Wheeler, William Almon, 1819–87, American legislator, vice president of the United States (1877–81), b. Malone, N.Y. Admitted to the New York bar (1845), he was district attorney of Franklin co., N.Y. (1846–49), Whig member of the state assembly (1850–51), and a Republican member and president pro tempore of the state senate (1858–59). After 1851 he turned from law to banking and railroad finance. He presided over the New York constitutional convention (1867–68) and sat (1861–63, 1869–77) in the U.S. House of Representatives. His most notable service in Congress was devising the Wheeler compromise, which settled (1875) a disputed election in Louisiana. Wheeler was little known when the Republicans nominated him for vice president in 1876. He was elected with Rutherford Hayes in the disputed election of that year.
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