4. Andrew Jackson WHEELER
(photo) was born on 22 Sep 1858 in Napa, Napa Co., CA. He died on 24 Dec
1926 in Corning, Tehama Co., CA.(13)
["... did not die in his home. He did die in Corning. It was at George
and Birdie Wilson's home. He and grandma had moved their leather chairs over
there to take care of Austin and Florabelle after Birdie died." (Claire
1997)] He was buried in Corning, Tehama Co., CA. (Sunset Hill Cemetery) "Grandpa
Wheeler -- trained to be a watch maker but stubbornly went into tinsmithing (pots
& pans) -- then went into windmills & plumbing -- invested in oil wells
& car companies. He was 8 when his father died in an accident (tree fell
on him) -- mother went back to Iowa & married a Hilliard." (Doris, 1990)
Actually he was a little less than 4 years old when his father died, about 14
1/2 when his mother died, and about 20 1/2 when his step-father died. He is
listed in the 1870 US Census, Amador Co., as age 11 with his mother, step-father
Chester Hilliard, sister Emma, and half-brother Albert.
"Grandpa only invested in 1 oil well. Grandma Wheeler was angry and demanded the same amount he had invested ($500). She bought the two leather chairs (still in the family in 1997) and a leather couch with it. I never heard of any investment in cars. When he and Grandma lived in Newville, his business was tin pans (both made and repaired) in the winter and made and installed windmills in the spring and summer... Grandpa's first shop (in Corning) was on the alley behind the bank on 4th St and Solano. It was a small building; no longer exists. Word of mouth from Doris Wheeler was it was the first place of voting for prohibition. 'Corning the Clean Town.' Of course liquor was always available as history attests." (Claire, 1997)
Obituary, Unknown newspaper (probably the Corning Republican), Dec. 1926
OLD SETTLER PASSES AWAY AFTER LONG AND USEFUL LIFE: HEART TROUBLE THE CAUSE OF DEMISE
Andrew J. Wheeler, a well and favorably known resident of Corning, died at his home Friday at 12:45 p. m. Death was due to heart failure, and the end came suddenly. Mr. Wheeler had been in poor health for some time, but was seemingly as well as usual that morning, and made a trip that morning with his son, S. A. Wheeler. On their return he drove home, and, on his arrival, complained of a pain in his stomach. He passed away but a few minutes later. Andrew J. Wheeler was born in Amador County, California on the 22nd day of September, 1858. He was united in marriage to Miss May Belle Osborn, to which union four sons were born, one passing away in infancy. The three sons, all residents of Corning, are S. A. Wheeler, St. Clare Wheeler and Hilton A. Wheeler, who with the widow, are left to mourn his loss. One sister, Mrs. Emma Opsal of Oakland, and two half-brothers, Richard Hilliard of Oroville, and George Hilliard of Merced also survive the deceased. Mr. Wheeler was for some years a resident of Newville, being in the plumbing business there. In August of 1902 he moved his plant to Corning. When his health failed the business was taken over by his son, Augustus. He was a charter member of the Newville Masonic lodge, the Newville lodge a few years ago uniting with the local lodge. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon, and a large number of friends gathered for the last rites of the departed. The services were at the Christian Church, of which he was a member, T, M. Jones delivered the sermon. Interment was made in the Sunset Hill Cemetery, Olivet Lodge No. 205 having charge of the services.
At the time the Christian Church of Corning was built (1912), A.J. Wheeler was a member of the Building Committee, a trustee and and elder. (Article entitled "Christian Church Founded in 1900," Corning Daily Observer, 22 Oct 1975, p. 4.)
The following is from A HISTORY OF THE WHEELER FAMILY AND ITS CORNING PLUMBING SHOP (Wagon Wheels, Fall 1998): "A. J. was raised near Napa and at Jackson. While trained as a watchmaker, he stubbornly went into tin smithing. In the late 1800's he opened a tin-shop in the then thriving town of Newville west of Corning. He made and repaired pots and pans in the winter and built and installed windmills and water tanks in the summer. In 1884 he married Belle Osborn from the large Osborn family of Newville (Belle's father, Sullivan, came to California in 1851). In 1902 A. J., Belle and their sons moved to Corning, and A. J. established his windmill, plumbing and sheet metal business facing Fourth Avenue on the alley behind where the Corning Bank of America building later would be built. Belle Wheeler always bragged that it was at this Wheeler business site that the first vote was taken to adopt prohibition and establish Corning as the "Clean Town" in 1906. Sometime later a lot was purchased, a building erected and the family business was moved to the south side of Solano Street just west of Sixth Avenue. In these early days the signing on the front of the shop read, "A. J. Wheeler's Sons, Pumping Plant Specialists, Sheet Metal Works, Plumbing." In later years it was known as Wheeler's Plumbing Shop. Here A. J., his sons, and employees continued to build and install windmills and water tanks and to install and repair electric pumps. In the early days "A. J. Wheeler" could be seen on the fantails of many windmills in Tehama County. The sheet metal works included the fabrication of everything from farm and industrial products to rain gutters, chimney flues and swamp coolers. The original Wheeler home place was on several lots on Solano Street east of Toomes Avenue. ... In addition to his family and business, A. J. was active in the Masonic Lodge and the Corning First Christian Church where he was a trustee, an elder, and a member of the building committee when the Church was built in 1912."
1900 US Census, Glenn Co., CA; 6th Judicial Twp; 9 Jun; 32/32
Wheeler, Andrew head wm Sep 1858 41 m16 CA IN IA Tinsmith
Maybell wife wf Apr 1867 33 m16 3-2 CA ME MI
Sullivan A. son wm Jan 1885 15 s CA CA CA
Harry S. son wm Jul 1899 .10 s CA CA CA
Whitlock, William H. serv wm Jul 1840 59 wd MI NY NY farm laborer
Gould, Beatrice serv wf Apr 1891 9 s CA GER CA
He was married to May Belle OSBORN on 30 Apr 1884 in Colusa, Colusa Co., CA.
5. May Belle OSBORN
(16) (photo) was born on 23 Apr 1867 in
Newville, Glenn Co., CA. [Actually in this time period, this area was part of
Colusa Co., Glenn Co. being formed later in 1891.] She died on 16 Mar 1939 in
Corning, Tehama Co., CA. She was buried in Corning, Tehama Co., CA. (Sunset
Hill Cemetery) Belle was the forth of 15 children born to her parents, she and
11 of her siblings lived to adulthood. She married just a few days after turning
17 and then soon started to raise her own children. When Belle was ready to
deliver her child, St.Clare, she sent for the doctor who lived 22 miles away.
A neighbor lady came to help but became frightened and left. As the doctor
had not arrived and the birth was imminent she ordered her husband, Andrew, to
get a basin of water and proceeded to deliver the child by herself, cutting the
cord and bathing him. When the doctor arrived she asked him to look the baby
over. The doctor's response was, "I couldn't do better myself."
"Grandma Wheeler ... was the happy, loud, bossy and kept close track of all her brothers and sisters. This was how we met them. They were often gathered at her house..." (Claire)
She liked to hang out at the plumbing shop until her husband noticed that she started taking like the "guys" (i.e., spicy language, "chicken shit" being her favorite). He then made her stay home. She never drove; she walked fast and talked loud and fast. She was a wiry lady. (Andrew)
i. Sullivan "Gus" Agustus WHEELER(17) (18) (photo) was born on 31 Jan 1885 in Newville, CA. [Actually in this time period, this area was part of Colusa Co. but in the part that was to become Glenn Co. later.] He died on 27 Apr 1965 in Red Bluff, Tehama Co., CA. He was buried on 30 Apr 1965 in Oak Hill Cem., Red Bluff, Tehama, CA. Obituary in Red Bluff Daily News, Wed., 28 Apr 1965, p. 1: "'GUS' WHEELER, 80, NATIVE TEHAMAN, DIES IN REST HOME Sullivan Augustus "Gus" Wheeler, 80 a native of Tehama County, died early Tuesday in a rest home.... Wheeler conducted a plumbing and sheet metal business in Corning for 40 years and was also a retired deputy tax assessor for the county. He had made his home in Red Bluff since 1950. He was a member of the Corning Odd Fellows Lodge, El Camino Grange and a charter member of the Corning Fire Dept. Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Doris Myers, Albuquerque, New Mex.; a brother Hilton, Berkeley; a nephew, Don Sayles, Red Bluff; and two grandchildren. Services will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Hoyt's Chapel with interment in Oak Hill Cemetery." The obituary of his brother (St. Clare) in Apr 1939 indicates that Gus was then living in San Jose. Some family members have pointed out that Gus was not a "native Tehaman," being born in what was then Colusi Co, later to become Glenn Co. Gus & his family moved to Corning, Tehama Co., in 1902 when Gus was about 17. Family members also pointed out that Gus could not have been in the Corning plumbing business anywhere close to 40 years. In the words of his niece, Claire Wheeler/Johnson: "When I was little, Daddy worked for Gus and Grandpa. The shop was always known as 'Wheeler and Sons' but when Grandpa retired Gus went broke."
ii. Henry Adelbert WHEELER (photo) was born on 16 Jul 1888 in (prob) Newville. [Actually in this time period, this area was part of Colusa Co. but in the part that was to become Glenn Co. later.] He died on 21 Feb 1890 in (prob) Newville. He was buried in Newville, CA. From marker at Newville Cemetery: "Henry A. Wheeler died Feb. 21, 1890, Aged 1 yr 7 mo. 5 D's. Tis a little grave but O have care, For world wide hopes are buried there. How much of light, how much of joy, Is buried with our darling boy."
iii. Beatrice "Birdie" GOULD OR GOOLD(19) (photo) was born in Apr 1891 in (prob) San Francisco, CA. Del Osborn's data had birth date of 28 Apr 1892 which could possibly be her adoption date; 1891 is on her grave stone. Some family material indicates that she was born in Oakland, CA. She died on 8 Nov 1925 in Corning, Tehama Co., CA. Although taken into the family and raised like a sister to the Wheeler boys (they called her "Sis") she was never legally adopted, nor included in the Wheeler estate, nor buried in the Wheeler family cemetery plot. It is unknown whether this was an oversight or intentional. Which ever, it has caused some hard feelings among family members.
2 iv. Harry St.Clare WHEELER.
v. Andrew Hilton WHEELER(20) (photo) was born on 24 Nov 1902 in (prob.) Corning, Tehama Co., CA. He died on 24 Jun 1976 in El Cerrito, Conta Costa Co., CA. He was buried in Corning, Tehama Co., CA. (Sunset Hill Cemetery) Hilton was raised and educated in Corning. He worked occasionally for the family plumbing business and was known for his skill in things electrical and electronic. As a young man he was known to build crystal radio sets. He also served in the Navy. In his later years he lived in the East Bay area near San Francisco and at one time did custodial work there. His last marriage to Ada McMillen lasted and they raised three boys. In Rosdail's "Slooper" book, published in 1961, he is listed as living in El Cerrito, CA. His final return to his home town of Corning was his burial there in the family plot at Sunset Cemetery. His obituary in the 26 Jun 1976 issue of the Red Bluff Daily News stated, "He had resided in the Bay area for 30 years, and was employed in a machine shop."
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