Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Seymour and Mary Wheeler

The following article was written by Lois Hess for "LakeLines," the newsletter of the Lake County Genealogical Society, 19:3 (1993) p.24-25. It was transcribed here by Casi Doskey and submitted by Sally Malone.

The people who started this Wheeler clan came out west in the early 1800’s. Ohio was "out west" in those days - it was the frontier. They probably came from New York state according to the reports of their children to the census taker. Seymour was born in New York and Mary McLaughlin was born in Canada of Scottish parentage. We find Seymour and Mary living in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in the 1820 census and having one child. The first of their twelve children, Elizabeth, was born in Euclid.

A second daughter, Lucinda, was also born in Euclid in 1821. James was born in 1822 and Lovina in 1823. We find Seymour owning property in Painesville in 1826 and it was here that Seymour, Jr. was born. Following close behind were Sarah, who was born in 1828, and Mariva in 1829. Jane Ann came along in 1833, Mary in 1834 and Lousia in 1835. Later two more children were to join the family with Chauncey being born in 1837 and Emma in 1839.

Seymour and his large family moved to Mentor and had land up on the Mentor headlands. He supported his family working as a brick mason and by farming. One of the houses he built still stands on North Park in Mentor. A story goes that he allowed the Erie Indians to bury their dead on his property. Land records from 1841 tell of Seymour giving some land for a school. In 1958 a suit was billed against the descendants regarding that land. The property was no longer being used for a school and the county wanted to sell the land for back taxes.

In 1844 Seymour made his will and it was witnessed by Harry Abel and John Cooper. The will left his property to Mary, and upon her death, to Seymour, Jr. and James. He might have felt that the girls would have husbands to look after them and the younger children would be taken care of by the older ones. The scow was left for all the family to enjoy. He died in 1845 at the age of 55 and was buried on his own property. There were two lines in the Painesville Telegraph telling of his death. Mary died of consumption, (tuberculosis), a common cause of death for frontier women worn out from childbearing. In 1851 Seymour and James entered the will for probate. Lovina and Sarah and their spouses contested the will questioning why it took so long for the filing.

In 1840 Elizabeth (Eliza) married Abraham Hendrickson and had two daughters, Mary and Jane. Abe died shortly after and Eliza married Eliphalet Ontis on July 2, 1846. Lovina was married October 7, 1840 to Jason Ames, who was a sailor and farmer. Lucinda was married September 16, 1841 to Jonathan Burr. James married Sarah Hildreth, daughter of Osmer Hildreth, on April 8, 1845. By then there were five grandchildren. In 1948 three of the girls married early in the year. Maybe Mary knew that she was dying and wanted to see them married before her death. Mariva was married January 28 to William Lamberton, Mary became the bride of Patrick Scribner on March 28 and Sarah became the bride of Robert Bruce Ames on March 29. Seymour married Emeline Andrews, daughter of Nataniel and Matilda Andrews, on April 17, 1849.

In the 1850 census we find the younger children, now orphans, living with other members of the family. Jane Ann was enumerated with Lucinda and Jonathen Burr. Emma and Chauncey were living with Seymour and Emeline and Louisa was with James and Sarah.

By 1850 there were nineteen grandchildren. Louisa married Orsamions W. Sutton on May 21, 1853 and eventually moved to Newago County, Michigan. Jane Ann married Orson Durfee on May 16, 1854. Issac Story, son of Issac Story and Lucy Perry, early settlers in the Western Reserve, claimed Emma for his bride on March 26, 1856. Chauncey was married January 3, 1963 to Vandalia Davis, Daughter of Calvin and Jane Davis.

Some of the family members were involved in the War Between the States. Chauncey and Issac Story were members of the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and Patrick Scribner was attached to the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

In 1890 members of Eliza’s family decided to have a Wheeler family reunion which was held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Orson Durfee. The minutes were taken at each reunion and the year’s births, deaths and marriages were recorded. These reunions continue today. Several years ago Mary and Seymour’s tombstones were found and have been placed in the Mentor Cemetery near their son Seymour’s grave and not far from the resting place of James and Lovina. Wheeler descendants are invited to attend the yearly reunions which are held on the first Sunday in August. [Contact info deleted]

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Last updated 2 Apr 2006

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