By 1886 the family numbered nine living children, all born in that log cabin home. In 1890 William died, right at the time plans were being made to build a new two-story house.
After his death a new home was built. The house was completed but rough and lonely were the years ahead for the tiny widow and her brood, but with the loyal aid of the older children the family persevered.
When their three boys and six girls became of marriageable age, one at a time they choose life partners who were members of other regional pioneer families.
Son Jessie stayed on to help farm the Alvina (Surprise) Wheeler homeplace and cared for his mother until her death in 1926.
Lovina and Alvina were twins.
She was married to Wm. Wheeler, in 1857. He died December 17, 1890. To this union was born eleven children, eight living and three deceased. Those living are -- Eunice, now Mrs. William McCarty; Bertha, now Mrs. O.J. Edgerton; Martha, now Mrs. S.E. Bryant; Ella, now Mrs. H.B. Taylor; Maude, now Mrs. Fred Ewer, all of Lowell; Charles, of Allegan, Michigan; John, of Hammond, and Jesse, of Lowell.
She leaves to mourn her loss, five daughters, three sons, forty-three grand-children, twenty-nine great-grand-children, and one great-great grand-child; one brother, Oliver Surprise, of Lowell, and one sister, Mrs. Lovina Kehoe*, of Kansas.
Funeral services were conducted from the home Monday at 10:30 a.m. Rev. C.A. Brown conducted the services. Interment was made in Lowell cemetery in charge of Undertaker William Sheets. The following grand-sons acted as pall-bearers:
* NOTE -- The married name of Alvina Wheeler's living sister is "Kehoe" in this obituary, but the name is spelled "Cohoe" on the Surprise family CD.
Return to Lowell Biographies.