At an early period in the business development of Wisconsin lumbering was the chief industry of the state. With the increase in its population various lines of activity have been introduced but none have contributed more to the business reputation of the state than that of cheese manufacture. It is to this undertaking that John Harmon Wheeler is devoting his energies, being now president of a company extensively and successfully engaged in that line of business. He was born in Lyndon township, Sheboygan county, September 24, 1883, a son of Henry and Catharine (Sharpe) Wheeler, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume.
John Hannon Wheeler, the second in a family of four children, was educated in the public schools of Plymouth, passing through consecutive grades to the high school, from which he was graduated with the class of 1901. He then joined the firm of which his father was the leading spirit, becoming financially interested in the cheese business, and upon the incorporation of the company in 1907 he was made secretary and treasurer, continuing in that dual capacity to the time of his father's death, when he was elected president. He is now at the head of a business of large proportions, the successful conduct of which is attributable in great measure to his efforts.
In 1908 Mr. Wheeler was united in marriage to Miss Florence Kaestner, a daughter of Gustavus Kaestner, the president of the Plymouth Furniture Company. He was born in Plymouth, May 24, 1859, a son of Ernst and Johanna (Albrecht) Kaestner. He was reared in Plymouth, was educated in the public schools and afterward learned the tinner's trade, which he followed for about twelve years. In 1887 he took up the manufacture of furniture with the Preusler Brothers Manufacturing Company, which was later succeeded by the Plymouth Furniture Company, of which Mr. Kaestner has been president since 1903. He manufactures bedroom furniture, which by reason of its excellent workmanship, attractive design and reasonable prices is marketed throughout the United States.
On the 10th of March, 1885, Mr. Kaestner married Frances Lintz, a daughter of Fred G. and Anna Lintz, who were natives of Germany and in early life came to Wisconsin, settling in Sheboygan, where their remaining days were passed. Mr. Lintz was there engaged in general merchandising. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kaestner were born three children: Florence, who is now Mrs. Wheeler; and Jennie and Fred W., both at home. The family are communicants of the Episcopal church and Mr. Kaestner is a Mason. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler have become the parents of one child, Ruth.
Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler attend the Episcopal church and Mr. Wheeler is a blue lodge and Royal Arch chapter Mason, being identified with the lodge in Plymouth and the chapter in Sheboygan. He also belongs to the' Iroquois Club of Plymouth and is justly accounted one of the popular citizens not only of his town but of the entire county. He is cordial, courteous and capable, qualities which have won him warm friendships, high regard and business successes. Although a young man, he has made steady progress along commercial lines and what he has accomplished represents the fit utilization of the innate talents which are his.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL