Friday, June 15, 2012

Simon Wheeler 1781 History

     Simon Wheeler was born in Maine, about 1781, the son of Simon and Hannah Reed Wheeler.  On the Census Report for 1850, Simon gave his birthplace as Maine.
     Levi Wheeler, son of Simon and Sarah Wheeler, told his family that his people were early New England settlers and had lived in Maine for a long time.  Simon was in the lumber business, and as a boy, Levi helped cut down the trees and also helped take the logs down the Kennebec and later on the Penobscot Rivers,
     After the Revolutionary War, financial conditions were terrible.  The Country was full of worthless paper money which had been issued by each of the original colonies.  The Revolutionary soldiers were paid with this money.  At that time Maine was part of Massachusetts.  Massachusetts was willing to give land in Maine and take this paper money from her soldiers in payment.  For this offer there arose a great migration to Maine.  The district flourished until the War of 1812 when a stagnation occurred in all business.  Many left and went to the new lands of the west.
     The land in Maine was covered with timber.  In the winter-time, the men worked cutting down trees for the lumbering companies, and also to clear their land for farming.  Then they helped bring the logs down stream in the spring from the timber country.  The men were then paid off for their winters work and returned to their farms for the summer.  Wild game was plentiful, so there was lots of hunting and trapping.

     Simon told his children that he and three brothers left their home to make their own way. They became separated, lost touch with each other and also with the folks at home.

     We first find Simon Wheeler living at Greene, Maine, in 1803, where he was appointed on a committee to re-organize the school districts in the town in 1803. {See History of Greene, Maine, By. W.L. Mower, pager 23}.
    March 15,1804,  he married Sarah Stevens, of Greene, Maine, daughter of Jacob and Martha (Pettingill) Stevens, at Greene, Maine and lived there until about 1818, when he sold his land and moved to Leeds, Maine. {Marriage intentions were filed on February 5, 1804.  Marriage was solemnized by Benjamin Merrill, Justice of the Peace. - from Town Records of Greene, at town clerk's office, signed Carmelita Appleby.}   [* See Jacob Stevens History for more information.]
     Simon was living at Greene during the War of 1812-1814.  He was drafted at Greene, Maine, on or about the 1st day of September 1814, for the term of INDEFINITE or 40 days, and continued in actual service in said war for the term of fourteen days and was honorably discharged, at Wiscassettm, Me.  On or about the 1st day of October 1814, as will appear on the muster roll of this company.  He was a Private in the Company commanded by Captain Andrew Daggett in the Regiment of Infantry commanded by Colonel Walter M. Blaisdell in the war with Great Britian declared by the United States on 18 June 1812, in camp at Gardiner, Maine.
       In 1827 Simon moved again, going east to Lincoln, where he is on the tax list for 1828, with six children of school age.

     On 28 March 1830, Deborah Cutter Wheeler married Jeremy Nelson from Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts.  Their family of 12 children, including a set of twins, were born and raised in Lincoln, Penobscot, Maine.  Both parents died there.

        Ebenezer, the oldest boy, went back to Leeds. On May 14, 1831,  he married Agnes Beals of Scarborough, Maine. He remained in Leeds and died there in 1890.  Some of his descendants still living around there. They had 6 children.   [Two of Ebenezer's boys were in the Civil War.  Levi W. Wheeler was a Private in Company G., 1st Regiment of Calvary from Maine.  William W. Wheeler was a Private in Company E, 16th Regiment of Infantry from Maine.]

     On 11 January 1834 , Jacob married Martha Drake at Buckfield, Maine.  Later they moved to Molunkus  and the eastern part of the state.  They had 9 children and are buried at Paw Paw County, Illinois.
      In 1845 Levi and Jacob and their families moved west to Nauvoo, Illinois, and shortly afterwards to Paw Paw, Illinois.
    In 1849 Gold was discovered in California.  Levi and Jacob left their families at Paw Paw and rushed west with others.
     In 1851, Jacob returned to Illinois and bought land at Paw Paw, Illinois. [ Jacob's oldest son, Beniah, was born in Maine in 1836 and came to Illinois with the family
      On 5 July 1835, Rhoda Wheeler married Stephen D. Haynes (or Stephen P. Haines) of Dexter, Maine. They are both buried in Dexter, Maine and are the parents of 4 girls and 5 boys.

     Levi must have gone back to Leeds with Ebenezer and Jacob, as he went south into Massachusetts.  On 15 May 1838 he married Mary Ann Wilder Arnold at Abington, Massachusetts.  In 1840 Levi moved back to Augusta Maine where the next three of his children were born.  Other relatives were living at Augusta at this time.
       In 1845 Levi and Jacob and their families moved west to Nauvoo, Illinois, and shortly afterwards to Paw Paw, Illinois.
       In 1849 Gold was discovered in California.  Levi and Jacob left their families at Paw Paw and rushed west with others.     Later Levi and some other men went to Colorado in that gold rush and later to the Black Hills, but none of them had much luck in finding gold. Then Levi went to South Dakota and took up government land, which was just being open up for settlement in 1883.
    [ * See Levi Wheeler History for more information.]

    Simon and his family moved from Lincoln to Molunkus.  Simon and Sarah ran the hotel at Monlukus while they were there. [Their daughter, Martha had a daughter born at Simons home in Molunkus, Maine on 13 August 1843.]

     In 1843, Rebecca married Ephraim Butnam Smith,(or Ephraim Putnam Smith ) a brother of Sylvester Jay Smith.  They lived in Maine until about 1849, when they moved to Ohio.  They settled in Fulton County where they lived many years.  Both died at Swanton, Fulton County, Ohio.  They had 5 children.
     On May 4, 1844, Joseph married Elmira Lancaster at Lee, Maine.  Elmira was the daughter of Elihu and Sally (Tuck) Lancaster.  Joseph Wheeler cleared timber land and built a house near Molunkus, where all of his children were born, except the youngest, who was born in Illinois.  In 1851 Molunkus was divided and the part where Joseph lived was them called Macwahoc.  The less settled area was left as Molunkus Plantation.     In 1877, Joseph Wheeler and his wife and family moved to Iowa, where they bought land in Harrison Township, Boone County, Iowa.   They had 13 children.  Joseph and Elmira died at Mackay, Iowa.
     Numerous descendants of Joseph and Elmira Wheeler still live in Boone County, Iowa.
       William Henry, Augustus and Elmira and her husband, Llewellyn Blake, all went back to Maine.  William Henry settled at Enfield and later Passadumkeag, Maine.  Augustus settled at Lincoln, Maine;  and Elmira and her husband, Llewellyn Blake, lived at Lee, Maine until after their children were born, then moved to California.

      On 19 November 1842 Martha married Sylvester Jay Smith at Lincoln, Maine.  Later the moved to Ohio and settled in Solon, Ohio, near Cleveland.  Later they moved to Michigan.  Their children were born: the first three in Maine, and the next two in Ohio.  They were buried in Fairgrove, Tuscoln, Michigan. 
       Sylvester J., wife and daughter, Martha Jane, left Aroostock County, Maine on 1 July 1845, planning to make their home in Illinois.  They journey took 102 days and they settled in Northern Illinois.  Early in the summer of 1846, they settled in Paw Paw Grove.  There were 14 families in the party and about 60 people in the encampment, in the trip from Maine.
     He describes the unrest of the immigrants in the new strange country.  'Wearied at length with the unsettled state of Northern Illinois and especially of society, mixed, varied and unsettled, I determined to remove to the territory of Wisconsin, which journey was accomplished in April 1848.  A brother-in-law, Levi Wheeler and his family were also in the party.
     In September I finally decided to return to Maine.  This action was precipitated by the action of my partner, Dr. Drake, who with my brother-in-law, Wheeler, had caught the California gold fever which was raging  and almost contagious throughout the country at this time.'
    They set about making preparations to make the journey by way of the lakes, intending to dock at Buffalo.  He then describes a raging storm on the lake which induced them to leave the boat at Cleveland, Ohio.
      While stopping at the Farmer's Home in Cleveland, I saw a map of Cuyahoga County, the name of the town of Orange and it occurred to my mind that a family by the name of York, with which I had been acquainted with in Maine, lived at that place.  I, at once, took stage passage with my family to that place.
    We lived in Orange and North Solon, Ohio for several years and this is where the other daughters were born. Martha Jane, the eldest daughter, met and married Robert Harper in Orange.
   We do not know how long he lived in Ohio, but evidently he was much impressed with Michigan on his trip from the East as he describes its dry climate and sandy soil.  The family moved to Akron, Michigan, and this is where the other girls met and married their husbands.  Julia Ellen, Geneva C. And May C. Lived in Michigan for the remainder of their lives.  Adelaide eventually moved to California.
    Sylvester Jay Smith wrote the story of his life when he was 72 years old, and evidently intended to write more but died before the work was completed.

[This excerpt from the Diary of Sylvester J. Smith was copied and sent to Ada Miller by Mrs. Alida Harper Irwin.]

           In 1844 Simon and family left Molunkus and moved to Charleston, Maine.  That fall Sarah Augusta Wheeler married Henry Bacon of Charleston, October 6, 1844,  and raised her family in Charleston.  Eight children were listed.
.  In 1849, Beniah went to California for gold and stayed for four years, then returned to Paw Paw becoming one of Paw Paws prominent citizens.    * See history of Beniah Wheeler for more information. ]

     Simon Wheeler died at Charleston, Maine 2 April, 1853.  He was buried in the East Corinthian Cemetery, at East Corinth, Maine.

  (The dividing line between Charleston and Corinth ran through the Simon Wheeler farm. )

{According to a letter from the caretaker at the cemetery, In April, the snow in Maine is about four feet deep in that part of the state, with roads closed or nearly closed.}

[ This information was also recored in the history of Simon Wheeler Family, But I Tammy Stevenson, am unable to figure out its relevance at this time.

   Adalbert took up land in Northeastern Nebraska and Simon bought land near Sioux City. 
    In 1885, [he???????] married Laura Elizabeth Horton at Blunt, South Dakota Territory at that time.   ]


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