Elisabeth Bauer emigrated to Australia with her parents and siblings arriving in 1855. On arrival her father was employed as a shepherd on Warranga station at the head of the Moonie River. In 1856 she was employed as domestic servant at various places including Gowrie station. In 1861 she was employed by Mrs W. H. Groom at the Royal Hotel the Hon W. H. Groom being the licensee. A friendship was formed and was to last a lifetime with her sons of obtaining their first jobs in Groom's Chronicle newspaper. She was married to Henry Wagner by Rev Ransom in St Lukes Church. The wedding was celebrated at her father's residence at South and Ramsay Street Toowoomba. She and her husband went to live on their farm 'Auenstein Villa' at the corner of Ruthven and South streets Middle Ridge. Here they raised their family and after Henry's death Elisabeth purchased the Federal Hotel at Gatton. She ran this Hotel with her daughter Elizabeth and son August. Elisabeth was instrumental in pioneering grape growing in Toowoomba and was well-known for her wine at Gatton.
The following was an article in the Gatton Mail:
To Mrs E. Wagner
It is not given to everyone to reach the venerable age of 70 years , nor is it given to have the honour and esteem which was voiced in no uncertain fashion last Thursday evening at a birthday party given in honour of Mrs Elizabeth Wagner, who reached her 70th birthday, and who during her nine years residence at the Federal Hotel has by her motherly care and strict integerity earned the esteem of those who have the privilage of her acquintance.
Shortly after 6 o’clock a large number of relatives and guests sat down to a sumptous rrepast laid in the large dining room. The tables were laid right around the room, and fairly groaned under the weight of all that pleases the inner man, whilst a three-tier birthday cake added to the good effect of the decorations. Mr R. James occupied the chair, having on his right the guest of the evening.
After full justice had been done to the dinner, which reflected credit on the culinary ability of those responsible, Mr James proposed the toast to “The King.”
The Chairman then, in a jocular speech, proposed the health of Mrs Wagner. He said they had met to congratulate their old citizen on attaining the age of 70 years, and, judging by her vivacity, energy, and vitality, she had many years of happiness before her. That was certainly the wish of everyone present, and they felt grateful for the kindly thoughtfulness which had prompted the invitations. They all admired, he said, the way in which Mrs Wagner attended to duties, and it was apparent that she was so hale and sprightly that she could do more work than many of the younger ladies. He was afraid that many of the younger generation would not reach her age, and if, they did they would not possess the capacity for work which she possessed. On behalf of those present, he wished her happiness, and many years in which to enjoy it.
The toast was drunk with musical honours.
Mr Jos. Cossart, who had known Mrs Wagner for a number of years, endorsed the Chariman’s remarks, adding that he had found her a woman of the highest integerity even in the most trying circumstances. He also knew most of the family, and they were well worthy of the mother they were honouring that night.
Mr Aug Wagner, in reswponding on behalf of his mother, said it gave her great pleasure to thank them for their presence and the enthusiastic way in which the toast had been honoured. Mrs Wagner was very proud to see the large number present; but if only her descendants were present they would nearly fill the room, for he had counted up to 55 and then gave it up. He trusted some day to see them all gathered together.
Cr. J. Skinner proposed the toast of the “Wagner Family”, whom he had known since they came to Gatton, and they were highly spoken of whereever they went. Regarding Mrs. Wagner, he was proud to be one of her friends, and he endorsed the previous speakers’ remarks.
The toast was accorded musical honours, and Mr Harrt Wagner, in responding, said it was a credit to the mother when her family of 11 had struck so well together, and she ought to be the proudest woman in the world that night. Mr J. Robb also responded in a humourous vein.
Mr Crossart propossed the health of the Chairman, which was suitably acknowledged, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and the National Anthem and cheers terminated the dinner.
An adjournment was then made to the verandah, which had been screened in, and a progresive euchre party was held under the supervision of Messers. Marlow and Blanch.
After 10 games had been played, it was found that Mesdames E. Roberts, Fowles, and Marlow had tied for the ladies prize - a silver and cut glass air tidy and mirror -
Mrs. Egbert Roberts, Mr and Mrs. J. Robb (Oakey), Mrs H and Miss k and Master Muller (Hessenburg), Mrs F Wilson (Chinchilla), Miss E. Wagner, MessersHarryMart., Fred Wagner, (Toowoomba),Mr. Gus. Wagner, (Westbrook Crossing), Mr Aug. Wagner, and several grandchildren.
The other invited guests included Mr. W.D. Armstrong, MLA, and Miss Eva Armstrong, Major and Mrs. J.K. Fowles, Mr. And Mrs. R. S. Irvine and Miss Denny, Mr. And Mrs. H. Roberts, Mr. Wm and Miss Wiggins, Mr and Mrs. E Berentzen, Cr and Mrs J Skinner, Mr. And Mrs P. Solway, Mr and Mrs W.J. Doughty, Mr. And Mrs. G. Weston, Mr. And Mrs Gerald Byrne, Mr and Mrs. H. M. England, Mr. And Mrs H. C. Marlow, M. and Mrs M. Bloom, Mr and Mrs J. Byrne, Misses E. Whittle, O. Hill, D. Skinner, May Smith, M. Kerr, M. Selby, Donald, and Bauer, Messers. R. James, E. Whittle, J. Corney, senr., C.J. Charlton, E.H. Suckling, C. Frost, F. Bryant, C. Allen, Jos. Crossart, C. Blanch, H. Crossart, P.Crossart, Burt, Cran, Reg and N. Crawley, S. Skinner, G. Coleman, and M. Bloom junr.
Appologies were received from Mr and Mrs R. ballantine, Mr Wm. And Miss May Wagner (Withcott), Mr. And Mrs L. Burt (Toowoomba), mesdames Harry, Gus, Fred, and Mart. Wagner and their children; Mr and Mrs. Laws (Manly), Mr and Mrs. I. Robinson, Rev H. Grimmett, Mr Leese , Dr and Mrs Miller, mr ans mrs T. Milson, Capt and Mrs Echlin, Mr and Mrs W. A. Wellstead, Mr and Mrs S. Crossart, Mr. And Mrs Barron, Capt. T. Logan, Mr and Mrs. P. Jordan, Mesdames Whittle, Corney, Suckling, and Frost, and Mr Hadley.