RANSLER H. WHEELER has been a resident of Kansas for fifty-four years, having come to this state when an infant. For many years he was a successful farmer and hog raiser in eastern counties but now owns a large and well equipped farm near Larned in Pawnee County.
He was born in Missouri and was brought to Kansas by his mother when an infant in 1863. He is of Welch ancestry. His grandfather, Austin K. Wheeler, came out of North Carolina and for many years was a farmer in Missouri. He died at Bates City in 1899, at the age of seventy-nine. His widow passed away in 1903, at the same age. Their children were: Ransler, Sr.; Kate, who married Mr. LaRue and proved up a claim in New Mexico when seventy-two years of age and is still living there; and Francis Wheeler.
Ransler Wheeler, Sr., followed farming during his very brief career. He volunteered from Johnson County, Missouri, for service in Company A of the Missouri Volunteers and he died from exposure on January 1, 1863. He had been assigned to picket duty at Benton Barracks in St. Louis and was compelled to stand guard for an unreasonable length of time without relief. He was so severely frozen that his death resulted. Ransler Wheeler, Sr., married Lucinda Crozier, daughter of William and Elizabeth Crozier. Mrs. Wheeler, Sr., was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and died in Linn County, Kansas, near Centerville, in April, 1867.
Ransler H. Wheeler, the only child of his parents, after his mother's death fell to the care of his uncle, William Crozier. William Crozier was born December 25, 1827, lost his father when a child, and came with the Crozier family to Ithaca, New York. In 1846 he moved to Schuyler County, Illinois, and was engaged in farming there until 1857. In that year he removed to Linn County, Kansas, and pre-empted a claim. In 1862 he bought a farm in Johnson County, Kansas, on the Shawnee Reserve. That was his home until 1882, when he bought land just south of Lawrence and spent there the remaining years of his life. He died in 1889, and his wife passed away December 20, 1893. William Crozier married Margaret Lawhead, who was born May 14, 1828. Both are members of the Methodist Church, though Mr. Crozier had preference for the Quaker Church.
In the home of this uncle Mr. Wheeler grew up in Johnson County, Kansas. He was kept in ignorance of his father's people until he was grown. In the meantime he developed his strength on the farm, had a good education in the local schools, and about the time he was of age he was discovered accidentally by his grandparents Wheeler, then at Bates City, Missouri. Not until after he married did he make a move to secure from the Government his "child's pension." His wife, Mrs. Wheeler, took it largely upon herself to secure this belated justice to him, and after working for it for about six years, through the aid of Senator Plumb and Judge Solon O. Thatcher of Lawrence, she succeeded in convincing the Government of the justice of the claim and it was allowed.
In earlier years Mr. Wheeler worked on farms for wages. He started farming for himself in Douglas County and finally bought a place near the No. 6 schoolhouse. That was his home until 1906. He was located on the Waukarusa River and more and more he specialized his efforts as a raiser of Poland China hogs. He acquired a reputation as a very successful man in this industry. Subsequently he exchanged part of his farm for a section of land near Russell, Kansas. He took possession and improved it and there worked as a general farmer and wheat raiser. He improved his place with substantial buildings and had placed 200 acres under cultivation.
This land Mr. Wheeler sold in 1910 and on coming to Pawnee County leased 800 acres and became a wheat farmer. He and three sons farmed 700 acres each year for five years in wheat, and during that time only one crop failure was recorded. In 1914 he threshed 15,000 bushels. In 1915 hail ruined all the crop except 4,000 bushels. In 1916 10,000 bushels were threshed out. A great deal of newspaper publicity was given to Mr. Wheeler in the summer of 1916 because of the publication of pictures showing his "out door" wheat bin containing 9,000 bushels lying on the ground in a pile. The farm where Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler now have decided to spend their remaining years was known as the old Foster farm in section 1, township 17, range 22. It was well improved and is not only a beautiful home but represents a valuable and profitable investment.
While living in Russell County Mr. Wheeler served as member of his rural school board. In politics he has usually been classed as a democrat, though many times his actions have been along independent lines and for the best man. He and his wife are now members of the Methodist Church.
On March 24, 1885, in Douglas County, he married Miss Emma Martin. Mrs. Wheeler was born May 24, 1862, a daughter of James D. and Lucinda (Evans) Martin. James D. Martin was reared near Russellville in Brown County, Ohio, and in 1854 was married there to Miss Evans. In 1866 he came to Kansas and died near Lawrence at the age of fifty-four, in 1881. His wife passed away February 22, 1897. The Martin children were: Miss Stella of Lawrence, Kansas; Alvin, who died at Lawrence in 1898; Mrs. Wheeler; William E., of Lawrence; Charles E., of Lawrence; Wilson W. and Fred N., also of Lawrence.
Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler have reared a family of children most of whom have finished their education and are already self supporting. Special interest attaches to their oldest child, Edith N. She is a graduate nurse of Christ Hospital, Topeka, and was acting as head nurse in a hospital in Canada when she met and married Dr. L. M. Dawson. Doctor Dawson at the beginning of the European war joined the Canada contingent of the British army, served on the western front for a time, then was sent to Egypt and finally to Greece. His wife accompanied him until he was ordered to Egypt and she has since remained in London. His present address is Captain L. M. Dawson, R. A. M. C., 27 C. C. S., M. E. F. The next child of Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler, Jessie F., a graduate in pharmacy of the University of Kansas, is now Mrs. Fred M. Maxwell, of Osawatomie, Kansas. The younger children are: Frank C., who volunteered in July, 1917, in Company F of the One Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Regiment, Thirty-Fifth Division, and is now a sergeant of the remount division, Three Hundred and Twenty-Seventh, American Remount Division. Lucinda M., a graduate of the Larned High School, now a teacher in her home district; Ransler H. Jr. is on the farm at home, and Alvin W. is a Larned High School student.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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