8. Augustus "Gus" T.
or F. WHEELER(30)
(33) (photo) was born in 1832 in Clermont
Co., OH.(31) [Birth in 1832 based on
1860 Census data and information obtained from Richard O. Johnson; information
given in his obituary would indicate that he was born in either 1833 or 1834.
The census indicated that he was born in Indiana; his obituary stated that he
was "of Indiana;" Johnson gives birth place as OH.] He m. rec. on
13 Dec 1857 in Napa, Napa Co., CA. He died on 10 Jun 1862 in Suscol, Napa Co.,
CA. [Family lore indicated that he probably died in Amador Co., CA, and died
about 1866 as his son "was 8 when his father died." However an obituary
in the Napa County Reporter, 14 Jun 1862, states that he died near Suscol in
Napa Co., CA, on 10 June of 1862.] "Martha (Anderson) married Augustus
T. Wheeler, who traveled in the same wagon train on the way to California in
1854. According to tradition they were married enroute; but the marriage was
recorded Dec. 13, 1857 at Napa, California. Gus Wheeler had a buckskin jacket
of which he was very proud. An old buck tried it on one time and this angered
Gus so that he tore it off of him. These were rough days in the old West and
the family on one occasion carried gold hidden in a false wagon bottom."
Records of the 1860 Census, Napa, CA, has Augustus Wheeler listed as head of household in Yount Township (north of the town of Napa), age 28, occupation "Farmer" and place of birth: "Indiana." Also listed in this census record as others "whose usual place of abode on the first day of June, 1860, was in this family:" Martha Wheeler, age 24, born Illinois; Andrew J. Wheeler, age 1, born Cal.; Geo Brewster, 24, male, day labor, born Ohio; Orin Root, 39, male, teamster, born Indiana. (This census enumeration conducted 20 Jun 1860.)
"Martha and Gus Wheeler settled at Jackson, Amador County, California. They had three children before Gus was killed in a mining or lumbering accident." (Slooper, p. 426) Several searches in Amador Co. have revealed no death of burial records for Gus. However, a brief obituary appearing in the Napa County Reporter was found indicating that he died in Suscol which was a small settlement a few miles south of the town of Napa. Suscol is where his wife's parents were living at the time. This obituary, dated June 14, 1862 (p. 2, col. 5), reads, "Died. At the Mountaineer House, near Suscol, June 10th, Augustus F. Wheeler, of Indiana, aged 28 years, -- son of Jacob Anderson." (Note that Augustus was the son-in-law of Jacob Anderson.) This obituary runs contrary to family lore but would explain why no record of his death could be found in Amador County. No death records were kept in Napa Co. during this period. The large cemetery in the town of Napa also does not have records for this period and a check of the records in some of the County's small cemeteries have turned up no Augustus Wheeler.
Previously no information had been found to indicate where in Indiana Gus was born or who his parents/ancestors were. It was thought that Gus might have had some early connection with Wheeler's Grove, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, as this was where the Andersons had lived prior to migrating to California. Other family information indicated some possible connection to two Wheeler brothers, S.M.B. (Salmon B. or Solomon) and Silas, who lived in the Wheeler's Grove area in the 1850s. In the documented Slooper history a passing mention was made of the second year of school (Grove Twsp) being "taught in the residence of S. M. B. Wheeler ... who settled in the township that year (1851)." (The first year of this school was taught in the Jacob Anderson home, Gus' future father-in-law.) Silas Wheeler evidentially lived in the Wheeler's Grove area before S.M.B.'s 1851 arrival. In July 1999 information obtained from Internet contacts indicated that Gus's parents might be Harvey and Susan Wheeler and that Gus was actually born in Ohio but moved at an early age (age 3 or younger) with his parents to Indiana were he was raised. He was still living with his parents during the 1850 US census; he was then 18 years old. S.M.B. and Silas Wheeler living in Pottawattamie Co., IA, would have been his older first cousins and they were neighbors to the Jacob Anderson family. While positive proof of this connection is lacking, current evidence strongly supports that the Augustus who married Martha Anderson is the son of Harvey and Susan Wheeler and that he was born in Ohio but raised from an early age in Indiana.
He was married to Martha Jane ANDERSON in 1854 in Wagon train, IA to CA.
9. Martha Jane ANDERSON
(photo) was born on 12 Jun 1836 in Fox
River, LaSalle Co., IL.(38) She m. rec.
on 13 Dec 1857 in Napa, Napa Co., CA. She died on 16 Jul 1873 in Pottawattamie
Co., IA. She was buried in Mormon Cemetery, Grove Township, Pottawattamie Co.,
IA. "Of the Jacob Anderson children, reputedly seven girls and three boys,
Sarah, the oldest died sometime after the age of 16. Martha, the next, married
Augustus T. Wheeler, who traveled in the same wagon train on the way to California
in 1854." (Slooper book)
She appeared with her family in the 1850 Pottawattamie Co., IA, US census as age 14. Martha appears with her husband and 1 year old son Andrew in the 1860 US census. At that time they were living in Yount Township north of the town of Napa, Napa Co., CA.
"Martha and Gus Wheeler settled at Jackson, Amador County, California. They had three children before Gus was killed in a mining or lumbering accident. (According to his obituary, Augustus died near Napa.) Martha then married Chester Hilliard, a grape grower, and had two sons by him. Meanwhile her mother and brother Andrew had gone back to Iowa and when Martha's health began to fail late in 1872, she became despondent and heartsick. Taking her daughter Emma and two small sons, she went to Iowa, knowing she would probably never return. Within about six months she died of consumption and was buried in the Mormon Cemetery just across the road at the south edge of the Anderson property." (Slooper book, pp. 426-427)
In the 1870 US census she was listed with her husband, Chester Hilliard, in Twp No. 1 (Jackson P.O.), Amador Co., CA. Also listed in the family at that time was Andrew (age 11), Emma (age 7 or 9?) and Albert (age 3).
In 1999 her weathered grave stone read, "MARTHA WIFE OF HILLIARD, Died July 16, 1873, aged 37 years 1 mo. & 4 days. She is not dead but sleeping."
The two sons she had by Chester Hilliard, Dick (Albert Chester) and George, returned to their father after their mother's death. They were raised in Amador Co. until Chester Hilliard died in 1879; they were then sent to live with their aunt, Martha's sister Isabelle Anderson Oaks, near Paskenta in Tehama Co., CA.
4 i. Andrew Jackson WHEELER.
ii. Emma Jane WHEELER(7) (39)(40) (41)(42) (43) (photo) was born on 2 Mar 1861 in Suscol, Napa Co., CA.(44) (45)(46) [RLDS card file gives birth date as 2 Mar 1861; Chico RLDS Record Book gives place of birth as "Suscull" and another Record Book (L) gives place of birth as "Suscall Valley, Amador, Cal." Her death certificate indicates that she was born in "Napa, Calif." and the age of death given confirms her birth on 2 Mar 1861. Amador Co. 1870 Census data appears to indicate that she was then 7 years old and therefore would have been born about 1863. However the 7 could be a poorly written 9 which would fit better with the other dates given for her birth and also the death of her father. Birth location of Amador Co., CA, given in History of Butte County appears to be in error. The book, History of Butte County, states that she went back to IA with her mother in 1872 when she was "then a lass of twelve years." If this latter is true her birth year would be about 1860, however she did not appear in the family in the 1860 census. This latter information would fit with the early 1861 birth date.] She was baptised on 19 Jul 1869 in Jackson, Amador Co., CA.(47) [RLDS Church baptism; location given as "near Jackson, Amador, Cal." and additional note states "she was but a child 8 years and cannot remember who baptized her." She was "Received" "by vote from Volcano Branch, Dec 23, 06"] She died on 25 Nov 1940 in Oakland, Alameda Co., CA. (48) [have copy of death certificate.] She was buried in Oakland, Alameda Co., CA. [Mt. View Cemetery] In the 1870 census she is listed as age 7 (or 9) living in Amador Co., CA, with her mother, step-father, brother & step-brother. She went back to Iowa late in 1872 with her mother when Emma was 12 years old. Shortly after arriving in Iowa her mother died. Emma remained in Iowa with relatives, probably her grandmother. "There she was reared and later met and married Mr. (Stephen H.) Opsal. They came to California in about 1900" to live in Chico, CA. According to copies of recorded real estate transactions Emma and her husband owned property in the south east part of Chico (presently 1722 & 1730 Hemlock) in 1920. In May 1923 this property was sold for a token sum ($10) to Roy C. Uhl (their 21 year old grandson). According to her brother's obituary, she was living in Oakland, CA, in 1926. The place of her death given on her death certificate was "2 Veteran Way," Oakland, CA. According to Claire Wheeler-Johnson (1997), she and her brother, Andrew Jackson, were close and she often came to visit him. She was a long time member of the Reorganized LDS Church, as were many, if not most, of her descendants.
The following is from an obituary furnished by Emma's namesake and great granddaughter Emma Uhl/Roney: "Former Chicoan Taken By Death. Death claimed Mrs. Emma A. Opsal, aged 79, at her Fruitvale home near Oakland Monday morning after a long illness. She and her late husband, S. H. Opsal, resided in Chico many years where she leaves a host of friends to mourn her passing. Near relatives surviving her are three daughters, Mrs. Etta Henry of Oakland, Mrs. William Bailey and Mrs. J. K. Uhl of Chico; ten great grandchildren and two brothers, Richard and George Hilliard of Stockton. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p. m. today at Cooper Funeral Home in Oakland."
iii. ? ? (daughter) WHEELER(49). She must have died young as no further information has been found on her. The only indication of her existence is the mention in the Slooper book on page 426 that her parents had 3 children and on page 470 where the third child is listed as "_____ _____ Wheeler* (daughter)" with the asterisk indicating that she was deceased.
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