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Daniel "Uncle Dan" Carrol Wheeler

"Uncle Dan's" Dinner Flier

Saturday, December 15, 1945

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"Uncle Dan's"  Charity Dinner Poster

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The "Uncle Dan" Wheeler Tradition

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 advice of almost everyone he knew, Dan, 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 continued 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 calculated the profit in purchasing sheep herds in Oregon for sale in Virginia City.  With his sons, he formed the D.C. Wheeler Company.

The Elks of Reno have a fond remembrance for our brother 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 feel better for it."  D.C. "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 brough into human hearts, some hope has been revived, and someone is really sorry we 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 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 a quiet, unobtrusive silence in its performance of good deeds.  So that younger Elks may be privileged to know "Uncle Dan" Wheeler, the time honored tradition started by "Uncle Dan" in 1909 is continued each year just before the holidays.  "Uncle Dan's Charity 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 this 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 thoughtfulness and generosity.


"Uncle Dan"  delivering turkeys in front of the

"Original" Reno Elks Lodge building - Circa 1908

The Lodge was destroyed by fire in 1957

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