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|Birth Date: Dec 1, 1837||Birth Date: Nov 17, 1852|
|Death Date: Oct 8, 1905||Death Date: Jan 27, 1900|
J. H. Wheeler was born 1 December 1837. His father became famous for his "Wheeler Mill" at Mandley, Texas. He married Amanda Hamby; to them were born five children: John, who at one time worked for the Matador Ranch, married Lela Smith, the oldest daughter of the Hank Smith's. Both John and Lela have passed on, leaving three children: Roy, Josie and Dugan to carry on the old J. H. Wheeler Ranch (south of Caprock Community, Crosby County).
R. Marsh Wheeler married Esther Murray, only daughter of Judge and Mrs. John W. Murray, and left along a capable record as county commissioner, and as a leader in the county's growth. In the community's affairs of school and church and upbuilding, he took great interest and pride. Marsh and Esther are parents of eight children: Esther Grace, never married; Marshall Reginal married Tracie Gallimore Brackeen; Horace Vernon married Beulah Anderson; Ruth married J. W. Adams; Lola married Wilmer Smith; Ralph married Gracie Gallimore; Jessie married Marvin C. Aycock; Curtis Murray married Ottis Belle Renfro; Marcia May married W. O. Lockwood.
Ernest died in early manhood and Caudia passed away while a young lady. Maude married Ed Wayne, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Wayne, early settlers of Crosby County. They have one daughter who lives in Cuaro, TX.
Mrs. Rufus Marsh Wheeler last lived in Lubbock leaving the operation of the Crosby County Ranch to her son.
Source: "A History of Crosby County 1876-1977" © Crosby County Historical Commission 1978; Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas.
John Henry Wheeler, who came to Crosby Co. in 1891, was born Dec. 1, 1937, in Hamilton Co., TN. When his father, Henry Wheeler, moved his family to Arkansas in the 1850's. John came on to Texas. The Young Co. census of 1860 lists him as "John Wheeler, age 22, male, laborer."
When the Civil War began, John H. and other Young Co. men went to Tyler Co. and enlisted in the Woodville Sharp Shooter company of the Confederate Army. At the end of the war he returned to Young Co. with him was his small son, William H. age, 3, whose mother had died during the war years.
At Fort Belknap he enlisted in the Minute Men for Young Co. to help protect the settlers from the many Indians. However, losses in lives and property became so great that all the settlers were forced to move back to the center of Tarrant Co.
There just before 1870, John H. Wheeler married Amanda Hamby, whose father, Thomas A. Hamby, helped organize Young Co. ten years before.
In 1868, John H. bought Rich Leonard's mill, which was located on Trinity River ten miles east of Fort Worth. Wheeler's mill became an important landmark that carried his name many years after he sold it to R. A. Randol in 1888.
By the time John Henry and Amanda were parents of six more children; Laura C., John H. Jr., who married Leila Smith; Rufus Marshall, who married Esther R. Murray; Maude, who married Ed Wayne; and Floyd O., who had died in 1887 at age six and was buried in Handley Cemetery.
In 1891 John Henry Wheeler, leaving his oldest son, William H. age 25, to manage his farm property near Handley, moved the family west to the very headwaters of the Brazos River in southern Crosby Co. There he and his sons, John, Marshall and Ernest, built two half-dugouts near a spring until a two-story home could be erected with lumber hauled from Colorado City.
This small ranch of four sections soon became for John H. and Amanda their "retirement home" where they lived quietly until her death in 1900 and his in 1905.
Their many descendants are living in the vicinity of Crosby County today
Source: Information gathered by Mrs. C. E. SandersSubmitted by Ralls Historical Museum
Informant: Ruth Adams
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