Frank W. Wheeler, clerk of the probate court, at Joliet, Ill., is a well known and highly respected citizen
of Will County. He was born at Waterloo, Seneca County, N. Y., June 13, 1865, a son of Charles R. and Evalee (Van
Riper) Wheeler, the former a native of Waterloo, and the latter of Warren, Ohio.
Charles R. Wheeler, deceased, when a youth learned the hardware business from his father. In 1867 he established
a. hardware store at Greenville, Mich., which he conducted until 1873. He was an expert copper mechanic and worked
in various places throughout the United States after leaving Michigan. He worked for the Pierce-Arrow Automobile
Company at Buffalo for some time prior to his retirement. He died in 1909 and is buried at Waterloo, N. Y. During
the Civil War he enlisted in the 133rd New York Volunteer Infantry and served a two year enlistment, and then reenlisted
for the duration of the war. He was honorably discharged June 15, 1865, as a color sergeant, at Geneva, N. Y. He
was a Democrat and a member of the Episcopal Church, and the Grand Army of the Republic, Tyler J. Snyder Post.
His widow resides at Waterloo. To their union three children were born: Frank W., the subject of this sketch; Eva
H., the wife of McClelland Stetson, resides at Reading, Pa.; and LaVancha, deceased, buried at Waterloo, N. Y.
Charles R. Wheeler has three brothers who also served in the Civil War, George, Clarence, and Howard. Two were
prisoners for a time at Andersonville, and one in Libby prison. They all died from the effects of wounds received
during the war.
Frank W. Wheeler was graduated from the Waterloo High School in 1883, and immediately learned the shoemaking trade
at Auburn, N. Y. from the Reilly & McGarr Shoe Manufacturers. Later he went to Rochester, N. Y., with the P.
Cox Shoe Company. In 1888 he was with the Phelps, Dodge & Palmer, Shoe manufacturers, Chicago, resigning in
1890. For two years he was with Tilt-Smith & Co., resigning March 1, 1892, when he came to Joliet and worked
for Selz-Schwab & Company, manufacturers of shoes for the Joliet prison. He remained with this concern until
1904 when their contract expired. In September, 1904, the state of Illinois began the manufacture of shoes for
the prison inmates and Mr. Wheeler was made superintendent and remained there for ten years. In 1914 he went to
Jefferson City, Mo., for his former employers, the Selz-Schwab Company, and was foreman of the making room of this
factory, resigning in August, 1914. He then went to Sheboygan, Mich., where he worked a year for the Sheboygan
Shoe Company, and in 1915 returned to Joliet as an inspector for the Illinois Steel Company. Later he was with
the American Can Company. In 1916 he was appointed clerk of the board of improvement of the city of Joliet, and
on March 1, 1918 he became deputy probate clerk. In November, 1922, he was elected clerk of the probate court of
Will County, and was reelected in 1926.
In 1886 Mr. Wheeler was married to Miss Mary E. Hood, of Clyde, N. Y., and to them was born a daughter, Mae H.,
now a clerk in her father's office. Mrs. Wheeler died Feb. 26, 1922. Mr. Wheeler married (second) Miss Harriet
M. Welch, on July 25, 1923.
Mr. Wheeler has greatly interested himself in the labor movement, and has held several important appointments in
the various organizations. He belonged to the Knights of Labor in Auburn, N. Y., and in Chicago he served as secretary
of the Knights of Labor. He was business agent for the Shoemaker's Union of Chicago. He is a Republican, and fraternally
is affiliated with Matteson Lodge, A. F. and A. M. No. 175, of which he is secretary; Joliet Chapter, R. A. M.
127; Joliet Commandery K. T. No. 4; Ansar Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Springfield, Ill.; Masonic Veterans Association
of Illinois; B. P. O. Elks, No. 296; Paul Revere Lodge, No. 271, K. P.; L. O. O. Moose, No. 300. He is a member
of the Chicago Motor Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Rival's Club, the Irving Club, the Isaac Walton League,
and the Sons of Veterans. He holds membership in the Episcopal Church.
History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Will County, Il
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