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Wheelock, William Hillman (ca. 1828–1896)

Aragorn Storm Miller Biography

William Hillman Wheelock, trader, soldier, sheriff, and state representative, was born in Illinois about 1828. Family genealogy sites give various years of his birth ranging from 1826 to 1830. He was the son of Eleazar Louis Ripley Wheelock and Mary A. (Prickett) Wheelock. In 1833 Wheelock immigrated with his family to Texas and settled in present-day Robertson County. In this area, his father, a West Point graduate and War of 1812 veteran, established the town of Wheelock, the original county seat. Wheelock was raised here and as a young man participated in the Mexican War as a sergeant in the First Texas Mounted Volunteers. He took part in the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista. Upon his return to Robertson County, he became one of the prominent and prosperous members of the community. He served as county sheriff during 1853 and 1854 and again from 1864 through 1867. During 1856 Wheelock served as county jailer and justice of the peace. In 1853 he married a woman listed as Margaret. This couple had one son and one daughter. By 1860 Wheelock was engaged as a trader, and worth $5,930 in personal and real estate property. In 1861 he served briefly as sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper of the state senate during the Eighth Texas Legislature. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, he served as an officer in Moore’s Regiment (see SECOND TEXAS INFANTRY). In 1866 Wheelock won election as representative for Robertson and Burleson counties to the Eleventh Texas Legislature; he served until February 7, 1870, and was on the Militia Committee. Wheelock died on August 16, 1896.

J. W. Baker, History of Robertson County, Texas (Franklin, Texas: Robertson County Historical Survey Committee, 1970). Eleazar Louis Ripley Wheelock Papers, 1833–-1875, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas. The Wheelock Family of Dawson, Navarro County, Texas (, accessed November 10, 2014.


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Sheriffs
  • Eleventh Legislature (1866)
  • House
  • Military
  • Confederate Military
  • Soldiers

Time Periods:

  • Antebellum Texas
  • Reconstruction

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Wheelock, William Hillman,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 26, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.