WHEELER, CHARLES FORDYCE
- Born: 1869 Died: 1938
Water engineer, of Belfast. Charles Fordyce Wheeler, son of Charles Crothers Wheeler of Holywood and Knockbreda, Co. Down, and his wife Jane (née Fordyce), was born on 11 March 1869.(1) He was a brother of WALTER KENNEDY WHEELER. (2) After attending Bangor Endowed School, he studied engineering at Queen's College, Belfast, and obtained the BE degree of the Royal University of Ireland in 1892. He then worked as contractor's engineer on the construction of the Belfast main drainage works until 1894 and on the construction of the Bangor Harbour works until 1896. After a further year as an assistant in the office of JOHN HARRIS HAZLETT SWINEY , in 1898 he was appointed chief assistant engineer to the Belfast Water Board under FREDERICK WILLIAM MCCULLOUGH. H e was subsequently promoted to the position of waterworks engineer, and, following McCullough's death in 1927, to that of engineer to the board. In this capacity he presided over - though he was not directly responsible for - the completion of McCullough's scheme for the Silent Valley reservoir in the Mourne Mountains.
Wheeler died from a heart attack on 10 January 1938. He had married his wife, Margaret, circa 1898 and already had seven children when the 1911 census was taken. At the time of his death he was chairman of the Northern Ireland Association of the Institution of Civil Engineers and president elect of the Institute of Water Engineeers. His obituarist in the Irish Builder describes him as a modest, straightforward man who 'represented the Ulster type at its best, endowed with common sense and a kindly heart, cautious with the interests of others, and steadfast in all his relationships'. He was succeeded as engineer to the Belfast Water Board by his assistant SAMUEL HENRY WINDRUM MIDDLETON.
Inst.CE: elected associate member, 11 April 1911; transferred to member, 4 May 1937.
GLFI: initiated in Masonic Lodge of Harmony 111, 1 April 1909; Worshipful Master, 1923.(3)
Address: Home: Ballyaghagan, Ballysillan, Co. Antrim, 1911.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Insitution of Civil Engineers, kindly supplied by the Archivist, Mrs Carol Morgan, and from the obituary of Wheeler in IB 80, 22 Jan 1938, 55.
(1) 'Surnames of Co. Down' (
(2) IB 78, 22 Aug 1936, 732.
(3) List of past masters of Lodge 111 on