History of the Village:

Wheeling Through The Years

The soft cover book Wheeling Through the Years an oral history of Wheeling, an Illinois village contains over 250 8x11 pages, and is available for purchase through the Historical Society for $25.00 directly, or by mail with a $5.00 shipping and handling charge. 

This book contains chapters on growing up in Old Wheeling, school days, girl scouts, homesteading, Yankee farmers, German farmers, Wheeling Train Station, Crane farms, Denoyer farm, Milwaukee Avenue, Early planes and airports, prohibition, World War II, Hispanics, organizations, churches, and much more. Illustrated with photographs from the 1700's through the 1980's.  Some samples are included below.

If you are at all interested in Wheeling's past, we would like very much for you to join us in the preservation of our history and artifacts. If you would like to become an active member of the Wheeling Historical Society, please fill out the online applicationMembership Application and mail it to us.

Dr. Schneider's home GATEPOSTS and lamp in front of Dr. Schneider's home. Here, beneath blooming horse chestnut trees, children sat in the evening to await the lamp lighter with his torch and ladder
THE RIVER was low during dry spells, revealing sand bars where children played. Looking south beneath the Dundee Rd. bridge, the Periolat brewery may be seen on the west bank. Dundee Road Bridge
Dam No. 1 DAM NO. 1 where Hintz Rd. meets Milwaukee Ave. was a popular place to swim. A walkway with railings crossed the top of the dam, and cars could cross just below it. This 1918 photo is by Henry Grandt, Jr. of the Forest Preserve staff.
ICE ON THE RIVER was like glass. From left are Lillian Grandt Kreft, Esther Grandt Koeppen, Violet Koeppen Schuett, Ida Mantey, June Grandt Orlowski and Betty Grandt Gorski. Ice Skating On the river
WHEELING SCHOOL began in a frame building on the south side of Dundee Rd. west of Milwaukee Ave. After a fire it was rebuilt (right) in 1871 and served until 1925 when the new school (below) was built on S. Wille.
REBUILT WHEELING SCHOOL on S. Wille. This structure was later incorporated in what is now Walt Whitman School.
Class of 1897 THESE PUPILS attended Wheeling School in 1897.
UPPER GRADE PUPILS at Wheeling School in 1914. Class of 1914
Mr. Huckelberry's Class

UPPER GRADE PUPILS under Mr. Huckleberry (right).

ROOT BEER STAND on S. Milwaukee Ave. offered "All you can drink for a nickel." Joe Adams ran it from the mid '30s into the '40s, with 15-cent hamburgers and ice cream. After WW II it was run as a teen center by Ernie and Dorothy Stavros (behind counter). At this writing in 1986 it is known as Rich's Place and serves, among other drinks, real beer. Root Beer Stand
Dam No. 2 IN THE MID-TWENTIES Bluebird Troop Girl Scouts hiked down to Dam No. 2 at Foundry Rd. Standing are Florence Reeb, Leader Lucile Schneider, Jean Rhys and Edna Reeb; seated are Emma Hoffman, Mae Hoffman, Helen Radke and Edna Hoffman.
GIRL SCOUT TROOP 1, started by Lucile Schneider in the '20s. Girl Scout Troop 1
Girl Scout Parade

GIRL SCOUTS ON PARADE are led by Diane Carey, Lorraine Tonn and Chris Dolgopol. They marched each year on Memorial Day.

EARLY GIRL SCOUT LEADERS of Wheeling were Lucile Schneider (seated) and Xenia Denoyer. Girl Scout Leaders
Township Map WHEELING TOWNSHIP map made in 1851 by James H. Rees shows the George Strong homestead in Section 13, near the river. The village began up in Section 2 where Wheeler's Store is shown.

FIRST STEP George Strong took in claiming his homestead was to file the deposition above. it indicates that he settled upon and claimed pre-emption rights to the Southeast quarter of Section 13 in Township 42 North of Range 11 East of the third principal meridian (Wheeling Township). Further, he indicates that he took possession of that land in February, 1836, built a house there, and made his home there ever since that date. This deposition is dated October 8, 1840


( Click document to enlarge )

Document NEXT STEP was to purchase the land, done on October 22, 1840. He paid the sum of $200 for 160 acres at the rate of $1.25 per acre.
The documents above record his purchase and indicate it was made under the Pre-emption Act of 1836 which granted settlers first rights to buy the land they occupied from the government at the low prices which prevailed. document

LAND PATENT was issued to George Strong by President John Tyler under Pre-emption Certificate No. 7597 on March 10, 1843. This gave Strong all the rights normally transferred to the buyer when a piece of property is purchased today.

FIRST VETERINARIAN in Wheeling was Dr. George J. Schneider, pictured here with his chickens. He came from Alsace Lorraine in 1853. His wife Maria managed their farm land which included the area where the Shadow Bend development is now.

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Wheeling Historical Society and Museum