Marcellus Wheeler
Marcellus Wheeler

Helen Temple Cooke accompanied one of her Rutland, VT, pupils, thirteen year old Helen Wheeler, daughter of Marcellus Wheeler, to Dana Hall in 1894. Miss Cooke stayed in Wellesley and enrolled as a special student at Wellesley College while tutoring to meet living expenses. She rented a single room in the same house where the first Dana students had their lessons. When the Eastman sisters decided to retire in 1899, Miss Cooke, influenced by the Rothery family of Wellesley, decided to purchase Dana Hall. Although Miss Cooke had no money to buy the school, she was fortunate to have the backing of Marcellus Wheeler, who recognized Miss Cooke’s extraordinary qualities and capabilities. They formed a business partnership where Mr. Wheeler and Miss Cooke each owned 49% of the capital stock with two shares of the stock to be given to the survivor. Three parcels of land and three buildings with all of the furnishings were purchased from the Eastman sisters for a total price of $52,125. This partnership lasted until Mr. Wheeler’s death on February 1, 1927. Miss Cooke then received the two additional Dana shares and Mr. Wheeler’s heir received his share of the school.


Helen Temple Cooke. Wellesley, MA: Dana Hall Archives.
Marcellus Wheeler, photograph. Dana Hall Archives, Wellesley, MA.
Post, Winifred Lowry. Purpose and Personality. Wellesley. MA: Dana Hall School, 1978.
Russell, Ruth Woodman. Pine Manor: The First Fifty Years 1911-1961. Chestnut Hill, MA: The Pine Manor Press, 1969.
Originally published as Person of the Week, November 7, 2005