Henry Wheeler Papers, 1985-2017
Extent: 0.25 Linear Feet
Date Acquired: 11/15/2012. More info below under Accruals.
Henry Mason Wheeler was born in 1854 in Northfield, Minnesota, where his father operated a drug store. After completing school in Northfield, he attended the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, graduating in 1877. However, while Wheeler was home for the summer between his junior and senior years from medical school, he gained notoriety for his role in the foiling of the Northfield Bank Robbery. On 7 September 1876, Wheeler fatally shot a member of the James-Younger Gang, Clelland Miller, during the failed robbery attempt of Northfield’s First National Bank. Wheeler supposedly had the bodies of Miller and William Chadwell, another robber whom was fatally shot, shipped to the University of Michigan to be used as cadavers for an anatomy class. Wheeler furthered his education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York. He then returned to Northfield to practice medicine and married Adeline Murray, who died during childbirth in 1881. One month after her death, Wheeler moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota. There he married Josephine E. Connell, who died in 1914. During the time he practiced medicine in Grand Forks, Wheeler participated in the local chapter of The Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Freemasons. In 1917, he was elected to a two-year term as mayor of Grand Forks. Wheeler married Mae McCulloch, his third wife, in 1922, and they had one son, Henry Mason “Hank” Wheeler, born in 1924. Throughout his life, Wheeler maintained that he kept the skeleton of Clelland Miller. Supposedly, the skeleton was donated to the Odd Fellow’s Lodge in Grand Forks by Wheeler in the 1920s and is now owned by a private collector. Henry M. Wheeler died 13 April 1930.
Bailey, James A. "Tracing Edward Dampier's Cavalry Issued Carbine Used in the Northfield Raid." Wild West History Association Journal V, no. 5 (October 2012): 30-38 (in collection).
Eriksmoen, Curt. Did You Know That...? Fargo, ND: McCleery & Sons Publishing, 2006. 1: 80-81.
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Source: Margaret Baily, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Acquisition Method: Donation; Accession 2012-3198
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). Henry Wheeler Papers. OGLMC 1615. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Processing Information: Processed by Devon Olson, Special Collections intern, in November 2013.
Browse by Box:
- Box 1
- Folder 1: Book chapters about the Northfield Raid
- Folder 2: Journal Articles, 2012-2019
Bailey, James A. "Grand Forks Skeleton Examined for James-Younger Connection." James-Younger Gang Journal 19, no. 3 (September 2012): Cover-2.
Bailey, James A. "Tracing Edward Dampier's Cavalry Issued Carbine Used in the Northfield Raid." Wild West History Association Journal V, no. 5 (October 2012): 30-38.
Bailey, Margaret. "Questionable Identification of Clell Miller Leads to Exhumation Request." Wild West History Association Journal V, no. 6 (December 2012): 52-64.
Bailey, James A., and Margaret B. Bailey. "The Northfield Robbers and a Mysterious Mummified Human Trophy." Wild West History Association Journal VI, no. 6 (December 2013): 42-58.
Bailey, James A., Brogdon, G.B., and Brandon Nichols. "Use of Craniofacial Superimposition in Historic Investigation." Journal of Forensic Sciences 59, no. 1 (January 2014): 260-263.
Bailey, James A., and Margaret B. Bailey. "A Review of the 1876 Nicolaus Gustafson Murder." The Swedish-American Historical Quarterly LXV, no. 2 (April 2014): 77-94.
Bailey, James A. and Margaret B. Bailey. "Nicolaus Gustafson Investigation: The Bullet Ricochet Theory." Wild West History Association Journal VIII, no. 1 (February 2015): 27-44.
Bailey, James A. and Margaret B. Bailey. "William "Bill" Chadwell, Native Son of Illinois: James-Younger Gang Raider." Wild West History Association Journal 10, no. 2 (June 2017): 17-37.
Bailey, James A. et al. "Forensic Analysis of Mummified Human Scalp Trophy." Wild West History Association Journal 12, no. 2 (June 2019): 60-65.
- Folder 3: Newspaper Articles, 1985, 2012, and 2014
Hagerty, Jack. "Skeleton had a life of its own." Grand Forks Herald, March 11, 1985.
Pavek, Jacqueline A. "Outlaws meet science." Northfield News, March 17, 2012.
Smith, Jaci. "Could skeleton be Northfield James gang raider Miller?" Northfield News, March 18, 2012.
Bonham, Kevin. "CT scan for Clell Miller." Grand Forks Herald, March 24, 2012.
Rice, Glenn E. "Family wants to know if outlaw Clell Miller is really in his grave." The Kansas City Star, June 11, 2012.
Pavek, Jacqueline A. "Digging up the truth in Northfield bank raid." Northfield News, June 14, 2012.
Smith, Kevin M. "Finding an outlaw." The Kearney Courier, July 6, 2012.
Estrada, Heron M. "Jesse James outlaw mystery revived." Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 10, 2012.
Rice, Glenn E. "Clay County officials ask permission to exhume outlaw's body." The Kansas City Star, August 11, 2012.
Smith, Kevin M. "Clay County Prosecutor asks to dig up Kearney James Gang member." The Kearney Courier, August 13, 2012.
Smith, Kevin M. "Date set for hearing on James Gang member's exhumation." The Liberty Tribune, August 15, 2012.
Rice, Glenn E. "Remains will be exhumed to see if they are those of 19th century outlaw." The Kansas City Star, September 13, 2012.
Bailey, James A. and Bailey, Margaret B. "A review of the 1876 Nicolaus Gustafson murder (parts I-III)." Northfield News, August 27, August 30, and September 3, 2014.
- Folder 4: Postcards and souvenir newspaper related to the Northfield Raid
- Folder 5: "Centennial Profile: Dr. Henry M. Wheeler" by Harlan Jackson. They Came to Stay: Grand Forks, North Dakota, Centennial, 1874-1974. pages 75-76