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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Charles Francis Wheelock, B. S., LL. D., Pb. D.

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 112-113 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Dr. Charles Francis Wheelock, one of the best known educators in the Empire state, was born at Litchfield, Herkimer county, New York, on the 17th of October, 1849, his parents being Danford and Margaret (Cummings) Wheelock. The mother, a native of the town of Fairfield, Herkimer county, this state, died at Litchfield in the spring of 1885. Her people were New Englanders and came from Rhode Island. Danford Wheelock, son of Alvin and Olive (Warren) Wheelock and father of Dr. Charles F. Wheelock, was born in Litchfield, New York, on the 9th of July, 1802, and died on the 23d of December, 1866. Throughout his active life he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits, as did also his father, Alvin Wheelock, whose birth occurred in Massachusetts in 1761. The latter left his home state about 1800 and passed away at Litchfield, New York, in 1825. Alvin Wheelock, the paternal grandfather of Dr. Wheelock of this review, was a cousin of the two first presidents of Dartmouth College — Eleazer and his son John. Eleazer, who was born at Windham, Connecticut, on April 22, 1711, and died in Hanover, New Hampshire, on the 24th of April, 1779, was the founder of Dartmouth College, which had its first buildings constructed of logs. The first American ancestor of Dr. C. F. Wheelock was the Rev. Ralph Wheelock, who was born in 1600, came to America thirty-seven years later and died in 1683. He was an eminent non-conformist clergyman, was founder of the first church of Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1638, and thence removed to Midfield, where he was a large landowner and representative to the general court.

Dr. Charles Francis Wheelock was educated in the little red schoolhouse at Litchfield, New York, in Whitestown Seminary at Whitesboro and in Cornell University, from which institution he was graduated in 1873 with the degree of B. S. He taught school first at Newville, Herkimer county, and then at Cedarville, where he had a private school for two years. On the 1st of January, 1876, he became school commissioner and served in the southern district of Herkimer county until 1879, having the distinction of being the only democrat ever elected to office in that district. On the 1st of January, 1880, he came to Canajoharie, New York, as principal of the Canajoharie high school, continuing in that capacity until October, 1891, after which he went to the regent's office in Albany, New York, as examiner in mathematics and served in various educational departments until his retirement on July 1, 1923. During the last twelve years Dr. Wheelock has been assistant commissioner for secondary education. He retired after a half century of active and continuous educational work in the state.

At the time of his resignation after his many years of faithful service, he was tendered a dinner in Albany, New York, by the School Men of the State and on that happy occasion was presented with a handsomely bound volume of nearly one thousand personal letters written to him by his friends and co-workers in the Empire state, Since his retirement he has been devoting one hour gratis each day to teaching a class in mathematics at the high school in Canajoharie. Dr. Wheelock was given the degree of LL. D. by St. Lawrence University, while in 1922 Alfred University conferred upon him the degree of Pb. D.

In 1885 Dr. Wheelock was married to Mary E. Finehout, daughter of John Finehout of Canajoharie. They are the parents of two children: Margaret, whose birth occurred in Canajoharie on the 4th of May, 1886, is a graduate of the Canajoharie high school and of the Elmira College for Women at Elmira, New York, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the latter institution in 1911. On the 11th of October, 1913, she became the wife of Bert H. Brower, son of Herman and Margaret (Schuyler) Brower. Mr. Brower attended the high schools both at Palatine Bridge and Canajoharie and then matficulated in Cornell University, which in 1908 conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He received the degree of B. L. from the Albany Law School four years later and since 1912 has been successfully engaged in law practice at Canajoharie. Bert H. and Margaret (Wheelock) Brower have one child, Mary Wheelock Brower, whose natal day was December 22, 1917.

Willard E. Wheelock, son of Dr. Charles Francis and Mary E. (Finehout) Wheelock, was born at Canajoharie, New York, on August 29, 1889. Following his graduation from the Canajoharie high school in 1908 he spent one year as a student in Cornell University and then entered the Albany Medical College, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1914. After two years of hospital service he settled at Rockville Center, New York, where he is still practicing his profession. Willard E. Wheelock enlisted in the Medical Reserve Corps in the spring of 1918, was sent overseas in September with the rank of second lieutenant and was the only officer of his company who returned to the United States after the signing of the armistice. He was under constant fire at the Argonne drive and was cited for bravery. In 1917 Dr. Wheelock was married to Margaret Bain, daughter of William and Catherine (Smith) Bain. They had a son, born at Rockville Center in 1920, who died there in 1922.

Dr. Charles F. Wheelock is a member of the First Unitarian Society of Albany, of which he served as president for several years. He is a charter member of the University Club of Albany and fraternally is identified with the Masons, belonging to Hamilton Lodge, No. 79, F. & A. M.; Hiram Union Chapter No. 56, R. A. M., of Canajoharie; and Utica Commandery No. 3, K. T., of Utica, New York. He is also a member of the college honor fraternity Phi Beta Kappa.

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