|Page content last modified:||October 19, 2008, added a link to the Wright - Fordham marriage license; added the correct 1860 census transcription.
August 18, 2008, corrected birth and death dates of Bennett Wright, added burial location.
August 4, 2008, corrected transcription errors in the 1894 biography; added text and details on the Wright children.
HANCOCK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
|THOMAS GOLDMAN WRIGHT|
|ADA B. PARKER
|Author - Marcia Farina This page draws heavily on documentation gathered and generously shared by Wright descendant and researcher Larry Coleman.|
THOMAS G. WRIGHT, one of the extensive land-owners of Hancock County, who is now living on section 34, Fountain Green Township, is one of the honored pioneers of the community, for his birth occurred in the township which is still his home, on the 9th of May, 1836. His father, Hickerson Wright, was a native of Tennessee*, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. He married Leatha* Donahue, and they became the parents of twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, namely: Arizela*, S. A., Martha, S. M., H. P.*, Basil, H. D., Thomas G., Leatha J., Charlie G., Cynthia, and one who died in infancy.
The father of this family followed agricultural pursuits throughout life. He was reared to manhood on the old homestead farm in Kentucky, and there remained* until coming to Illinois, in 1830*. Hoping to benefit his financial condition, he emigrated to this State, and cast in his lot with the early settlers of Hancock County, locating on section 29, Fountain Green Township, where he secured eighty acres of land from the Government, paying the usual price of $1.25 per acre. He at once erected a log cabin and began the development and cultivation of the hitherto wild land. He spent his remaining days upon that farm, and as his financial resources were increased he extended its boundaries, until three hundred and eighty acres were comprised within its borders. A prominent and influential citizen, he took an active and leading part in all that pertained to the development of the county and its best interests, aiding in organizing Fountain Green Township and in laying out the roads. The success which attended his business career is due to his own efforts, for he began life empty-handed, and by perseverance and good management steadily worked his way upward. He exercised his right of franchise in support of the Democratic party.. [sic] On the 8th of January, 1877, he passed away, and was laid to rest in the family burying-ground on the old homestead. He long survived his wife, who died on the 10th of May, 1846, and was buried in the same cemetery.
Mr. Wright whose name heads this record was reared on the old home farm, and with the family shared in all the experiences and hardships of life on the frontier. His education was acquired in the old-time log schoolhouse, and he often had to go seven miles to school, making the journey on horseback. He continued under the parental roof until twenty-two years of age, when he left home and started for New York City, from whence he made his way by steamer to San Francisco, Cal. Locating in Scott's [sic] Valley, he was there engaged in mining, and also in the livery business, and in blacksmithing. He spent about three years on the Pacific Slope, and returned to Illinois in 1861. After a short time, however, he again went to the Golden State. This time the trip was made overland, he reaching his destination after four months of travel. He has made the journey to California twice by water and twelve times across the country. In the Golden State he continued to make his home until 1874, when he returned to the county of his nativity.
In 1869, Mr. Wright had purchased the farm upon which he now resides, a tract of two hundred and forty acres, and locating thereon he has since devoted his time and attention to its cultivation. Other purchases he has made, and his landed possessions now aggregate five hundred and fifty-seven acres. He carries on general farming and stock-raising, and is recognized as one of the successful agriculturists of the community. Practical and progressive, his farm is well developed and improved with all modern accessories and conveniences.
In the month of October, 1861, Mr. Wright was united in marriage with Miss Adeline Fordham. By this union two children were born: Eva, the wife of Charles B. Coleman [sic]; and Bennett, who is now deceased. Mr. Wright's second wife was Kitty Wise, by whom he had two children, Thomas and Grace, who are living with their father, their mother having died November 4, 1889. The present wife of our subject was formerly Miss Ada Parker. Their marriage was celebrated July 2, 1890. By this union two children were born. One died in infancy, and the other, Henry by name, completes the family.
In his political views, Mr. Wright has always been a supporter of Democratic principles, but has never sought or desired public office, preferring to devote his entire attention to his business interests. His trips to the West proved very successful. He possesses good business and executive ability, and as a result he has acquired a handsome property. Coming back, he took up farming in his native county, and is now recognized as one of the substantial agriculturists of the community.
July 9, 1896, page 2, column 2
T. G. Wright, one of the oldest citizens of this township, died at his home east of here, last Wednesday. The funeral services were held at Majorville, Thursday conducted by Rev. Hunter. Quite a number from here were in attendance.
July 9, 1896, page 9, column 6
Died - At his home near Fountain Green, Ill., Tuesday, July 1, 1896, Thos. G. Wright, aged 60 years, 1 month, 23 days.
The deceased had been in poor health for about two years, but took his bed only about six days before his death the immediate cause of which was dropsy of the heart. He was born near Webster, this county, and has spent almost his entire life here, having resided on the farm where he died since the year 1872. He was married to Adeline Fordham Oct. 16, 1861 and the union was blessed by two children, Eva L, now Mrs. Oscar Coleman living near LaCrosse, and a son, Bennett. He was married to Kitty Wise on Aug. 18 1880 and to this union two children were born, Thomas Dickinson and Grace May. On July 2, 1890, he was united in marriage the third time, to Ada Parker, who bore him three children, Frank H., being the only one surviving.
Mr. Wright was a successful farmer and business man, a good neighbor and a kind and loving father. He had traveled quite extensively, having made seven trips to California, one by water, once crossing the plains and five times by rail. He has out-lived many of his friends who traveled with him and endured the hardships of those pioneer days.
A widow and four children are left to mourn his loss, besides five brothers, four sisters and numerous relatives and friends who sorrow over the death of a brother and friend.
Take this new treasure to thy trust,
And give these sacred relics room
To slumber in the silent dust.
Invade thy bounds; no mortal woes
Can reach the peaceful sleeper here.
While angels watch thy soft repose.
Weary with years and worn with pain;
Farewell till in some happy place
We shall behold thy face again.
July 10, 1896, page 1, Column 3
Thomas G. Wright died at his home near Fountain Green, July 1, 1896, after an illness of six days, from dropsy of the heart. He was born in Hancock county, near Webster, May 9, 1836. Was married to Adaline Fordham, October 16, 1861. Two children were born to this union, Eva L. and Bennett. Only one of these survives, Eva L. Coleman, living near LaCrosse. He was married August 18, 1880 to Kitty Wise. Two children were born to this union, Thomas Dickerson and Grace May. He was married to Ada Parker, July 2, 1890. Three children were born to this union, only one Frank survives. He leaves a wife and four children to mourn his loss, besides five brothers and four sisters and many friends. He made seven trips to California, one by water, one by crossing the plains and five by cars.
July 28, 1896, page 5
Died at his home in Fountain Green Township, on Wednesday, July 1, 1896, Thomas Wright, aged 60 years.
Thomas Wright was a son of Hickerson Wright and was born in Fountain Green Township. He made two trips to California, one in 1856 by water and one by land some time later. Mr. Wright was married three times; his last wife a Miss Parker, who with four children, Mrs. Oscar Coleman, Thomas, Grace, and their last an infant, survive him. The funeral was conducted by Rev. Hunter; burial at Majorville.
Mr. Wright was a good citizen and quite successful in business. He will be missed by a large circle of friends. To his family are extended the sympathy of the community.
|Thomas Wright's first wife, Adeline Fordham, was the daughter of John Fordham and Maria Clark. Thomas and Adeline were probably married at Bushnell, McDonough County: Douglas Spear, the Justice of the Peace who performed the marriage, was located in Bushnell, and the Fordhams had left Hancock County and located in Bushnell between the time of the 1860 census and 1862, when John Fordham returned home after his military service. Marriage License
Adeline divorced Thomas in June of 1880.
Their children were:
Thomas married Catharine Wise on August 18, 1880. Known as Kittie, she was the daughter of Abraham Wise and Mary Dugan. She was born October 22, 1854, in Ohio, died November 7, 1889, and was buried at Majorville Cemetery.
Thomas and Kittie's children were:
Thomas' third wife was Ada Bethena Parker, born July 4, 1862, in Hancock Township. She died April 9, 1933, at Nauvoo, Hancock County, and was interred at Majorville Cemetery.
Thomas and Ada had the following children:
enumerated November 2, 1850, dwelling #1131
Wright, Hickason, 53, male, farmer, value of real estate 1500, born TN, could not read or write
enumerated June 23, 1860, dwelling #338
J W Bond, 33, male, miner, value of personal estate 800, born AL
enumerated July 29, 1870, dwelling #164
Wright, H, 36, male, white, miner, value of personal estate 1500, born IL, male citizen of the U.S. aged 21 or more
enumerated June 22-23, 1880, dwelling #193
Wright, T G, white, male, 44, divorced, farmer, born IL, both parents born TN
December 26, 1894, page 1, column 6
Thomas G. Wright to Theodore L. Roberts, W½ SE NW, Section 26, Fountain Green Township, $500.00.