Alabama Pioneers Honored

Biography: Mrs. W. C. Wheeler (September 22, 1848 – October 24, 1876)

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By R. L. James


To the Readers of the Alabama Historical Quarterly: (The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 07, No. 03, Fall Issue 1945)

I am releasing another section. No. 3, of my article “Colbertians.” I hope it will be possible for me to add one more section but I am sure there will still be many interesting people whom I cannot include. In addition to those to .whom I expressed thanks in the preface (See No. 2 Vol. 7) I wish to acknowledge my appreciation to Mr. James Carloss of Elkmont; Mrs. J. F. Craig, Jasper; Mrs. William Malone and Mrs. W. D. Brotherton, Cherokee; Mrs. Emma Scruggs and Miss Mattie Guy, Tuscumbia; and there are probably others who deserve to be mentioned in this connection whom I cannot at this moment recall. Mr. Woodruff Delony gave me quite a bit of information. I was at his house on August 6, 1946, which incidentally, was his eighty-sixth birthday, and had a long conversation with him. Since then this venerable citizen of Leighton, has passed away. He was a son of Dr. Edward B, Delony. I hope to write more about the Delony family in some future issue of the Quarterly. Sept 4, 1946 R. L. JAMES



(September 22, 1848 – October 24, 1876)

Colbert County, Alabama

Mrs. W. C. Wheeler (Obituary “Mrs. Laura Frances Wheeler, wife of Dr. W. C. Wheeler, and daughter of B. J. and E. S. Smith was born Sept. 22, 1848. and married to her bereft husband Nov. 22, 1866. She professed religion and joined the M. E. Church, South in the autumn of 1867 and died in Cherokee, Ala. Oct. 24, 1876. It is very probable that our sister died without realizing that her sickness was to be fatal, and certainly much earlier than was expected by most of her friends. This being the case, she said nothing on the subject of dying, so far as the writer is advised. She was much beloved by her neighbors because of her uniform kindness to all, and when the tidings spread from house to house, ‘Lou Wheeler is dead” the whole village was in consternation and sorrow.

The multitude that attended her funeral attests the esteem in which she was held by all. The writer has been her pastor four years, has lived near her seven, and can testify that in her association she was pleasant and happy.

As a daughter, sister and wife she was true and affectionate; and as a mother, she tried to do her duty faithfully. How sad to think three little children are left to make their way through the world without ever knowing the power of a mother’s love! How sad the heart, and how desolate the home of my friend and brother who has so often been with me and mine in sickness and distress. May the great Head of the Church soothe his heart with the consolation of his grace! From the life of the deceased we have good hope that with her, sorrow, tears, and trouble, are ended forever. As far as was ever known to me, she was uniform and consistent in her life, and resigned and patient in her afflictions. After such a life we confidently expect the bliss and joy of ‘the life to come’ JNO. B. STEVENSON”

Mrs. Wheeler’s obituary is from the North Alabamian for Dec. 1, 1876.

Her husband, Dr. W. C. Wheeler is said to have been a high class physician and a gentleman of distinguished bearing. He later married a Miss Giles of Tuscumbia; and about 1890 he removed from Cherokee to Huntsville. A sketch of him may be found in “History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography” by the late Dr. Thomas M. Owen.

The Smiths were among the early and prominent settlers of the Cherokee community. Mrs. Wheeler’s first name is misspelled in her obituary so says her cousin, Miss Mattie Guy of Tuscumbia. It was Louise or Louisa.

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