[p. 619] who has had a varied career in the business world, is at the present time engaged in agricultural pursuits in Little Beaver Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, where he owns a valuable tract of fifty-six acres. He was born at Enon Valley, November 11, 1873, is a son of James C. and Cynthia (Murbarger) Rager, and a grandson of James Rager, who, with his wife, located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, at an early date, having moved from Westmoreland County.
James C. Rager, father of Charles Lester, was born in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, and when one year old moved to New Brighton and was there reared to manhood. At the early age of twelve years he began the battle of earning a livelihood, his connection with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company beginning at that time and continuing down to the present. He moved to Enon Valley in 1872, and has since run on the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago branch of that road, at the present time running a wrecking train. He was united in marriage with Cynthia Murbarger, and ten children were born to them, namely: George W., an engineer on the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad; Charles Lester; Margaret, wife of L. H. Caskey; Leonore, wife of E. E. Green; Susan; Wynn; Jean, wife of Thomas L. Lynch; J. Verner; Walter; and Gayle.
Charles L. Rager spent his boyhood days in Enon Valley, attended the public schools there and at New Brighton, and the Piersoll Academy at West Bridgewater. At the age of thirteen years he struck out for himself being employed at setting up machinery by the Plano Machine Company, for a couple of years. He then learned the trade of a boilermaker in the shops of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Allegheny, continuing there for five years. He then entered the railroad mail service, in the employ of the Government, and during the three years he served as such, worked in every State south of the Ohio River, except three. He next was employed three years as assistant postmaster of the village of Enon Valley, which he relinquished at the time he moved to his present farm. This farm was settled by the Sproatts as early as 1789, being the first settled in this part of the county, and the log house originally built on the place stood until the summer of 1904, when it was torn down. The west branch of the Little Beaver passes through the place, giving an excellent water supply for stock, and it is otherwise well improved. He has followed general farming and has been very successful in this as in other business employments.
October 15, 1902, Mr. Rager was married to Miss Charity L. Martin, a daughter of A. L. Martin, deputy secretary of Agriculture and director of Institutes for the State of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Rager is a stockholder in the Enon Valley Telephone Company. Politically, Mr. Rager is a Republican, and three times served as judge of elections. He is at the present a member of the Republican County Committee, and is a very active worker for party success.
20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens Hon. Aaron L. Hazen Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill., 1908
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