Oswego Boy Rose Through Merit to High Positions
With Limited Education He Became One of Largest Great Lakes Ship Owners
While in a measure prepared for the mournful event, our city is today deeply saddened by the death of Captain Morgan M. Wheeler which took place at 6 o'clock this morning.
Although still comparatively a young mane Captain Wheeler had reached the front rank among the business men of this city, and no man among us was more highly respected for his enterprise, integrity of character and genial social qualities, and the death of no citizen of Oswego would be met with more genuine regret.
It is rarely we find a better illustration of the possibilities within the reach of every American boy who possesses integrity of character, good habits, enterprises and intelligence than is illustrated by the career and success of Morgan M. Wheeler. And it is proper that such an example should be placed prominently before the mind of every American youth.
He was born May 10, 1835, in the town of Lyme, Jefferson, County in this State, and came to Oswego with his mother and step-father in 1845, or when he was nine years of age. The only advantages young Wheeler possessed for acquiring knowledge were such as were offered by our public schools, and the scanty time his limited means allowed him to attend then. In 1846 he commenced learning the milling business with Lewis & Beardsley, then one of the lading firms, of the place, and in this business he continued six years. He then entered the service of Albert F. Allen a salesman in a grocery and provision store, in which he continued one year.
Builds up Oswego Fleet.
In 1853, he entered the service of Messrs. Dodie & Manwarren, tug and vessel owners, and continued in their service until 1850, as a clerk, agent, business manager etc., when he purchased from his savings, the steam tug J. H. Bloore, the running of which he made a business success. The Bloore was succeeded by the Fred D. Wheeler, and soon after Captain Wheeler commenced investing his earning in vessel property until he became the owner of a very valuable fleet of lake vessels, and he himself became known along the entire chain of the Great Lakes as one of the most successful lake vessel proprietors of the day.
Perhaps his most distinguished traits were his energy and his reliability Clear headed and intelligent he certainly was, and he understood his business thoroughly and having once made a contract, his energy knew no rest until is part of the business was accomplished. Such traits of character as he possessed, with his integrity of character which secured him the respect of all classes of people would have made his life a success, no matter what field he had entered.
Capt. Wheeler was thoroughgoing Republican, and in his politics, as in his business he was earnest and devote, but never offensive. He recognized the duty of ever good citizen owes to the public and some eight years ago although not desiring the position, he allowed himself to be elected to the Common Council from the Third Ward. In the Council his traits of character did not desert him. He made one of the most energetic and efficient Alderman the city has ever had. He was twice re-elected making his entire term six years, and he would have continued in the council until the present day except for his absolute refusal to again be a candidate. Capt. Wheeler was not politically ambitious, and always had the full confidence of his party. He serval times refused the nomination for Mayor, and he might have represented his city in the legislature had he given his consent.
Capt. Wheeler was as public spirited as he was enterprising in his own business. He was one of the founders of Grace (Presbyterian) Church in this city and has always taken an active interest in its prosperity.
It was during his term in the Common Council that our City hall was built, and he took an active interest in its construction, and to his efforts and the members of the Council with whom he acted was it due that the edifice was constructed to economically and with such fidelity to the interest of the city. And from the time he entered upon an active business life no man in Oswego was more interested in its prosperity and well being.
Still in the very prime of life Capt. Wheeler has been cut down in the midst of his usefulness . Such are the inscrutable ways of Providence. He has left as a legacy to his race the example of his integrity, his energy and his personal traits of character which made him the useful successful and respected citizen that he was. He leaves a devoted wife an interesting family of children a large circle of other relatives and the whole community to mourn his loss.