Wheeler B. Halleck, president of the Winthrop State Bank, and also an extensive landowner, is a man of excellent
financial ability whose resources are constantly increasing. He was born in Erie county, New York, on the 16th
of March, 1846, a son of Peter M. and Mary B. (Buff) Halleck. The father was born in Steuben county, New York,
on the 25th of June, 1820, and accompanied his parents, Caleb and Dorcas (Marcelle) Halleck, to Colden, Erie county,
New York, when a child, receiving his education there. He was one of a family of nine children and early began
to provide for his own support, working upon nearby farms and living at home. After reaching mature years he engaged
in farming and also ran a sawmill. In 1845, when a young man of twenty five years, he married Miss Mary Buffum
at Colden. She was born June 15, 1822, in Erie county, near Colden, and was one of thirteen children, whose parents
were Wheeler and Electa (Curtis) Buffum. Her father was horn in November, 1800, and died in 1887, while her mother,
born in May, 1803, passed away in 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Peter M. Halleck remained for ten years at Colden after their
marriage, but then came west, settling at Buffalo Grove, Buffalo township, this county. They left New York on the
8th of May, 1855, and visited six months in Illinois before continuing their westward journey. Upon arriving at
their destination Mr. Halleek purchased one hundred and sixty acres and farmed the same for twenty five years.
His health then failed and he removed to what is now Buffalo Grove, but in 1887 he left that place and settled
at Aurora, where he resided until his death in 1897. He was a republican in politics, but never accepted office.
His religious faith was attested by his membership in the Freewill Baptist church. He was the father of eleven
children, namely: Wheeler B., the subject of this review; Richard B., a resident of Lamont, Iowa; Sylvester O.,
who died in 1909; Mary A., now Mrs. James Weston, of Aurora, Iowa; Emma, living in Sioux City, Iowa; Hannah E.,
a resident of Winthrop; Dorcas Electa, now Mrs. Adelbert Hawkins, of Aurora; Ruby and David C., both deceased;
Henry H., of Oelwein; and Sarah Anna, deceased. The mother, who is still living at the venerable age of ninety
two years, resides with her daughter, Mrs. James Weston.
Wheeler B. Halleck was a child of nine years when the family removed to this county and located in Buffalo township.
His boyhood was spent upon the home farm and his education was acquired in the public schools of the neighborhood.
When the family first came there was no schoolhouse and the children of the locality were taught in his father's
home. When he became of age he located in Winthrop and engaged in the livery business and in the buying of horses
for a time, but in 1875 he was married and turned his attention to farming for eight years. He then again located
in Winthrop and from 1884 to 1892 he engaged in buying and selling horses and cattle. In 1892, in association with
Elmer Brintnall, he owned and managed a lumberyard, but in 1897 sold his interest in that enterprise. In 1884 he
was one of the leaders in the organization of the Winthrop State Bank and sold a great deal of the stock in that
institution, He was from the start a director therein, and in 1911 was elected its president, which office he still
holds. In this capacity, as in all others, he manifests financial acumen and detailed knowledge of the business
situation. He has invested heavily in land and owns eighteen hundred acres, all fenced and in pasture land, in
Meade county, South Dakota; two hundred and forty acres in Macon county, Missouri, all of which is improved; and
one hundred and twenty acres in Littlefield township, this county, which is in a high state of cultivation.
In 1875 Mr. Halleck married Mrs. Frances J. (Miles) Smiley, a native of Illinois, whose death occurred in January,
1906. Mr. Halleck is a republican in his politieal belief, has served as township trustee, and upon coming to Winthrop
was elected alderman, holding that office at the time that the town was incorporated. He belongs to the Congregational
church and is a trustee therein. Fraternally he belongs to Winthrop Lodge No. 550, I. O. O. F. He has proved very
successful and is respected in his community for his ability and his integrity and honesty.
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Bachanan County, IA
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