Wheeler, Dudley R., 1796 - 1888

Major Dudley Randall Wheeler (September 14, 1796-June 19, 1888) was the son of Peres Wheeler and Desire Palmer of Stonington, Connecticut and the husband of Lydia Hewitt.  Wheeler served as major of the Eighth Regiment of the Connecticut Militia, North Stonington's town clerk, senator (1845-46), and representative to the General Assembly (1859-60).  In 1845, he was the chair of a committee investigating Mohegan land issues for the Connecticut General Assembly in 1845. 
 
From 1815 to 1888, Wheeler was the owner of a store in North Stonington.  He took a leading role of producing indigo blue ginghams.  Buying raw cotton, he had it spun initially in Rhode Island then dyed either there or locally in North Stonington.  Wheeler distributed the yarn to home weavers, who would exchange their work product for credit in his store.  The cloth would later be shipped for sale as far away as South America.  With the advent of industrialization, by the 1840s, he confined the spinning and dying processes to North Stonington.  Prior to the Civil War, however, competition from cheap factory-woven cloth collapsed the town's cottage weaving industry.
 
An astute businessman, Wheeler invested his profits in New York banks and iron furnace production.  His children later benefitted the town with philanthropic gifts of a school and library.  Wheeler's son donated the store to be used as North Stonington's town hall.
 
Find A Grave (Wheeler Cemetery, North Stonington, CT).  Connecticut Register (1830), 78, 109.  Roll of State Officers and Members of General Assembly, 311, 314, 368, 371.
 
North Stonington Village Historic District, Living Places Neighborhoods, https://www.livingplaces.com/CT/New_London_County/North_Stonington_Town/...
Dudley Wheeler was the chair of a committee investigating Mohegan land issues for the Connecticut General Assembly in 1845. 1845.05.00.07 

Born: 
September 14, 1796
Died: 
une 19, 1888