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A History of Livingston County, Missouri
Published by The Livingston County Centennial Committee
The fertile land of Wheeling Township, which offers large quantities of grain and livestock for Missouri, is bordered on the west by Medicine Creek. Limestone building rock and coal are two natural products of this region. The first entry of land was made by James Littrell in 1839. The same year five other first entries were made.
The first town in the vicinity, although three miles over in Linn County, was New Baltimore, established by John Botts in 1858, laid out and made Bottsville, 1860, and changed to Meadville, 1869. Here a store and a blacksmith shop made an important trading point for the settlers.
The township of Wheeling, organized May 6, 1867, was named for the town of Wheeling, so called by Henry Nay, for his home in West Virginia. Mr. Nay completed the first house in Wheeling, Missouri, in 1856, a building which served as postoffice, store, hotel and church. Mrs. C. L. Dahl, granddaughter of Mr. Henry Nay, lives in Wheeling at present. At one time Wheeling was incorporated, but some flaw was found in the charter, then it was lost. Since then all public improvements have been made by subscription. One of the bright spots of the town is the park given to the town during the '60s by Josiah Hunt. In the same year that the town was regularly platted, the Reverend Burr, "North" Methodist, held the first church services in Mr. Nay's house. In 1874 the First Methodist Episcopal Church was built, although the Congregation bad organized in 1868.
The depot, built in 1866, burned in 1881, and was replaced by another building. Doctor James Gish began his practice of medicine there in 1868. Mr. Nash was the blacksmith. In 1859 a log school building was erected, but in 1869 a new frame building took its place. A later school building, constructed in 1882, including furniture, cost about $2,500.00. Collier's Mill, remembered by many as the most important in the community, was discontinued many years ago. At the time white settlers came, there was an Indian town near.
Many old settler families still live in Wheeling Township. Familiar names are: Nay, Warren, Lawler, Kinsella, Lowery, Fells, Springer, Spooner, Gish. Mr. L. A. Seely is the oldest man now living in Wheeling Township. He came from Norwalk, Connecticut to Wheeling, just after the Civil War. Mr. Seely is ninety years old.
Mr. William James Littrell, another old settler, came to Wheeling in 1866 when there were only three houses on the wide expanse of prairie. Mr. Littrell has several children still living in the little town.
In 1898 a disastrous fire destroyed half of the east side of the town, which later was rebuilt. Wheeling has sent three representatives to Jefferson City: J. G. Littrell, F. L. Smiley, and A. J. Buster. The most famous native son is Lieutenant-Commander Herbert V. Wiley, who visited Wheeling this summer.