Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
DESCRIPTIVE OF ITS SCENERY,
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.
JOHN WHEELER was born in Mason county, Kentucky, four miles from Mayslick,
September 16th, 1806. Benjamin Wheeler, his father, was born in Virginia, June 4th,
1782. John Wheeler, his father, and grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was also
a native of Virginia, and was a personal friend of George Washington. He was a soldier of the
revolution, and fought four years to free his country from British rule. His brother Joseph was also
a soldier of the revolution, and was a noted man in that memorable struggle, and one upon whom
Gen. Washington personally called when he wanted a brave and cautious man to undertake
some perilous enterprise. It is related that on one occasion, Gen. Washington called upon him
to pick off a British soldier, who was viewing and spying the camp. Notwithstanding the distance
was great, Joseph Wheeler leveled his trusy rifle, fired, and laid the Briton low in the
dust. Three days after this incident, brave Joe Wheeler was shot by the enemy. Gen.
Washington personally superintended his burial. The Wheeler family come from a patriotic
and fighting stock. The family contains the heroes of three wars.
The family emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, about 1790, where the old revolutionary
hero died. Benjamin Wheeler, the father, remained in Kentucky until 1825, when he removed to
Claremont county, Ohio, where he stayed until 1832. Then he came to Rush county, Indiana,
and in 1834, came to Illinois and settled in Pike county, where he remained until his death, which
occurred July 26th, 1840. He married Mary McCarter. She was a native of Virginia,
she died October 14th, 1840. There were four sons and three daughters, of whom John Wheeler,
the subject of this sketch, is the eldest. he married Mary Camerer on the 28th of
August, 1828. She is a native of Kentucky, and was born October 22d, 1803. Both
Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler have passed the time allotted to man to live, yet they are hale and
heartly, and bid fair to live many years.
In 1833 John Wheeler came to Illinois, and stopped in Greene county, where he remained
until the following spring, when he entered land in what is now known as Bird Township,
Macoupin county. Here he made a home, and has resided up to the present time. The
names of his children are William; Barbara A., Francis Marion, Huldah and Calvin Wheeler.
All are married and have families growing up about them. Mr. Wheeler is an old Jacksonian
democrat. He cast his first vote for Andrew Jackson, and since that time has been a firm believer
in the teachings of the democratic party. He is now enjoying the fruits of former years of toil, and
self-denial in being able, in his declining years, to lead a life of leisure and comfort. And thus we
close the record of one of the old and industrious citizens of Macoupin county.
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