William W. Wheaton

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William W. Wheaton
Mayor of Detroit
In office
Preceded by Merrill I. Mills
Succeeded by Hugh Moffat
Personal details
Born April 5, 1833
New Haven, Connecticut
Died November 11, 1891 (1891-11-12) (aged 58)
Detroit, Michigan
Spouse(s) Maria Lavinia Ackerman
Profession Wholesale grocer

William W. Wheaton (April 5, 1833 – November 11, 1891) was a wholesale grocer, mayor of Detroit, Michigan, chair of the Michigan Democratic State Convention, and state representative.


William W. Wheaton was born in New Haven, Connecticut on April 5, 1833, the son of John and Orit Johnson Wheaton.[1] His father died in 1844, leaving the younger Wheaton to care for his mother.[2] He attended school in New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut, and at the age of 16 began working at the wholesale establishment of Charles H. Northam & Co.[1]

After gaining some experience at Northam & Co. and rising to the position of bookkeeper and confidential clerk, Wheaton moved to Detroit in 1853 and joined Moore, Foote, and Co., wholesale grocers.[2] In 1855, he became the junior partner in Farrand & Wheaton, wholesale grocer and druggist, and in 1859 when Farrand & Wheaton was dissolved, he struck out on his own and formed Whaton & Co.[1][2] Over the next few year, Wheaton took on different partners, becoming Wheaton & Peek in 1862, WHeaton, Leonard, and Burr in 1863, and Wheaton & Poppleton in 1869.[1] In 1873, he became treasurer of the Marquette & Pacific Rolling Mill Company.[1]

In 1866, Wheaton ran for state Senate, and lost by only 12 votes.[3] He later ran for mayor of Detroit, and was elected twice, serving two two-year terms from 1868 - 1871. He also served as chairman of the Democratic State Convention,[1] although the nomination of Horace Greeley for president later soured him on politics.[2] However, Wheaton returned to politics, and was elected state representative in 1889.[4]

Wheaton married Maria Lavinia Ackerman; the couple had two daughters: Ida (born 1856) and Maria (born 1859).[5][6]

William W. Wheaton died at Harper Hospital on November 11, 1891.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Silas Farmer (1889), THE HISTORY OF DETROIT AND MICHIGAN, pp. 1045–1046 
  2. ^ a b c d F. A. Barnard (1878), American biographical history of eminent and self-made men: Michigan volume, Part 1, Western biographical publishing co., p. 151 
  3. ^ Charles Richard Tuttle (1874), General history of the state of Michigan: with biographical sketches, portrait engravings, and numerous illustrations, R. D. S. Tyler & Co., pp. 716–717 
  4. ^ Michigan Dept. of State; Michigan Dept. of Administration; Michigan Dept. of Management and Budget; Michigan Legislative Service Bureau (1889), Michigan manual, p. 664 
  5. ^ Daughters of the American Revolution (1914), Lineage book - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 39, Daughters of the American Revolution, p. 40 
  6. ^ Charlotte Goldthwaite (1988), Boardman genealogy, 1525-1895: the English home and ancestry of Samuel Boremaan, Wethersfield, Conn, Thomas Boreman, Ipswich, Mass., with some account of their descendants (now called Boardman) in America, Anundsen Pub. Co., p. 594 
  7. ^ "DEATH OF EX-MAYOR WHEATON". The Detroit Free Press. November 12, 1891. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Merrill I. Mills
Mayor of Detroit
Succeeded by
Hugh Moffat