"Uncle" Dan Wheeler
Daniel C Wheeler was born in 1840 as a native of Ohio. At the age of 18 he started west; crossing the plains and reaching Salt Lake City by 1858. Against the advise of almost everyone he knew, he, seven others and a pioneer named Nate Gregory set out across Nevada.
When Dan Reached the Truckee Meadows, (the area which is now Reno), there was only one other anglo man living in the area. Dan worked for this man as a "teamer". Being interested by the mining activities of the California camps, he gave up teaming for mining. In 1862, he returned to the Truckee Meadows and began running supplies to Virginia City. He continues in this line of work until 1867.
"Uncle" Dan, (as he came to be lovingly known), made his fortune in the sheep business. He correctly calculates the profit in purchasing herds in Oregon for sale in Virginia City. He and his sons formed the D.C. Wheeler Company.
The Elks of Reno have a fond remembrance for our member D.C. Wheeler.
These are those who have less than we have and are in need. We won't miss the little we give, but will fell better for it. D.D. "Uncle Dan" Wheeler
William Woodburn, a Past Exalted Ruler of Reno Lodge delivered the Eulogy at Uncle Dan's funeral with these words: " If somewhere, a little sunshine has been brought into human hearts, some hope has been revived, and someone is really sorry we have passed away, then life has not been a failure."
How perfectly did our beloved friend and brother come within the compass of this thought. His whole life seemed to have been dedicated to dispersing the shadows, reviving hope in the hearts of the discouraged and bounteous giving to the unfortunate, accomplished always in his characteristic silent and unpretentious manner."
Over the years, the Reno Elks Lodge has tried to maintain this quite, unobtrusive silence in its performance of good deeds. So that younger Elks may be privileged to know "Uncle" Dan Wheeler, the tradition started by Uncle Dan in 1909 is continued each year just before the holidays. "Uncle Dan's Dinner" is the primary fund-raising tool for the Reno Elks charity projects. It is the highest honor in local Elkdom to be asked to speak at the annual tribute to D.C. Wheeler. The dinner will be held each year as long as this Lodge shall endure. It is a monument to his thoughfullness and generosity.
Daniel Carrol Wheeler, "Uncle Dan"
Uncle Dan's Dinner Flier
Saturday, December 15, 1945