Sunday, May 13, 2012

Snapshot: William Wright

Our snapshot this week is mostly from John Stofflet, thanks John!  Nathan and I added a few details, which we bracketed.

“William Wright was the 5th born child of Leslie and Mary Wright, and the first of their children not born in Scotland, but in the U.S.A.  [in 1855]. In an article written about Leslie and Mary's 50th anniversary,  William is described as a "Buckeye", being born in Ohio [Medina County].    He migrated with his parents to Wisconsin via "prairie schooner" in 1865.

William Wright married Lena Rogers in 1881. [Lena was born in 1859 in Wisconsin. Her father, Lafayette Rogers,  was listed as a deputy sherriff  in Dodge County according to the 1870 census. He had also worked as a cooper in 1850, as a miller in 1860; In 1880 he was listed as a farmer. Lena’s  mother’s name was Maria. They had four children who were born in Ohio, and at least two more that were born in Wisconsin, including Lena]   William Wright and Lena Rogers had six children: Angie, Elva, Donald, Harold, Eula, and Marshall. 

There is a wonderful photograph of William, sporting his thick mustache, in Eula's scrapbook.  It was taken with his siblings and parents in front of the family farmhouse on the occasion of Leslie and Mary's  50th wedding anniversary.   There is another great photo of William and his brothers wearing winter coats made of fur, which appears to have possibly been taken the same day. 

We have not found other  written accounts of William, and don't recall many anecdotal references about him handed down from his children.  But we know that he farmed on the family farm in Elba.  In a letter written in Danville by his father Leslie in 1901, Leslie describes "Will's" work in the woods that winter as follows:  "Will has just commenced hauling wood.  Can't get into our woods any more with a wagon with any satisfaction, the way we used to go. It is all cleared off, plowed up and wire fences all over.  What is hauled has been on the river.  He can come right out of the woods on to the river and up opposite the house and then come across the lot.  It is a little farther that way, but when you get on to the river you have nothing to do but push on the lines.  The load is nothing.  We have been better off for wood than at one time expected.  We had nothing but green wood all winter.  Where he got it is 'more than I know', but he has got a lot of nice white ash, which I am sure never grew in our woods but it burns just as good as if it were our own."

William died in 1922 "on the old home farm".  We recall anecdotal mentions from Eula of her father having "stomach cancer".   He is buried in Dodge County's O'Keeg Cemetery in Danville, next to wife, Lena and daughter, Eula...just a short distance from the family farm on Ninabuck Road.”

Next week we will visit with Jessie Wright!  As ever, any information is gratefully received! Send your memories to And we would love memories and details about any of the 12.

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