Oswego Library To Honor Trustees

The Oswego Public Library Board of Trustees will be hosting a reception on March 3 from 2-4 p.m. to recognize former trustees Mary Shanley, Ellie Cali and Charles Young.

Please enjoy the 110-year-old black and white photographs in our lower level gallery.

These were digitized from the original glass plate negatives through the efforts of Director Carol Ferlito with help from a Northern New York Library Network grant.

Research by librarian Edward Elsner has shown the photographer to be Ella Wheeler of 138 W. Fourth St. and later boarding at 22 W. Oneida St.

The public may call the library to make a reservation for the reception at 341-5867.

Fred Dobbie Wheeler married Ella Merrill Crippen on January 29, 1880, in Batavia, NY.

Ella joined Fred at his place in Oswego and they eventually built a house together in the

They had their first child in December of that year, Mabel Estelle Wheeler.

Walter and Pauline soon followed in 1883 and 1885.

The 1897-1898 Boyd’s Oswego City Directory shows Fred D. Wheeler as City Clerk and has an ad for his Fire Insurance business in the Second National Bank Buildling at East First and Bridge streets.

He also dealt in the coal business and was at one time and alderman for the Third Ward.

Fred and Ella Wheeler lived at 138 W. Fourth St. in the house they built there.

It was sold on his passing in 1904 and is now the Reynolds & McGowan Law Firm.

After he passed in 1904, Ella boarded at 22 W. Oneida where physician D. D. O’Brien was located.

The 1910 Oswego City Directory published by Sampson & Murdock says she “moved from city.”

Mabel Estelle Wheeler and her mother moved to San Francisco in 1910.

Mabel married Edward Seymour Walton of New Orleans, a U.S. Army Quartermaster and Captain, on April 7, 1913.

She passed in 1940, according to their tombstone in Riverside Cemetery and is buried with her sister Elma, husband Fred, and daughter, Pauline, who died when she was 13.

1 Comment

  1. I found it interesting that a woman took these photographs and applaud you for your efforts to get them digitized to share with everyone.

    Several years ago I stumbled upon the Alice Austen museum on Staten Island. She is another woman who took glass plate photos at the turn of the century. http://aliceausten.org/her-life/ The story of her life and photo collection has been pulled together by the museum dedicated to her.

    I wonder, what is the back story to why or how Elma happened to become involved in making glass plate photos? It wasn’t easy carrying this plates around, setting up a camera on a tripod and developing the plates.

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