WILLIAM WHEELER, who is now in the seventy-ninth year of his age and has been a resident of Macoupin county since his infancy, was born in Rush county, Indiana, April 13, 1833. He is a son of John and Mary (Cameron) Wheeler, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, the former born in 1804 and the latter in 1803. The father removed to Ohio with his parents at the age of six years and grew to maturity in the Buckeye state, where he was married to Miss Mary Cameron and in 1835 arrived with his family in Macoupin county, Illinois. He located on section 7, Bird township, and there continued during the remainder of his life, which covered a period of over sixty years. He died on the old homestead July 3, 1895, and his wife passed away May 25, 1898. Their remains were interred in Shiloh cemetery, Bird township. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler were seven children, two of whom died in infancy. The others are: William, of this review; Barbara, the wife of Jonas Rebble, of Hettick; F. M., who is now engaged in farming in Bird township; Calvin, a resident of Greenfield, Greene county, Illinois; and Huldah, who became the wife of John R. Stewart and who is now deceased.
In the pioneer schools of Macoupin county William Wheeler received his early education, his advantages being extremely limited as teachers were few, schoolhouses were far apart and the boys were needed at home to assist their fathers in redeeming the wilderness to the uses of man. He remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age and then located on the place where he has since resided, on section 8, Bird township. The land was originally raw prairie but he applied himself energetically and instituted many improvements, erecting a comfortable residence and developing the property to a substantial paying basis. He prospered in his work and is now the fortunate owner of three hundred and two acres in this county and three hundred acres in Coffey county, Kansas. Through his unremitting industry and careful management he years ago became recognized as one of the successful men of Macoupin county, a position which he has ever since retained.
In 1856 Mr. Wheeler was married to Miss Mary J. Lee and they have six children living: J. N., a farmer of Bird township; A. C., who is living at home; John, who is engaged in farming near Clinton, Missouri; Alvin, also of Bird township; Elma, who married Allen Bear, of Clinton, Missouri; and Ollie, who is the wife of J. W. Parker, of Bird township. Madore died at the age of nineteen years and Edgar died at the age of five. Mr. Wheeler is in thorough sympathy with the democratic party and as a patriotic and public-spirited citizen has filled various offices of responsibility in his township. He and his wife are members of the Shiloh Baptist church, in which he has long served as trustee and deacon. He rightfully belongs among the honored members of the community and as he approaches the age of four score he looks back over a life of usefulness, in the course of which he has encouraged many by his just and honorable course to persevere in the pursuit of worthy aims. He and his estimable wife have many friends and are numbered among the most respected residents of the county.