Simeon Wheeler: Pioneer, Farmer, American Revolutionary War Veteran
Birth: January 10, 1761, Cheshire, New Haven County, Connecticut
Death: February 1845, Cool Springs, LaPorte County, Indiana
Anna Sanford Wheeler: Pioneer, Farmer
Birth: October 9, 1760
Death: 1836, Brookfield Township, Trumbull County, Ohio
After attempting farming in Woodbridge (then called Bethany) and Farmington, Connecticut, Simeon and Anna Sanford Wheeler and their six children settled in Vienna in 1802 or 1803. In the spring of either year they traveled by ox-cart through New York and Pennsylvania, crossing the Allegheny Mountains and reaching Vienna in six weeks' time. Wheeler is listed on the 1804 Ohio Tax List as a resident property owner in Vienna (187 acres) and Brookfield (316 acres).
Wheeler is credited with planting the first orchard in the Township, at Payne's Corners (on property later owned by Ichabod B. Payne). In 1882, this orchard was described as containing some "trees ... fifty feet high and more than two feet in diameter. Fifty-six bushels of apples have been picked from a single tree." He is also credited with building the second frame barn in Vienna, on property he and his children cleared.
Wheeler moved to Brookfield, Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1815. His wife Anna, whom he married on September 19, 1782, in Cheshire, Connecticut, died in 1836 in Brookfield.
By December 1840, Wheeler moved to LaPorte County, Indiana, where he lived with his daughter Jane Wheeler Bentley.
On June 7, 1832, the United States Congress passed the last of the service-pension acts for Revolutionary War veterans. This law extended to more persons a pension of full pay for life based on service of at least two years in the Continental Line or individual state militias. Veterans who had served at least six months but not more than two years were eligible for pensions, but not at full pay. This service-pension act did not require that applicants show financial need.
When Wheeler applied for a military pension on October 19, 1832, he was interrogated about his military service in the Revolutionary War by an officer of the court. His answers reveal the state of the military bureaucracy--if it may be called that--during the War.
When asked how he entered the service, Wheeler replied, "I was drafted except during [illegible] months when I was a substitute. I think that during [illegible] months I was a substitute for Eldad Hotchkiss of Woodbridge, but of his name I am not certain." He could not name his superiors, stating "I think the name of our Col[onel] was Tallmadge, but my memory is so poor that I am unwilling to attempt to state certainly the name of others—." When asked if he had discharge papers, he answered "Never – whenever my time was out I was verbally dismissed. I served on month as orderly sergeant in place of Eldad Hotchkiss who went on board a privatteer [sic]—."
Wheeler named Vienna neighbors Samuel Hutchins and Solomon Paine [Payne] as persons who could testify to Wheeler’s “character for veracity and their belief of your service as a soldier of the Revolution.”
According to his pension record, Wheeler had moved to LaPorte County, Indiana. On December 3, 1840, he asked that his pension payment be directed to his new residence. Five years later, he appealed to amend his interrogation based on incapacity, in order to increase his annual pension payment of twenty dollars. His deposition then detailed the following:
That he was drafted in the army of the United States about the year AD 1777 under Capt. Basil Munson and was under him about four months as a private, and five months as orderly Sergeant, after this service but not what particular time the deponent does not now recollect owing to his advanced age and infirmity he was drafted into and done actual service as a soldier and minute man for more than three & not to exceed [sic] four years--his commandants['] or officers['] names this deponent has forgotten. Cyrus Wooden was a drummer in the same Company or Regiment but is now dead. Justice [illegible], Elias Perkins, & Valentine Wilmot were soldiers and served with him, but if now living, deponent does not know their place of residence. Deponent further says that he was in the service and on duty when the British attacked New Haven & that his place of resident at the time he first entered the service was Bethany, afterwards called Woodbridge, and about twelve miles from New Haven.
And this deponent further says that just previous to his making application heretofore for a pension of Twenty Dollars per annum for six months' services, he had a severe fit of sickness which impared [sic] his memory so much that he was unwilling to state positively that he had been in actual service longer than the time then specified, but since then, his health has been better and his memory impaired; but cannot even now recollect the names of all the officers under whom he served although he distinctly recollects the names of some of his fellow soldiers, as above named, & with whom he served.
From Harriet Taylor Upton, A Twentieth Century History of Trumbull County, Ohio: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1909), Volume 1, p. 594:
Simeon Wheeler was the father of Albert Wheeler, who began life in Warren as a tinner, and through good business methods and integrity acquired a handsome property. For a number of years he was cashier, and then president, of the Western Reserve Bank. He died a few years since at his home on Park avenue, leaving a widow, Sarah, who was a daughter of the Mr. Gaskill who built the Gaskill House, …. From this union there were three daughters, Lillian, Anna and Marion. The oldest and youngest now reside in Trumbull County, Mrs. Late Abel and Mrs. Howard Ingersol. Simeon Wheeler’s old farm, after a time, passed by sale into the hands of Ichabod Payne, and the portion of Vienna in which it stood was named Payne’s Corners.
Simeon Wheeler Pension Record, Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, ca. 1800-ca. 1900, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC. The file is available here: Simeon Wheeler Pension Record.pdf
Contributor: Shirley T. Wajda
 The date of 1802 is given in History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches (Cleveland, Ohio: H. Z. Williams & Bros., 1882), Volume 2, p. 449. The date of 1803 is found in Lida Harshman, Bible and Family Records of Trumbull County, Ohio (1970).
 History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches (Cleveland, Ohio: H. Z. Williams & Bros., 1882), Volume 2, p. 451.