Image of Edward L. Wheeler


Lifetime: 1854 - 1885 Passed: ≈ 139 years ago


American Writer


United States

Edward L. Wheeler

Edward Lytton Wheeler was a nineteenth century American writer of dime novels. One of his most famous characters is the Wild West rascal Deadwood Dick. His stories of the west mixed fictional characters with real-life personalities of the era, including Calamity Jane and Sitting Bull.

Wheeler was born in Avoca, New York and later managed a theater company in Philadelphia. He created the seminal character of Deadwood Dick, during a period when the country was fascinated by the Black Hills region of the American west after Custer’s defeat at Little Bighorn. Wheeler had never been to the Black Hills. He originally created Deadwood Dick as a character for his theater troupe, and later made him the focus of a dime novel series. The first episode was the first issue of Beadles Half-dime Library.

After the Civil War, dime novels were an extremely popular form of fiction. Wheeler mastered their formulaic style and was able to write dozens of them. He created around one hundred novels, of which 33 featured Deadwood Dick, and of these, Calamity Jane—a real-life Wild West entertainer—appeared as a character in nearly half. Other real life people such as Sitting Bull also appeared in the stories. He also wrote story series with a number of other characters including Rosebud Bob, Sierra Sam, Kangaroo Kit, Yreka Jim, Denver Doll, and Lady Kate.

Books by Edward L. Wheeler

Deadwood Dick's Doom; or, Calamity Jane's Last Adventure Cover image

Deadwood Dick's Doom; or, Calamity Jane's Last Adventure

Adventure Action Fiction Novel
Adventure Violence Western fiction Wild West Red Indians

This western, published around 1899, is a dime novel that has it all: roguish gun men, hostile Indians, chilvarous gentlemen to protect the hapless females, and – in Calamity Jane – even a female who can hold her own. The fictional character of the h...

Fritz to the Front Cover image

Fritz to the Front

Fritz to the Front is the story of a Dutch tramp who wants to be a detective, and is an expert at ventriloquism. The story opens with a mysterious elopement, which Fritz is asked to be a witness to at the wedding. The next day, Fritz meets the father...

Deadwood Dick Jr.  Branded Cover image

Deadwood Dick Jr. Branded

"Deadwood Dick", the straight shooting, hard riding hero of the dime novel series "Deadwood Dick" takes on train robbers and other villains in this rip-snotrin', tale of the old west. Deadwood Dick has made his way through many dangerous escapades...

Deadwood Dick, The Prince of the Road Cover image

Deadwood Dick, The Prince of the Road

A western genre dime novel that was popular in the American book market during the mid/late 19th Century. This story takes place outside of Deadwood South Dakota around a gold mine. There are the typical shootouts and Calamity Jane makes a couple of...