Edwin Charles Wheeler (1886 - 1912) MP

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Nicknames: "Fred Wheeler"
Place of Burial: Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Birthplace: Bath, Somerset, England
Death: Died in Atlantic Ocean
Cause of death: Titanic victim
Managed by: Anne-Marie Healy-Kalishoek (C)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Edwin Charles Wheeler

Edwin Charles Wheeler

Mr Edwin Charles Wheeler (known as Fred / Frederick) was born in Bath in 1886. Fred Wheeler was the personal valet to George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914) and had been so for about 12 years. G. W. Vanderbilt was the grandson of shipping and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, and creator of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. At the time of the Titanic's maiden voyage, Mr Vanderbilt and his wife Edith were booked to occupy a first-class cabin. However, they changed their minds at the last minute and sailed on the Olympic, but sent most of their baggage along with Fred, who boarded the Titanic as a second-class passenger at Southampton under ticket 2159 which had cost £12 17s 6d.

Wheeler perished in the disaster. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

It is not clear why the Vanderbilts changed their minds about sailing on the Titanic. According to a New York Times article dated April 30, 1912, they did so at the urging of Edith's mother (Susan Dresser), but since she had died in 1883, this cannot be correct. It is possible that the Times confused Edith's mother Susan with Edith's sister who bore the same name, but there is no way of knowing for sure. The Biltmore Estate Archives contains a letter from George Vanderbilt's niece, Adele Sloane Burden, expressing her relief in learning that her aunt and uncle had changed their minds and were safe. Fred can be seen strolling on the Boat Deck with Ada and Elsie Doling in an often reproduced photograph taken aboard Titanic.

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Edwin Wheeler's Timeline

1886
1886
Bath, Somerset, England
1912
April 15, 1912
Age 26
Atlantic Ocean