L. WHEELER was born in Brookfield, N.Y., January 8, 1814. When his grandfather, Amos Wheeler, who was born in Concord, Mass., but moved to Madison County, New York, from Vermont, where he had lived, reached this new country, it was a complete wilderness, and the nearest habitation to his was some miles away. He
cleared his farm, built his home, and lived there until his death, at the age of eighty-two years. The grandmother died at the age of ninety-one years. The father of our subject, Josiah Wheeler, was born in Vermont, and was a lad of tender age when his parents removed to Brookfield, but soon realized the importance of assisting in the farm work, and with the energy of youth helped in its toilsome labors. He remained with his father until his marriage to Miss Eunice Crandall, and then lived in adjacent places to his old home, but later removed to Friendship, Allegany County, N.Y., where he died. He and his wife were the parents of eleven children; namely, Josiah, Elmira, Calvin, our subject, Reuben, Lyman, Laura, Eliza, Catherine, Amos, and Alanson. The mother died in the town of Friendship, at the age of seventy years.
Our subject can proudly show, in these days of such marked attention to Colonial pedigree, an ancestry which counts a great-grandfather and a great grand-uncle who received their baptism of blood in the first struggle at Concord, Mass., in the Revolution. Captain John Lock and Silas Wheeler were the names of these heroes; and after peace was declared they moved to New York State, Captain Lock
and his wife going to Cedarville, Herkimer County, N. Y., where she died at the age of one hundred and three years, and Silas Wheeler going to Steuben County, settling the town of Wheeler, which was named for him.
The subject of this biography went to live with his grandfather when he was but nine years old, and was there reared to agricultural pursuits, receiving but a common-school
education. He remained on the farm, assisting his grandfather, and after that gentleman's death carried on the work of the farm for his grandmother until she died. There were very few of the joyous free days of boyhood for him. Living in an isolated country, with scarcely any young companions, his only recreation after a hard day's work was reading the well-thumbed books that constituted their small library. The youth of to-day, who have the benefit of the almost unlimited supply of newspapers and periodicals, cannot realize what a boon a stray book or paper was to the early settler, and with what avidity the contents were devoured. The nearest market to the household of our subject was at Albany, N. Y.; and the eighty-mile trip with teams has been often made by him. He has gone as far as East Haddam, Conn., with loads of produce, the journey taking three weeks to make. One can imagine the anxiety of the wife and mother during the absence of the loved one; for the country was wild, and many dangers beset the path of the traveller. But, when he returned safe and sound, one can also sympathize with her simple joy and delight over his escape from peril, and her pleasure in the little gifts of the dress for "mother" and the toys for the children, which had a wonderful value, coming so far from the market town.
When Mr. Wheeler was thirty-eight years of age, he married Joanna M. Hoxie. There were three children sent to gladden their home; namely, Laura F., Herbert L., and Cora A. Laura is the wife of Charles W. Rogers, and has two children, Herbert C. and Joanna C. Cora is the wife of Carroll Cheesbrough, son of Dr. Amos Cheesbrough. Mrs. Wheeler died after fourteen years of married life, and our subject's second wife was Miss Catherine E. Rogers.
The farm Mr. Wheeler resides on he has owned since 1857, in which year he purchased it from John A. Dix, then Governor of the State. Among the many fine buildings on the place is one which was built in 1776. He has greatly improved the land, and has made for himself a beautiful home. In his religious proclivities he is a free thinker. His preference in politics is for the Republican party, and of its interests he is a warm advocate and sincere supporter.
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