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George Montague Wheeler

Birthplace: Grafton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: May 03, 1905 (62)
New York, United States
Place of Burial: West Point, Orange County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Lucy James "Jimmie" Wheeler

Managed by: John Matthew Bayne, Jr
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About George Wheeler

George Montague Wheeler, explorer and cartographer, son of John Wheeler Jr. and Miriam (Daniels) was born in Hopkinton, MA in the fall of 1842. He graduated 6th in his class at West Point in 1866. His Army career began with building harbor defenses in San Francisco.

In 1871 George was in charge of the American Territory survey west of the 100th meridian. In 1874 George married Lucy James Blair, granddaughter of Francis Preston Blair, an American political figure and journalist. He continued his surveying project called the Wheeler Survey at which time he was promoted to Captain in the U.S. Army. In 1881 George represented the United States in Venice, and Italy at the third International Geographical Congress and Exhibit. In 1888 George had to retire his career as Major for health reasons.

Wheeler Peak in Nevada, (in the Great Basin National Park) Wheeler Peak in New Mexico and the Wheeler Geologic Area in southern Colorado were named after George Wheeler. His wife, Lucy James Wheeler died in 1902 when she was only 49 years old; George died three years later at the age of 63.

Info added per Mary S Lockwood's "Lineage Book of the Charter Members" of the DAR.

George Montague Wheeler (October 9, 1842 – May 3, 1905) was an American pioneering explorer and cartographer, leader of the Wheeler Survey, one of the major surveys of the western United States in the late nineteenth century. He graduated from West Point in 1866, ranked sixth in his class, and he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineers. His first exploration was in 1869, when Wheeler was 27 years old, and on the staff of the Commanding General of the Department of California of the US Army.

In 1872, the US Congress authorized an ambitious plan to map the portion of the United States west of the 100th meridian at a scale of 8 miles to the inch. This plan necessitated what became known as the Wheeler Survey, lasting until 1879, when the survey, along with the King and Powell Surveys, were terminated and their work was reorganized as the United States Geological Survey.

Wheeler was promoted to Captain in 1879. In 1881 he represented the United States at the Third International Geographical Congress and Exhibition in Venice, Italy. He entered semi-retirement in 1883 but continued to write scientific reports until his full retirement from the Army in 1888 at the rank of Major. He died in New York City in 1905.

Wheeler Peak in Nevada (part of the Great Basin National Park), Wheeler Peak in New Mexico (the state high point), and the scenic Wheeler Geologic Area in southern Colorado are named for George Wheeler.

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George Wheeler's Timeline

October 9, 1842
Grafton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
May 3, 1905
Age 62
New York, United States
West Point, Orange County, New York, United States