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 Frederick Wheeler

Frederick Wheeler

Huntsville, Weber County, Utah, USA
Death 17 May 1914 (aged 29)
Cortez, Montezuma County, Colorado, USA
Burial Blanding, San Juan County, Utah, USA
Plot 2_38_2_1
Memorial ID 66940 · View Source
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Frederick Wheeler, better known as Fred, was born November 23, 1884 at Huntsville, Utah, the oldest surviving child of Joseph Edward Wheeler and Harriet Ideltha Bingham. An older brother, William, had died at three months of age. The Wheeler family was a large one. Among Frederick's siblings could be counted five sisters and nine brothers—15 children in all, 12 of whom lived to adulthood. His father had an additional 13 children with a plural wife.

When he was a small child his father was sent with his wives to colonize the four corners region. Fred grew up there, spending most of his childhood in Colorado and New Mexico, around what is now Mesa Verde National Park. From an early age Fred displayed great interest in the Najavo culture and he was comfortable living among and trading with the Indians. He was fluent in the Navajo language and as a young man, assisted local governments in treating with the Indians. He also learned a great love of horsemanship from his Navajo friends and from this he was able to earn a successful living throughout his life.

He was a small but stout man, standing only 5'5" tall and weighing 160 lbs, with light brown hair and striking blue eyes—people who remembered Fred almost always spoke of his piercing gaze. Coupled with a stoic, quiet demeanor it made him seem mysterious, and highly in tune with the Navajo culture he knew so well. Fred was extremely athletic and especially excelled at swimming. He was well remembered to have once swam across the flooding San Juan River in order to rescue some trapped horses.

On February 16, 1904 at age 19, he married Mariah Laurinda Oliver, known to the family as "Rhindy." The couple made their first home at Waterflow, New Mexico where their first four children were born: Frederick (1904), Mariah Ann (1905), Armina (1906), and Mary Elsie (1908). Both Frederick and Mariah Ann died in infancy. Later they lived for a short time at Taylor, Arizona where Eva Idelphia (1910) was born. The family settled in Blanding, Utah about 1911 and the two youngest children, Joseph Oliver (1912) and Thelma Irene (1913) were both born there. At Blanding, Frederick built a home for his family and did his best to make a living as a farmer and part-time horse trainer.

In the spring of 1914 he traveled to Cortez, Colorado to trade some horses. While there, he died quite unexpectedly on May 17, 1914 at age 29.

Rhindy remarried four years later to Isaiah Noah Huffman, with whom she bore another five children. When she passed away in 1958 she was brought back to Blanding and buried beside Frederick.


From the Grand Valley Times, 22 May 1914:

W.E. Oliver left here early in the week for the bedside of his son-in-law, Fred Wheeler, who was said to be lying in a very critical condition at a ranch in McElmo canyon. Later on word came that he was dying, and his body arrived here this evening, accompanied by his father, Jos. E. Wheeler of Jewett, N.M., W.E. Oliver and others. The cause and particulars of his death are not yet known. He was about thirty years old, and leaves a wife and five small children.




  • Maintained by: 46588789
  • Originally Created by: Barbara Anne (Brownell) Potter
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 66940
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frederick Wheeler (23 Nov 1884–17 May 1914), Find A Grave Memorial no. 66940, citing Blanding City Cemetery, Blanding, San Juan County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by 46588789 (contributor 46588789) .