WILLIAM H WRIGHT
The long period of thirty-one years has passed since William H. Wright came to northeastern Kansas and in the marvelous progress which has been made in this section of the state he takes just pride. His progressive spirit has prompted him to aid in the promotion of many enterprises for the public good, thus largely contributing to the present prosperity and high standing of Nemaha county. He owns to-day and operates a valuable farm of six hundred and five acres, his residence being situated on section 26, Gilman township.
Mr. Wright is a native of England, his birth having occurred in Shropshire on the 23d of August, 1844. His father, Charles Wright, was born in the same county in April, 1809, at the foot of Snead's Hill, where the family lived for more than two centuries. In 1846 he came to America for the purpose of ascertaining whether the laws and conditions of this country were better adapted for the amelioration of the condition of his family than those of the mother country. That he was not disappointed in this beautiful land is shown by the fact that in 1854 he returned to England and in March, 1855, again arrived in the United States, taking up his residence upon a farm in Trimble township, Athens county, Ohio. There he carried on agricultural pursuits until 1864, after which he traveled for a number of years, having in the meantime sold his farm. He finally located at Chester, Meigs county, Ohio, where he died January 1, 1892. He was married, in England, to Sarah Davis, whose birth occurred in Shropshire July 3, 1812, and who is still living, at the venerable age of eighty-eight years. They were the parents of eight children, -- two sons and six daughters, -- four of whom died in childhood, but the others are all yet living.
Mr. Wright, of this review, the eldest son of six children, was about ten years of age when he came with his parents to America, at the age of eighteen entering upon an independent business career. Five times he attempted to enlist in the Union army before his father would consent to his going to the front; ultimately, however, he became a member of the One Hundred and Forty-first Ohio National Guard, which went to the front for one hundred days. On the expiration of that period he received an honorable discharge and was mustered out at Gallipolis, Ohio. He then returned to his home. Having but thirty-five cents he made the entire distance on foot. Immediately, however, he began work upon a tract of land which he had purchased before entering the army and was connected with the agricultural interests of Athens county, Ohio, until 1869, when he sold his property there and came to Nemaha county. Since that time he has carried on farming operations at the place where he now lives and has improved the entire farm of six hundred acres, which was a tract of original prairie when he took up his abode thereon. His nearest neighbor on the east was six and a half miles distant and the greater part of the land in this section of the county was still in its primitive condition. He now owns and cultivates over eleven hundred acres.
In 1869, in Nemaha county, Mr. Wright was united in marriage to Miss Louisa J. Taylor, who was born in McDonough county, Illinois, a daughter of John and Everline Taylor. To them have been born eight children, seven of whom are now living: Sarah, the wife of Wilbur Baker, of Gilman township, Nemaha county; Alice, the wife of Reuben Guild, a prosperous farmer of Washington county, Kansas; Laura, the wife of Frank Bird, of Gilman township, Nemaha county; John Charles, who is assisting in the cultivation of the home farm; William A., deceased; and Grace Ollie and Edith, who are still with their parents. The children were all born in Nemaha county.
In his politics Mr. Wright is a Democrat and for some years he held the position of postmaster at Oneida, but resigned that office in order to give a more undivided attention to his farming interests. Socially he is connected with the Modern Woodmen and has filled all the offices in the camp. He maintains pleasant relationship with his old army comrades through his membership in the Grand Army Post at Oneida, Kansas. While a resident of that place he was further connected with its interests through his relationship with the bank, serving on its board of directors. His business career has been crowned with a high degree of success and his prosperity is the result of his own efforts. Industry and perseverance are numbered among his chief characteristics and it is these qualities that have enabled him to wrest fortune from the hands of an adverse fate. His career has at all times and under all circumstances been honorable and straightforward. gaining him the unqualified regard of his fellow men. In this history he well deserves mention among the representative residents of Nemaha county.