St. Charles Chronicle
KANE COUNTY, ILLINOIS, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 1901
In the Days of Slavery.
The following article from the Saturday Evening Post will be of interest to readers of the Chronicle, inasmuch as it deals with a prominent clergyman, whose boy- hood days were passed in St. Charles, and on account of the reference to this city in the article:
Rev. Kittredge Wheeler, a strong figure in the Chicago ministorial crusade against vice,salvely declares that he is entitled to neither praise nor blame for the "fighting blood" that runs in his veins; that he is a reformer by inheritance, and couldn't help it it he would. Once, when a parishioner asked Dr. WHeeler If he had read Uncle Tom's Cabin, he answered "No" but his keen eyes twinkled With unmistakable mirth. Finally he added:
"My father was the one'Abolitionist' in St. Charles township, in Northern Illinois, In the days proceding the publication Of Mrs. Howe's marvelous novel. When that came out a new epoch began in our family. Up to that time the fireside readings in our household had been confined to the Bible. But tho publication of this heart-stirring story found a circle of open-mouthed children gathered about the fireplace while my father read aloud. The pauses were frequent, for he was compelled to make con-stant use of the waistbank of his hickory shirt in dashing the tears from his overflowing eyes. Soon I learned that to be an 'Abolitionist' meant to be hooted at on the street and persecuted on every hand.
Our little cabin became a regular station of the 'Underground Railroad.' Those evenings when we laughed and cried with Uncle Tom, Little Eva and the other personages of the great story were surpassed only by the nights when we heard strange stories from the lips of .... slaves."
In the study of this eloquent Chicago preacher, who was for many years pastor of a large church in Hartford, Connecticut, hangs the rung of a sawbuck which bears all the marks of long service, it is a practical reminder of the days when Docter Wheeler almost sawed his way through college. His recreation is the study of Egyptology. In this field he enjoys a considerable reputation as an expert.
of it sawbuck whirls bobs ajl the inarks of tong ber,ire, it in a praeticol rouillider of Ulu days when Doctor Wheeler ulino,t rowed way through collego. His recreation is tho study of Egyptology. In Ohl 'lold he enjoys a considerable reputation AS au cxpert