Rev. Edgar F. Wheeler: 24 Dad Knew

Dad never attended college. He never took a course in psychology. But he knew his children! Jacob (Israel) summarized the natures of his twelve sons shortly before his death. Dad never did this formally, but he understood his children, and acknowledged that in managing family life and in farming.

Louise benefited from Dad’s recognition of her feminine nature. He gave her a place of closeness with Mom. He recognized her love for music and saw to it that this instinct was encouraged.

And he had us boys “pegged.” Merlin was impulsive, creative and precocious. Dad gave him room to develop those characteristics. He was free to work outside the farm and was encouraged to attend college. On the other hand, Dad seemed stymied as to how much to control him.

Charles tended to lose focus on what he was to do. Dad gave him jobs in which the two of them worked together. So Charles was not called on to the jobs that required working alone in tedious concentration. He worked outside more in field work and the like. He became adept in handling machinery, especially as power farming developed. He also developed business acumen, for a successful life.

“Bob,” the youngest son, was more fragile in health. Dad gave him more responsibility for tasks helpful to Mom. Dad appeared to expect less of him in the more rugged work of the farm. He was released from farm work to work on less strenuous employment outside the farm after his high school graduation.

As for myself, I must acknowledge that I was stubborn and self-willed. Dad often had real conflict with me because of that. He learned in time that I was persistent and patient to do work that demanded these qualities. So, I was given those jobs, to my benefit in time. This quality has served me well in all the years since.

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