ability and to the methods he has acquired by earnest endeavor, he never fails to ascribe a due share of his success in life to the influence and good advice of his wife, who has entered into all his plans with her whole heart and soul.
Mr. Nagel married in America, December, T879, Anna Katie Loudenslacker, born in Germany, 1859. Children: i. Minnie, married Rev. Henry C. Haag, resides in North Dakota. 2. Katherine, married Dr. C. W. Grove, of Geneva. 3. George J., resides in Elmira, New York, and is a bookkeeper for the La France American Fire Engine Company. 4. Louise, lives at home. 5. Edward, seventeen years of age, a student in the high school.