John Viknes or Wagness

Business years 1880
Business address Unknown

John Viknes was born about 1858 in Norway.  The 1880 census has him listed as a photo artist.  It also states that he was married in 1880, but no wife is listed.

The 1880 business gazetteer also lists him as a photographer.  In 1881 the Fargo city directory states that he had a confectionery on Front Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets.  After 1881 he is no longer listed as living in Fargo

It is highly likely that John Vignes, is John Thorvald Wagness who was born in May 1859 or 1861 in Ulvit, Hardanger, Norway. He came to the United States in 1878, and settled in Clay County, Minnesota. He later moved to Washington state, where he is listed in the Tacoma city directory, from 1889-1891. In the late 1890's, Mr. Wagness traveled to the Yukon and worked as a photographer. Around 1900, he settled in Stanwood, Washington where he spent the rest of his life. He died on May 30, 1936.

It is also likely that John Viknes/Wagness, was in the partnership of Wigness and Foseide, who operated a studio in Fargo in 1886.

1880s photographers



Photographers of Fargo, N.D.
Institute for Regional Studies,
North Dakota State University,
Fargo 2001

Last updated: May 13, 2003