John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's
installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is
New York collector Alonzo Wheeler. -Editor
Alonso J. Wheeler was a lifelong coin collector, machinist, inventor, manufacturer, and businessman for over forty years from the 1820's to
the 1860's. He has remained in obscurity with only a four page letter that has survived that informs us about his coin collecting activities now
in the Lupia Numismatic Library.
Alonzo J. Wheeler (1805-1867), was born on Saturday, January 12, 1805 at Albany, New York, the son of William Wheeler (1780-1851), and Martha
LEFT: Wheeler, Melick & Co. ad
RIGHT: Wheeler, Melick & Co. trade card
In 1830, he was a co-partner with machinist, James H. Melick, in the firm of Wheeler, Melick & Co., Albany, New York, manufacturers of
agricultural equipment. His thresher, winnowers, and separators were dominant in the farm machinery market.
He married Harriet Bishop (1813-1880), in 1834. They lived in Poughkeepsie, New York, with their four children : Seth Wheeler (1838-1925), Jane
Wheeler (1840-), Ann Wheeler (1843-), Martha Thorne Wheeler (1853-).
His sister Mary Eliza Wheeler was born May 8, 1809 and died March 26, 1878. She married Solomon Crandell on December 20, 1832 at Chatham,
Columbia, New York. Her son Homer was a coin collector like his uncle Alonso.
First three pages of Wheeler's 1861 letter
Wheeler wrote a four-page letter dated February 22, 1861 to his nephew Homer Crandell (1836-1912), telling him about his meeting the newly elected
Abraham Lincoln at the train station, and rambles on about his coin collection with nearly all dates of Silver Dollars, Half Dollars & Quarters;
43 Gold Coins including all the different types! World Gold and Silver; Coins of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and Ancient Roman coins. Ex-Kurt
He died of consumption at his residence 102 Grand Street, Poughkeepsie, New York, on Monday, January 21, 1867, and was interred three days
later in the Albany Rural Cemetery.
Sounds like a nice collection. Are there any coins traceable back to Alonzo Wheeler? Where are they today?
Neither John nor I had heard of Wheeler before. Sometimes ephemeral material like this letter is the only remaining evidence of a collection.
Thanks for publishing it! -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
* * * * *
WHEELER, ALONSO J.
The entire inventory of the Lupia Numismatic Library is for sale. Individual items will be available before the remaining archives are broken up
into parcels sold at philatelic auctions in the U. S. and Hong Kong. Check NumismaticMall.com frequently
as dozens of new items with estimates will be posted daily until everything is sold.
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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