Franklin Wheeler

Franklin Wheeler was born in 1838.

In 1860 there was a New York-born 20-year-old laborer named Franklin Wheeler working for a miller named parsons in Saline, Washtenaw County; also living in Washtenaw was a tailoress named Jane O. Wheeler, born 1815 in New York.

Franklin stood 5’11’’ with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 23 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted as a wagoner for Company F on May 13, 1861. He was serving as the Adjutant’s clerk from July of 1862 through September, as a clerk at Brigade headquarters from February of 1863 through July, and was working as a clerk at Camp Convalescent in Alexandria, Virginia, from August until he was transferred, probably to the Thirty-third Company, Second Batallion of the Veterans’ Reserve Corps on September 30, 1863.

There is no further record.

There is no pension file available for the Frank Wheeler who served in the Third Michigan infantry. One Jane Wheeler was reported as the dependent mother of Franklin Wheeler, Company F, Thirteenth U.S. Infantry, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 52631) in June of 1864.

(Curiously, there was Vermont-born Jane Wheeler (b. 1815) who was keeping house for her son 30-year-old Michigan-born farmer Franklin Wheeler in 1870 in Tecumseh, Lenawee County. Jane was listed as the head of the household in 1860 and Franklin was working as a lawyer and they were living in Ridgway, Lenawee County; also living with them were Franklin’s younger siblings James and Eliza. In 1850 Franklin was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living with his father New York native Benjamin P. (b. 1808) and mother Jane in Meridian, Ingham County. This was probably the same Franklin Wheeler who served from Tecumseh in the Fourth Michigan infantry during the war.)

Old Third Michigan Association records of June 29, 1904, report that of its total membership roster since 1870 the only Frank Wheeler on its books was Frank S. Wheeler, who was, curiously enough, an honorary member of the Association.

(According to this Wheeler’s pension records he was born 1845 in Michigan, the son of Josiah (1808-1868), and in 1860 was an apprentice printer attending school and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward, where his father and older brother worked as master masons. Frank S. was 19 years old when he enlisted in Company B, One hundred forty-third Illinois infantry on May 9, 1864 at Cairo, Illinois, and was mustered out of service on September 26, 1865 (?) at Mattoon, Illinois. He returned to Michigan where he worked as a grocer for some time in Grand Rapids after the war, and may have been living in Lansing’s Fifth Ward in 1894. He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4053) on June 30, 1903, was discharged April 25, 1916 at his own request, and readmitted on December 12, 1916. He was probably never married, and he received pension no. is 662,147, drawing $10.00 in 1903, increased to $12.00, $15.00 and in 1912 to $18.00. He died at 9:00 a.m. on January 2, 1918, at the Christian Science church in Grand Rapids, and was buried on January 4 in Fulton cemetery, Grand Rapids.)