Toledo Blade, Tuesday, July 29, 1919
Jeffrey Wheeler, 75, Founder of Opera House is Dead.
Jeffrey Wheeler, 75, founder of the famous Wheeler Opera House, and pioneer theatrical magnate of the middle west died at his home, 721 Grove Place, Monday.
He was one of the oldest actual residents of Toledo, having been born in one of the first two frame houses erected here. His father, Lyman Wheeler, moved to the corner of Monroe and St. Clair streets, September 25th, 1843.
Wheeler served in the Civil War, and was active in G.A.R affairs.
In the early seventies he built the Wheeler Opera House at St. Clair and Monroe streets. He managed it for a number of years until the Whitney interests of Detroit took it over, but was always closely identified with its activities.
Amoing the famous personages who appeared there were Edwin Booth, Barrett, Madame Modjesska, Januschek the Russian, Jenny Lind, and others. Following a performance of George Thather's New Style Minstrels in Toledo, March 16, 1893, the famous old play house burned to the ground in a spectacular fire.
Wheeler was also a prominent figure in the racing world in the later part of the century. He had a fine string of trotting horses in many of the big courses of the country. In later years he was the president of the lucas county Soldiers and Sailors Relief Commission.
He is survived by his widow, a daughter, Mrs. Clifford Schwardtzbaugh, and a son Lyman Wheeler, all of Toledo. The funeral service will be at 10:00 AM Wednesday in the family home.
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