Wheeler Genealogy


Lyman Wheeler Wachenheimer was a judge and county prosecuting attorney. We transcribed the following biographical reports of his fascinating life and career.

Ohio Law Reporter, Vol VIII, published in 1911

Lyman Wheeler Wachenheimer, former judge of the Toledo police court and county prosecuting attorney, died on Wednesday morning, Sept. 28, 1910, at St. Vincent's Hospital, in the city of Toledo.

Mr. Wachenheimer was born at 1605 Monroe street, in 1864, and lived practically his entire life in Toledo. He was a son of Louis Wachenheimer, a merchant, and Helen Wheeler, a member of one of the city's pioneer families (Helen Wheeler is the daughter of the late Lyman Wheeler.) He was educated in the public schools, and, after an unsuccessful attempt to secure an appointment to the Annapolis naval academy, took up the study of law, and passed the State bar examination with high honors. Thoroughly democratic by nature and upbringing, he was unusually popular, and had little difficulty, in 1898, in securing election as police judge, which position he filled creditably until 1905, when he resigned to make the race for prosecuting attorney on the Independent ticket. While police judge, he was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate against Reynolds R. Kinkade for Common Pleas judge, a defeat that never caused him the slightest regret. As police judge, Mr. Wachenheimer was absolutely impartial and fearless and never had the slightest hesitancy to do what he thought was right, as he showed when he fined the late Mayor Samuel M. Jones for contempt of court, and when he gave two union men the maximum fine and sentence to the workhouse. The jury had disagreed in the cases of the two men, who were charged with assaulting strike-breakers. As Judge Wachenheimer was a possible candidate for prosecuting attorney, the attorney for the union men submitted the case to him. The heavy sentence was imposed immediately. Judge Wachenheimer was one of the few men in public life who could see no difference between men, no matter what their creed, politics, religion, ancestry or labor views were. This same refusal to discriminate between lawbreakers marked Judge Wachenheimer's term as prosecuting attorney. Union men, non-union men, single-handed thieves, those who worked in pairs and those who profited by unlawful combinations, all felt prosecution. With but very little official assistance he secured convictions or pleas of guilty from members of the bridge, brick, lumber and ice trusts, and had in contemplation the prosecution of other combinations he regarded in restraint of trade when he was defeated for re-election. After the expiration of his term as prosecutor, Judge Wachenheimer resumed the practice of law and had built up an unusually good practice when his fatal illness developed. Judge Wachenheimer was an unusual character in many ways. Physical fear was a thing unknown to him. He was peculiarly constituted in that terrible nervousness didn't seem to affect this disregard of physical danger. Since childhood he had been an enthusiastic lover of water sports, and was either in or on the river all the time that he could get there.

Upon receiving the news of his death, Johnson Thurston paid the following tribute to Judge Wachenheimer: "He has been a man of good purposes, backed up with very rare courage and industry, all of which he has liberally used for better social, civic and governmental conditions. Toledo has lost in him a rare, forceful, good man."

The widow, Mrs. Anna Ecker Wachenheimer; one daughter, Helen, aged 12 ; and an uncle, R. Jeffrey Wheeler, are the closest relatives left in Toledo (in 1910).

Extract from Lucas County Memoirs, provided by Patty Radabaugh