Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 123, page(s) 699-700


Alfred Newton Wheeler was born in Southbury, Connecticut, on January 2d, 1855. His father was Elisha Wheeler, formerly of both branches of the General Assembly of Connecticut, and his mother was Eliza Ann (Leavenworth) Wheeler, formerly of Oxford, Connecticut. He attended the Russell Collegiate and Commercial Institute of New Haven, and the Sheffield Scientific School--from which he was graduated in 1875, having taken a select course, and receiving the degree of Ph.B. He was a member of the Glee Club of the School, and had been president of his class since 1925. He attended the Yale Law School from 1875 to 1877; having taken honors in each year, and having won the Betts Prize in 1876. He was secretary of the class of 1877 Sheff.

Shortly after his graduation he was admitted to the Bar of New Haven County, and practiced law in New Haven thereafter. He was a member of the New Haven County Bar, the Connecticut Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He was assistant state's attorney for the New Haven County from 1896 to 1907. In that year he was appointed assistant clerk of the Superior Court in New Haven, and was clerk from 1912 until his death in 1937. He was greatly interested in church work; having been a vestryman of the Trinity Episcopal Church in New Haven from 1897 to 1934; treasurer from 1906 to 1934; junior warden from 1922 to 1925; senior warden from 1925 to 1934; and senior warden emeritus since 1934.

On September 30th, 1891, he married Miss Lillian Edith Wilson. Surviving him are his three children; Richard Elisha, who was graduated from Yale in 1915; Elizabeth Cruttenden, the wife of William S. Innis, of Yale 1914; and Alfred Newton, Jr., of Yale 1923. In addition to his three children, seven grandchildren survive him. Mrs. Wheeler died on March 18th, 1924. Mr. Wheeler's death was due to lobar pneumonia. He was buried in Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven.

Mr. Wheeler's capacities and tastes fitted him well for work requiring accuracy and precision. He had no hatred of form, as such, or of detail. He regarded attention to them as a necessity in many phases of the practice of the law. Accordingly his practice as a lawyer was largely given to the settlement of estates and allied problems. His integrity and devotion to duty were recognized by everyone. The late Judge William H. Williams, while state's attorney, secured the assistance of Mr. Wheeler, who devoted his time to the preparation of indictments and presentments, to the preparation of cases, and to the other matters requiring careful attention to the multifarious matters of form and detail which confront a state's attorney. As assistant clerk of the Superior Court, Mr. Wheeler performed a large part of the duties of the clerk of the criminal side of the court, and after he became clerk, he took charge of the preparation of records for the Supreme Court of Errors. In this field his work was of high excellence.

Mr. Wheeler was a devoted Churchman, as is indicated, at least in part, by the offices which he held. He was a pleasant companion, of quiet disposition, and enjoyed the society of his fellowmen, by whom, in turn, he was generally liked. His devotion to his family, in whose life he took great enjoyment, was notable.