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Sullivan, Parks, Wheeler, & Hawkins
Letters from John Collister Wheeler (1828-1907)
to the weekly "Northwestern"
in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

John C. Wheeler arrived in Winnebago County, Wisconsin probably about 1851. He married Adaline Freeman on December 1st, 1852. He then farmed and started raising a family. He was active in politics and in the agricultural community. In January, 1863, he was elected president of the Winnebago County Agricultural Society. In September of the same year he combined agricultural and personal business in a trip to New York and New Jersey. The "Northwestern" reported on page 5 of the September 17th, 1863 issue:

We have received an interesting letter, about Agriculture and other matters, from our friend J. C. Wheeler Esqr., of Algoma. He writes from Madison County N. Y. We shall publish his letter next week; and we hope to receive more from the same source. He will accept our thanks.

The "Northwestern," weekly newspaper of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Issue of 24 Sep 1863, page 4, from Madison County, N.Y., letter dated 10 Sep 1863.

The first letter describes his trip from Oshkosh to Madison County. He was raised in this county in the town of Stockbridge and undoubtedly took the opportunity to visit old friends. The letter goes on to observe the evils of raising hops and the subsequent manufacture of alcoholic drinks.

Issue of 08 Oct 1863, page 4, from Fort Plains, N.Y., letter dated 18 Sep 1863
The second letter contains critical and obviously well-informed observations of the fair of the New York State Agricultural Society. He is mostly complimentary, although he seems almost personally embarrassed by the display of vegetables.

Issue of 15 Oct 1863, page 4, from Cumberland Co., N.J., letter dated 26 Sep 1863
The third letter describes his visit to the American Institute Fair in New York city. Note that he writes from Cumberland County, NJ. According to the Vineland Historical Magazine, Vols 25-27 pg 189 (April 1941), two days after writing this letter he made a bond of agreement with Charles K. Landis, Founder of Vineland, to purchase 40 acres of land for $800.

Issue of 22 Oct 1863, page 4, from Vineland, N.J., letter dated 11 Oct 1863
The fourth letter reveals his research of the area that he would call home for about twenty-five years. He moved there almost one year after this letter was written, about 6 weeks after his fifth child was born.