My name is Rick Wagner, I live in Kingsport and grew up in neighboring Hawkins County. I'm a relative of Kennie Wagner's, although a little distant. My father and grandfather attended his funeral, and my great uncle (grandfather's brother) used to tell a lot of stories about Kennie. Kennie used to visit my grandparents in Surgoinsville and great grandparents near Church Hill in the 1930s-40s and later, sometimes on the run, later as a trusty from Mississippi with a state prison car from there. Dad said he could shoot a walnut thrown up in the air with a pistol from the hip, not aiming. I've read the book titled The Guns of Kennie Wagner and have a copy, and I've also read the compiled articles telling the trial stories through ficticious characters by Pete Dykes here in Kingpsort. I also have an old 78 record with a Kennie Wagner song and a few old newspaper clips. I used to work for the Bristol paper and work for the Kingpsort paper, both of which had lots of stories on Kennie back in the day.
I had heard of at least one girlfriend but never a child until I found this thread, which is about five years old at this writing. I've always thought he would be a good movie or book subject. I was born almost six years after his death. He was well known in this part of the country well after his death, but not so much nowadays. My grandfather died a few months before I was born, and my father in 2003. The Wagners (Waggoners back then) came out of Big Lick, Va. (Roanoke) in the 1850s. Part of them stopped around Spears Ferry, Va., in Scott County, where Kennie lived in his younger years, while the rest forded the Holston River and went on to live in the Goshen Valley community of Hawkins County, near Church Hill and just south/southeast of Surgoinsville.