Lottie Quist Wheelock

Honored by:Thomas D. Wheelock
Brick location:G:26  map

Lottie Lucretia Quist was born on January 2, 1885, near Essex, Iowa, to Peter John Quist and Matilda Christine (Johnson) Quist. She was the second of seven children who included Ellen, Lottie, John, Grace, Leroy, Dryden and Milton. John and Dryden received degrees from Iowa State College in 1917 and 1924, respectively. In addition, John worked for the College Extension Service for a number of years starting in 1917.

Lottie, or Lulu as she was called at home, attended public schools in Page County, Iowa, and in eastern Kansas. In these schools, she was inspired by excellent teachers and the McGuffy readers which she revered all her life. After completing the ninth grade, she began teaching country schools in Harrison County, Iowa. Later, after completing several months of a business course in Fremont, Nebraska, she worked for two mercantile companies in Nebraska including Diers Brothers in Madison, where she served as cashier and bookkeeper. From there she moved to the South Dakota School of Mines at Rapid City, South Dakota, and served as registrar and secretary to the president.

In 1914 Lou Quist, as she was known to her friends, married Harry Ellis Wheelock, a mining engineer and graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines. They settled in Mogollon, New Mexico, where Harry Wheelock worked as an engineer for a mining company. Subsequent career moves took them to Lordsburg, New Mexico, and Silver City, New Mexico. Sons John and William were born in 1915 and 1916, respectively.

In 1922, Harry Wheelock accepted an engineering position for a silver mining company in Cusihuirachic, Chihuahua, Mexico, and his family followed him there a year later. A third son, Thomas, was born in 1925. Since the mining company was located in a remote village where the public school was primitive, Lou Wheelock became a pioneer home schooler, providing a rich education for her sons and the young daughters of a mining company administrator. While her goal was to prepare her pupils for high school in the United States, she had an innate love of learning and scholarship which she instilled in her sons. The curriculum which she administered was broad, ranging from art and literature to classical mythology, history, science and mathematics.

As a result of this preparation, the Wheelock sons excelled in high school and later in college. Thomas majored in chemical engineering at Iowa State College and received a B.S. degree in 1949 and Ph.D. degree in 1958. He subsequently joined the faculty of the Chemical Engineering Department.

Lou and Harry Wheelock retired to Missouri Valley, Iowa, where Lou continued to pursue learning and support educational causes. She was a discerning reader and active participant in several study groups, including a book club. She also served as treasurer of the Presbyterian Church for a number of years. She died on March 24, 1980, and was buried in Missouri Valley, Iowa. A memorial fund in her name was established for the Educational Fund of the PEO Sisterhood.

Submitted 7/1/96