Copyright 2011-2019 John N. Lupia

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 Thorne (1776-1851).

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.

Trade card of Wheeler, Melick & Co., Albany, New York.

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.

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 Krueger. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. For sale.

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.

Bibliography :

Proceedings of the American Numismatic and Archaeological Society, of New York At the Annual Meeting, March 18, 1879: page 13

Letter in my personal collection, purchased from Kurt Krueger.