Ella Merrill Crippen Wheeler was born October 31, 1859 within weeks of her father John Crippen’s death. Her mother, Sarah Roxana Hyde Crippen, passed away in Hastings, New York around Ella’s seventh birthday. Both are buried in Coit Cemetery in Oswego County. Ella came to Oswego in 1880 upon marrying resident Fred Dobbie Wheeler in Batavia. When she began taking photographs, Fred and Ella Wheeler lived at 138 W. 4th Street in the house they built there. It was sold on his passing in 1904 and is now the Reynolds & McGowan Law Firm. After Fred’s passing, Ella boarded at 22 W. Oneida where physician D. D. (David D.) O'Brien was located before leaving for San Francisco in 1910. Fred, Ella upon her passing in 1940, her sister Elma, and their daughter Pauline are buried in Riverside Cemetery.
Scope of Collection
These glass plate photographs of Oswego and family trips to Michigan, Connecticut, and the Thousand Islands were taken between 1900 and 1910 by photographer Ella Merrill Crippen Wheeler. Capturing Oswego at a time when coal was king, the busy port and rail terminus recalls a time before automobiles ruled the roads.