Anvilla Wheeler

published in Springfield, IL, newspaper, in 1914

Well Known Resident of City Expires at Her Residence.
Decedent Was Mother of Postmaster L. E. Wheeler, and Widow of Jacob Wheeler -- Funeral To Be Held Tomorrow.

WHEELER--Died, at 9:10 a.m., February 8, 1914, at the family residence, 153 North Walnut Street, Anvilla Wheeler, widow of the late Jacob Wheeler, aged 70 years, 7 months and 28 days.

The funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at the residence, Rev. W. J. Johnson, pastor of First Congregational church, officiating. Interment will be made in Oak Ridge cemetery.

Mrs. Wheeler was born June 11, 1843, at Havana, IL. She was one of six children and was the daughter of Orin and Rosina Foster. Her parents came from Herkermer (sic) County, N.Y., and were among the first settlers at Havana, taking up the land by entry papers that was later Quiver Beach.

Mrs. Wheeler was reared in Havana, spending her girlhood days at that place and on June 26, 1862, became a wartime bride marrying Captain Jacob Wheeler of Havana, while he was at home on a furlough and in lieu of a wedding trip went to the front with her husband staying in the south until after the battle of Shiloh in which Captain Wheeler took part. Mrs. Wheeler's experiences at that time as related were most harrowing and unusual but she bravely stayed near her husband until the movements of the armies of the south and noth (sic) made it necessary for her to return to her home in the north and await the return of her husband.

Captain Wheeler remained in the army for many months following his marriage and following the war returned to Havana, where they lived until 1881, when Captain Wheeler moved to Springfield upon receiving the appointment of United States marshal. Captain Wheeler died December 25, 1891, and Mrs. Wheeler continued her residence in this city until the time of her death.

Mrs. Wheeler was a quiet woman who lived devotedly for her family but was also a woman of capacity and for many years following her husband's death, managed successfully the Wheeler Ice company founded by her husband. It was however because of her charming domestic qualities that those who knew her best esteemed and reverenced her. She was a life long member of the Congregational church and for many years a member of the First Congregational church of this city.

Surviving Mrs. Wheeler are one son, Postmaster Loren Wheeler; five daughters, Mrs. T. P. Bradford of this city; Mrs. G. Walter Murray of Chicago; Nora, Amy and Eva Wheeler at home; two brothers, J. R. Foster, of Plainsville, Kan., and George Foster of Quincy; two half brothers, Anson Lowe of Boyleston, Wash., and Rufus Lowe of Havana. Also two grandchildren, Isabelle Bradford and Waldo Leigh Wheeler, both of this city.

Contributed by Karen Foster Montgomery

Jacob Wheeler

THE SPRINGFIELD SUNDAY JOURNAL, Page 4, Col. 1, December 27, 1891

The Community Shocked by Col. Wheeler’s Unexpected Death
His Successful Career in Politics—Action in Regard to
Dr. Frederick Lawson Matthew’s Death

In the death of Col. Jacob Wheeler, Springfield loses one of her best citizens. His sudden death, following that of Dr. Matthews, another prominent citizen of the Capital City, has cast a gloom over the community.

Col. Wheeler and his wife had spent the evening at the home of Frank Raustroff of North Ninth Street. They returned home about 10 o’clock and were seated about the grate with the rest of the family. He had just finished speaking to his son, Loren, when suddenly he fell forward and in a few moments was dead.

An inquest was held over the remains by Coroner Hofferkamp and the verdict was that death was caused by apoplexy.

Col. Wheeler was born in Richmond (Richland?) County, O., June 16, 1834. He came west in 1836 with his pa rents, who located in Fulton County, this State, and there he spent his boyhood days on his father’s farm. When he was 17 years of age the family removed to Havana, Mason County. In 1862 he was married to Anvilla Foster. For a number of years he was engaged in carpenter work and afterward conducted an agricultural implement store.

He enlisted in the army in the three months’ service May 24, 1861, as a private in the Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, and afterward re-enlisted. He participated in the battles of Fort Donaldson, Frederickstown and Shiloh, the siege of Vicksburg and a number of others. In the battle of Frederickstown he was severely wounded and was left on the battle field for some time, the impression being that he was dead. After he recovered he secured a horse and pluckily followed and rejoined his regiment. At the close of the war he returned to his home at Havana and engaged in selling farming implements.

He soon became prominent in politics and was five times elected Town Collector in a Democratic township and served several years as Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue. From 1872 to 1874 he was a member of the State Board of Equalization. In 1874 he was elected a Representative in the General Assembly, from the then Thirty-sixth District and was re-elected in 1876. While a member of the House he took a conspicuous part in behalf of Gen. John A. Logan in the Senatorial campaign w hich ended in the election of Logan as Senator to succeed Gov. Oglesby. And in Gen. Logan’s last Senatorial campaign Col. Wheeler again took an active part, being one of the few men in charge of the celebrated "still hunt" in the Thirty-fourth District, which ended in the election of a Republican in that Democratic district, breaking the long-continued deadlock and enabling Logan to defeat Morrison.

He was appointed a colonel on the Governor’s staff by Gov. Cullom. In 1880 he was appointed United States Marshal for the Southern district of Illinois and came to this city to reside. He served as Marshall until 1883, when he was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for this district and held the office until the incoming of the Cleveland administration. He then engaged in the ice and coal business in this city. He had twice represented the Democratic Seventh Ward in the City Council, and during his residence in that ward was the only Republican who could carry it. His last official position was that of Supervisor of the Census for this district in 1890.

Col. Wheeler was universally popular and was a power in the Republican party in Sangamon County and in this Congressional district. He was recognized as an aggressive, experienced and able leader and had a large personal following. He was a genial, companionable man, with a pleasant word for everybody, and will be sorely missed in this community, as well as through this pa rt of the State.

Col. Wheeler had been successful in his business enterprises, and leaves his family in comfortable circumstances. He is survived by his wife and six children, five daughters, Misses Rose, Ollie, Nora, Eva and Amy Wheeler, and one son, Loren Wheeler, all of whom reside at home. Also by two sisters, Mrs. J. C. Ellsworth of Forest City and Mrs. Sarah Griggsby of Lewistown, and by three brothers, William Wheeler of Oakland, Cal., Charles Wheeler of Mason City and John P. Wheeler of Cuba, Ill. The funeral will occur at 2 0’clock tomorrow from his late residence, corner of Walnut and Jefferson streets. The services will be conducted by Rev. C. C. Ottis, and will be under the auspices of Mendell Post, G. A. R., of which the deceased was a member.

Obit for Dr. F. L. Matthews followed.....(Surgeon General, Col. Frederick L. Matthews)...and last paragraph stated:

The members of the City Council met last night to take action in regard to the death of Dr. Matthews. A committee consisting of Mayor Lawrence and Alds. Rall and Hudson were appointed to draft resolutions regarding the death of Dr. Matthews and Jacob Wheeler. All of the Aldermen were present except Ald. Brewer.

Contributed by Karen Foster Montgomery