Woman of the Century/Mary Sparkes Wheeler
WHEELER, Mrs. Mary Sparkes, author, poet and preacher, born near Tintern Abbey, England, 21st June, 1835. At the age of six years she came with her parents to the United States and settled in Binghamton, N. Y., where her childhood and youth were spent. Her father was a man of rare intelligence and literary ability. Her mother was a woman of clear intellect and refined sensibilities, devoted to her family and her church. In childhood Mrs. Wheeler showed great fondness for books. MARY SPARKES WHEELER. In composition she excelled, and began to write for the press at a very early age. In former years she wrote more poetry than prose, and is the author of a volume entitled " Poems for the Fireside " (Cincinnati, 1888). Some of those have been republished and extensively used by elocutionists, especially her "Charge of the Rum Brigade." "Scatter Love's Beautiful Garlands Above Them." Before her marriage, 13th April, 1858, she was principal of the largest school in Binghamton, N. Y. She is the wife of Rev. Henry Wheeler, D. D., now of the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist The lamented P. P. Bliss, Professors Sweeney, Kirkpatrick and others have set many of her poems to music. By request of Prof. Sweeney, who composed the music, she wrote the two well-known soldiers' decoration hymns, "Peacefully Rest" and Episcopal Church. He is the author of "The Memory of the Just," "Methodism and the Temperance Reformation," "Rays of Light in the Valley of Sorrow," "Deaconesses: Ancient and Modern," and other works. They are united in heart, life and purpose. For many years after her marriage her life was mostly given to her children, who were in delicate health. Of the seven born to them, but three are now living. She has an innate love for the beautiful and is a lover of art, spending much time with her pencil and brush. In addition to " Poems for the Fireside," she is the author of two books, "Modern Cosmogony and the Bible" (New York. 1880); "The First Decade of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society " (New York, 1884), and is a frequent contributor to periodical literature. She is president of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of Philadelphia, and national evangelist of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She is a member of the " National Lecture Bureau " of Chicago, Ill. Her special delight is in preaching and conducting evangelistic services. She has spoken in many of the largest churches from Boston, Mass., to Lincoln. Neb. She has addressed large audiences in the open air in such summer resorts as Thousand Islands Park and Ocean Grove. She is an eloquent and forcible speaker. She was, in November, 1891. appointed superintendent of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union Mission. Her home is in Philadelphia, Pa.