William Almon Wheeler

Burial Location Visited Vice President Grave #
Malone, New York July 2, 2010 29th Visited


The Wheeler family plot, where the 19th vice                               William Wheeler was one of two vice
president is buried.                                                                   presidents whose grave I visited in July
                                                                                              of 2010. I had stopped at Hannibal
                                                                                              Hamlin's burial site the previous day.


Vice President and Mrs. Wheeler,                                               Appropriately wearing my Rutherford B.
spending eternity side-by-side.                                                  Hayes shirt, I sit near his vice president's
                                                                                              final resting place.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* A lawyer, a teacher, and a politician, William Wheeler was born in Malone, New York in 1819. Attending both Franklin Academy and the University of Vermont, he passed the bar in 1845. That was the year that he married Mary King, a former student of his who was nine years his junior. In 1846, he became the district attorney for Franklin County, New York and held that title until 1849. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for five terms.

* Apparently, Wheeler was not very well known even by his colleagues in the government. When it was suggested to Rutherford B. Hayes that his running mate would end up being William Wheeler, the governor wrote to his wife, "I am ashamed to say, who is Wheeler?"

* Throughout his vice presidency, William Wheeler could often be seen at the White House, socializing with the president and the first lady. Knowing that he was still dealing with the loss of his wife (Mary Wheeler had passed away in 1876), the Hayes family made it an obligation to spend time with the vice president. Wheeler frequently attended luncheons with the pair, and took enjoyment in singing hymns with them.

* Despite how close Wheeler was with the first family, President Hayes rarely used him as a consultant. Instead, as was the case with most of his predecessors, Wheeler was left to preside over the Senate. As the vice president and head of the Senate, he cast six tie-breaking votes. Aside from that, he found the job distasteful and dull.

* Fortunately for Wheeler, he would not have to hold the position of vice president for an additional four years. Rutherford B. Hayes had commented early on that he would not seek re-election when the time came, and he kept his promise. With Hayes bound to leave office, Wheeler was sure to go with him. The vice president was not considered for either post by the Republicans. In ill health, Wheeler left Washington in 1881 and died in Malone six years later.

Second Lady: None
       -Spouse: Mary King Wheeler (1828-1876)

Political Party: Republican Party

Served Under:
Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Last Words:
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