Charles "Shang" Wheeler (1872-1949) considered the leader of a third generation of the "Housatonic School" of Stratford, Connecticut carvers, combined the characteristics of earlier Stratford carvers Albert Laing and Ben Holmes, to produce decoys in the classic Stratford style that today are highly sought after by collectors. In 1941 Wheeler took 24 first places, 19 second places and 8 thrid places at the annual International Decoy Makers Contest held in New York City. Shang's works were not limited to decoys alone, as he is widely known for his wooden renderings of fish that he caught himself, or those done for friends as replications of their catches. He produced a number of fishing and hunting scenes, fish, waterfowl and political cartoons. He had a keen interest in politics, which was driven by his concern for the environment, which ultimately lead him to the Connecticut state senate. From around 1907 until his mandatory retirement in 1946 Shang worked in the oyster buisness for the Connecticut Oyster Farms Company in Milford.
Reference: D. Merkt, Shang, Spanish Forks, 1984.
CHARLES "SHANG" WHEELER, STRATFORD, CONNECTICUT, SECOND QUARTER 20TH CENTURY