Clarence was born in the Algoma Township of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, north of what is now Oshkosh. About six weeks later, the family moved to the young town of Vineland, Cumberland County, New Jersey.
21 Jul 1870, Landis Twp, Cumberland Co., NJ, Series: M593 Roll: 859 Page: 389D
Clarence probably helped out on the family farm until he was almost twenty years old.
26 Jun 1880, Landis Twp, Cumberland Co., NJ, Series: T9 Roll: 776 Page: 372
In June of 1884 he and his sister Mary took a train to Portland arriving Sunday evening, June 22nd. They stayed with his older brother Edward who had moved to Portland about four years earlier. Clarence went to work for Walter Brothers (86 First Street, Union Block, Portland - Importers and Dealers in Carpets and Floor Oil Cloths).
Clarence Wheeler and Frances Martin were married October 17th, 1888, in her father’s home. The service was performed by the Rev. David O. Ghormley. Witnesses were Mary Stewart (his sister) and Edward E. Martin (her brother).
At first they lived on the northwest corner of what is now East Davis and Grand Avenue. Their son Collister wrote “In 1888 Father built a house in the Irvington District when it was largely woods and meadows and many streets not yet cut through -- friends asked him if he wanted to live on a farm.” Possibly, construction on the house did start in 1888, although the deed shows that Frances Wheeler paid her father a token one dollar for the lot on March 8th, 1889 (lot 4 in block 12 of John Irving’s First Addition to East Portland recorded in Multnomah County Deeds, vol. 115, p 425). That house became 657 Broadway until it was renumbered to 1801 E. Broadway about 1932. The Cadillac Cafe is now on this site.
They moved in to the new house about the end of May, and their first son, Chester Adelbert Wheeler, was born there on July 9th.
His brother Edward had died in June of 1889, and in August, Clarence went to work for Edward’s partner Charles M. Forbes. Within a year Henry C. Breeden joined with C. M. Forbes and the company became known as Forbes and Breeden with a new building at 1st and Yamhill.
At some point in time Clarence had joined the National Guard. January 22nd, 1890, he resigned as second lieutenant of the 1st Regiment Infantry of the Oregon National Guard because of “my present business and the long distance of my residence from the armory.”
June 20th, 1893, their second son, Collister Martin Wheeler, was born.
In August of 1895, C. M. Forbes died suddenly and H. C. Breeden purchased Forbes’ half of the company from the estate. Clarence continued to work for H. C. Breeden until the end of June 1903 when the company was sold to Tull & Gibbs. Again Clarence stayed with his new employers.
August 6th, 1898, they purchased a lot in Long Beach, Washington. The summer cottage here was fondly remembered by their sons and grandchildren as a favorite vacation spot. Great grandson Tom Wheeler remembers that the house was known as Honeysuckle Cottage. His parents Chester and Elnora spent their honeymoon there.
14 Jun 1900, Portland, Multnomah Co., OR, Series: T623 Roll: 1351 Page: 47
In the autumn of 1906, Tull & Gibbs new moved to a new larger location at 7th and Morrison. About this time Clarence went to work with I. Gevurtz & Sons on 1st street, perhaps to avoid a longer commute.
28 Apr 1910, Portland, Multnomah Co., OR, Series: T624 Roll: 1289 Page: 117
In October of 1910 he moved over to Ira F. Powers Furniture Company and worked there until his retirement in about 1930.
His will, written in 1927, bequeathed one hundred dollars to each son and five dollars to each of his grandchildren. Everything else was left to his wife. Frances, Chester, and Collister were nominated as executors to the estate. The will was witnessed by Harvey and Della Bliss who had been next door neighbors since 1909 (lot 3, once owned by his father-in-law).
On July 8th, 1935, the family had been at their Long Beach cottage about a month when Clarence had a stroke (known then as apoplexy). He died there and was buried in Lone Fir Cemetery.
In Feb 1940, Frances sold the cottage, along with the adjacent property which they had purchased in 1924, to Wellington W. Marsh. Those two lots are now the parking lot in front of Marsh’s Free Museum, which was originally established across the street in 1921.