Joseph Wheeler and Henry Wheeler
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

JOSEPH WHEELER—HENRY WHEELER—As president of the Wheeler Brothers' Brass Foundry, Inc., of Troy, Joseph Wheeler stands among the really important executives in the industrial life of this city. He is a son of Moses and Elizabeth (Bladen) Wheeler, both members of prominent English families. The father made several trips to the United States prior to 1885, then in that year brought his family to this country and settled in Troy. He died November 4, 1913, but the mother still survives him.

Joseph Wheeler was born in England, October 19, 1873, and was educated in the national schools of his native land. He was only twelve years of age when the family settled in Troy, nevertheless he went to work at once, learning the moulder's trade, which he followed until he went into business for himself. In this enterprise his brother, Henry Wheeler, is associated with him, and their rise from obscurity to large success, which has been achieved in less than a decade and a half, is an interesting chapter in the industrial history of this city. They started in South Troy, the father and the two sons, in 1909, under the firm name of Wheeler's Brass Foundry, a partnership. The business was started in the woodshed back of their house and at the beginning the three men did all the work, as well as managing the affairs of the business. They were soon in need of larger quarters and secured a location on North Street, with a floor space of 2,400 square feet, and the continued growth made it necessary later to seek the possibilities of further expansion. In 1912 they removed to their present location, at No. 2751 Fifth Avenue, where they now have one two-story building, 40x60 feet in ground dimensions, and one building of one story, 60x60 feet. At the time of their removal to this location the concern was incorporated, the name becoming Wheeler Brothers' Brass Foundry, Incorporated, and their growth and development has been steady and rapid since that time. They make aluminum, brass and bronze castings, and sell everywhere, mostly however within one hundred miles or thereabouts of the city of Troy, employing permanently about twenty hands. They have not only gained a large measure of prosperity but have also taken a really significant place in the industry in which they are engaged and take pride in the fact that their foundry has turned some of the largest aluminum castings made. This is a truly remarkable example of development from nothing to the dignity of a large and thriving industrial enterprise and is a striking illustration of the possibilities open to the enterprising men of today who will devote their attention faithfully to any useful line of endeavor. Joseph Wheeler is president of the concern; Mrs. Bella Wheeler, vice-president; Henry Wheeler, treasurer; and Mrs. Bertha E. Wheeler, secretary; and the firm is still going forward and is contemplating further expansion in the not far distant future. Joseph Wheeler is prominent in the fraternal world of Rensselaer county, being a member of Mount Zion Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Apollo Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Bloss Council, Royal and Select Masters; Apollo Commandery, Knights Templar; Oriental Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and of the Grotto, of Troy. He is further identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of Foresters, and is an active member of the Levings Methodist Episcopal Church, serving as a member of the official board.

Joseph Wheeler married, on September i, 1900, Bella Crowther, who was born in England, and they are the parents of four children: 1. Jasper, who was educated in Troy, and early in the period of the World War enlisted in the United States Army, eventually serving throughout the period of the war, and is now identified with the above business. He married Mildred Green, of Troy, and they have one daughter, Ruth. 2. Martha. 3. Viola. 4. Dorothy.

Henry Wheeler, the treasurer of this business organization, was born in England, September 30, 1876, and also came to Troy as a boy with the family. He attended the schools of this city for about three years, but at the age of twelve years entered the industrial world, also learning the moulder's trade. He has been identified with the firm of Wheeler Brothers' Brass Foundry, Inc., since the original inception of the enterprise in the woodshed, and has gone forward side by side with his elder brother, sharing the responsibilities and endeavors of the early years and now shares in his success. Henry Wheeler is also a leading member of the Masonic order, and belongs to all the various bodies mentioned above, the same as his brother, including membership in the Grotto, of Troy; and is a member of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church.

Henry Wheeler married (first) Annie Elizabeth Marsden, and they were the parents of one son, D. Harry; both mother and son died. Henry Wheeler married (second) Bertha E. Marsden, a sister of his first wife, and they are the parents of three children: May, now a post-graduate student in secretarial work at the Emma Willard School of Troy; Henry, Jr., who is active in the above business; and Evelyn, still in school.

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Debby Masterson

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