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Sullivan, Parks, Wheeler, & Hawkins

Autobiographical notes by
by Collister Martin Wheeler (1893-1997)

My father's family lived originally in Oshkosh, Wis. where my father, Clarence John Wheeler was born 8/18/64. When 6 weeks old the family moved to Vineland N.J. and settled on a small farm.

My father came to Portland in 1884 with his sister Elizabeth. His sister later was married to Thomas Stewart who became a mayor of East Portland (1890-91). My father and aunt resided with an older brother, Edward Wheeler, who also was a mayor of East Portland (1888-1889).

My mother's father was Edward Martin and she was born in Chicago 3/4/67. When my mother, Frances, was 10 years old her father decided to move to Portland with his motherless family of 3 girls and 1 boy. They left Chicago 5/14/77 and traveled by train to Sacramento, then by river steamer to San Francisco - and ocean trip to Portland on the George W Elder. They arrived June 1st 1877 and my grandfather rented a house on E Stark between Grand Ave and 6th St. He later leased a lot just due west of the present Weatherly Bldg and when the lease expired moved that to E 8th and Belmont and built 2 more almost like the original.

My mother and father were married Oct 18th 1888 and lived at E Davis and Grand Ave. 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. The address of that house is 1801 E Broadway and it was finished in early 1889 where my brother was born July 9th 1889 and I was born June 20th 1893. We most certainly saw Irvington, Holladay Park, Rose City and Beaumont gradually grow up. Our memories include old Sullivan's gulch - now the Banfield Freeway, the Irvington race track, Verstig's brick yard where Grant High is now, Dryden's Lake at about 28th and Siskiyou and many others.

photo of Commander Collister Wheeler

My father was in the furniture and carpet business with his brother Edward, who sold out to H. C. Breeden - and that later became Tull & Gibbs. My brother and I attended the old Holladay grammar school and later my brother went to Benke-Walker Business College. I attended Washington High and worked for 6 years and then after WW#1 went to the North Pacific Dental College.

There have been 3 generations of the Wheeler family in Portland, both my brother and his oldest son worked for the A. T. & T. Another son is with the I. T. & T in Hawaii.

I was in the Navy in WW#1 as an enlisted man and officer. In WW#2 was in the Navy Dental Corp and on V E day was just coming into San Pedro on a crippled destroyer from the Pacific war zone, I was on my way to the Bremerton Navy Yard a newly promoted Commander. I was on duty there on V. J. day.

In 1950 I again joined the navy for another 7 years having charge of the Reserve Dental Program. Retired as a Captain July 1, 1957.