CHARLES G WHEELER
From his earliest recollections Charles G. Wheeler, a popular and widely-known citizen of Center township, Atchison county, has been identified with this section of the state, its development and increasing prosperity. At various times he has been honored with local positions of trust and responsibility and, as is well known, he has always discharged the duties devolving upon him with fidelity and excellent judgment.
His father, Joshua Wheeler, was born in the town of Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, February 22, 1827, a son of George R. Wheeler, who was a watchmaker by trade. At the age of seventeen years Joshua Wheeler bade adieu to the land of his birth and sailed for the United States, where he believed that better opportunities awaited him, and so it proved. Arriving here he spent several years in New Jersey, after which he went to Illinois, where he married Maria Reynolds, who also was born in Olney, England, and whom he had known from childhood. She came to this country to marry him. In 1857 the young couple came to Kansas, purchasing a claim in this township, and there they erected a log cabin and proceeded to improve their property. They suffered numerous privations and the hardships incident to pioneer life and in addition thereto the struggle between the slavery and anti-slavery factions on this border rendered the lives of the settlers insecure. Feeling waxing more intense men arrayed themselves upon one side or the other, and Mr. Wheeler took a prominent part for the Union. For many years he was an important figure in local politics, being a stalwart Republican after that party's organization, and being chosen by his neighbors and friends as their representative in the state senate. His useful life, spanning nearly the allotted three-score and ten years of the Psalmist, came to a peaceful close in 1896. Possessing a fine physique and weighing about one hundred and eighty pounds, he commanded the respect of all who knew him and by his frank, genial manner readily won friends. His widow, who was a true helpmate throughout his early struggles and later perplexities, survives him and still remains on the old homestead, now being in her seventy-eighth year. Two of her children died in infancy and were buried in Illinois, and Addie, now Mrs. L. F. Randolph, resides in Nortonville, Kansas.
Charles G. Wheeler was born at Farmington, Illinois, March 18, 1854, and ever since he was three years of age he has lived in Kansas. His education was obtained in the public schools here and on the old homestead he early learned to make himself generally useful. After attaining his majority he commenced the struggle for an independent livelihood and has succeeded so well that he now owns three hundred acres in Center township. This property is kept under fine cultivation and yields abundant crops in return for the judiciously expended labors of the owner. He has made substantial improvements, including a pleasant modern residence and other commodious farm buildings.
In 1881 Mr. Wheeler married Augusta Stillman, who was born in Albion, Wisconsin. She was educated and reared in Illinois and her parents, Nelson and Rose (Burdick) Stillman, now live in Nortonville, Kansas. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler, namely: Mabel E., who is attending the high school at Nortonville; Vernette A., Edwin L., Helen B. and Ernest R. The family attend the Seventh Day Baptist church near their home.
In his political opinions Mr. Wheeler is a Republican. For five years he served as the township treasurer and at present he is acting in the capacity of trustee of the county high school. He belongs to several fraternal organizations, including the Modern Woodmen of America and the Royal Neighbors. He is well posted on all of the leading topics of the day.