John Wheelton served as Windsor’s 25th mayor from 1965-1969.
John Wheelton, a lawyer, served twelve years as alderman prior to announcing his intention to run for Mayor of Windsor in the December 1964 election at the age of 44. In the election Wheelton defeated A.H. Weeks by 2,833 votes. In 1965 the communities of Windsor, Riverside, Ojibway, Sandwich East, Sandwich South and Sandwich West were annexed to form a much larger City of Windsor – the application for this annexation had been filed over three years before Wheelton was to become mayor. Following the annexation, Wheelton was required to run again for the mayor of the new and larger Windsor – only one year after being sworn in the first time. In this election he won by an overwhelming majority of 35,388 votes, which was at that time the largest ever recorded since the city’s incorporation in 1892. In 1967, Wheelton was named mayor one more time; this time running unopposed. In his tenure as mayor, Wheelton was committed to developing a clear plan to accommodate the city’s growth: housing, industry, commerce, schools, parks and recreation, roads, etc. He also introduced public housing and subsidized child care. He resigned as mayor in July of 1969 to become a provincial judge, at which time William C. Riggs was appointed interim mayor until the December 1969 election.
Wheelton was born and raised in Windsor. He attended Queen’s University, and graduated with honors with a BA in political science. He joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1943, and later served two years overseas on British Ships. After leaving the Navy with the rank of lieutenant, he attended Osgoode Hall, eventually returning to Windsor to pursue his legal career. After serving as alderman for eight years and mayor for four, Wheelton resigned from politics to work as a provincial judge. Wheelton, along with his wife Margaret and son Robert, were killed in a car crash in 1976.
“Alderman to Contest Top Seat.” Windsor Daily Star. October 1, 1964
“Electors Show Confidence in Ald. W. John Wheelton.” Winsdor Daily Star. December 8, 1964.
“Margin Size Only Doubt: Record Victory for Mayor John Wheelton.” Windsor Daily Star. December 7, 1965.
“Mayor Wheelton: Opening Speech sets program.” Wndsor Daily Star. January 5th, 1965.
“Returned to Office.” Windsor Star. November 16, 1967.
“Wheelton, Colter honored Aug, 19th.” Ron Joiner. August 14, 1969.