Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snapshot: Abbie Wright Austin

Our snapshot of Abbie Wright comes to us from Gloria Karow.  Thanks, Gloria!

"Abbie Wright was born in the town of Elba Dodge County Wisconsin on December 15th 1868.  Abbie died at her home in Waterloo Wisconsin on March 21, 1927.  Insulin was discovered in {1923} but Abbie was not going to be a [guinea pig].  Abbie died a year before Gloria Abbie Austin Karow 1928.

Abbie was married to Manly H. Austin in 1890.  They lived on a farm at [Sam Hill] town of Portland, where she went as a bride until two years at the end of her life, when they moved to Waterloo Wisconsin.  Abbie and Manly had five children, Miner, Wright, May, Stanley and Vira.  May tarried a few days, and passed away.

Abbie was the youngest from a family of twelve. Leslie Wright married Mary Lowe in 1848.  Mary had 12 children in 19 years, now that’s some kind of a record.

Abbie and Manly along with many of the Wright clan are buried at the Okeeg Cemetery of Elba Dodge County Wisconsin.

The Okeeg Cemetery of Elba is a privately owned cemetery, the Association was formed in 1848, three trustees were chosen to conduct the affairs of said Association, the 3 trustees decided that the first Sunday of December in each year at 6 o’clock PM be the time of holding Annual Meeting of said Association.

The name Okeeg was the Indian name of the Crawfish River, Okeeg translated into English meant Peaceful or at peace.

Small country Cemeteries, at this time, were increasingly neglected.

A gentleman by the name of George Adams visiting from California suggested to write letters to every lot owner and everyone who has a relative buried in the cemetery for donations, then he George Adams would give a dollar for every one collected.

In 1907, with the money and help of the trustees and men of the Association, (the women) formed the OKEEG CEMETERY LADIES IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY. This group plus husbands and members of the Association are still meeting to this day. Now called the Okeeg Auxillary, we meet seven times a year at the Elba Town Hall. We have a noon potluck and always have a feast, the meeting part we’ve fixed fences had trees cut down new exit gate, we have a caretaker we pay half his wages.

We have 12 to 15 people at our meetings.  This is a far cry from the original ladies who had as many at 75 in their big country homes. Back in the early days they met on the night of the full moon so the horses and wagons and horses and buggies could find their way home.

I, Gloria ABBIE (Austin) Karow am very proud to be named after my Grandma, ABBIE."


The pictures are of Okeeg Cemetery when we (Nathan and I) drove out to find it.  It is a really lovely cemetery with many Wrights, Austins and Stofflets.  A very pretty and peaceful place. The Wright family farm was just 1/2 a mile down the road.

WELL my fellow clan members, that's it!  The end of the snapshots and I must say I am sorry to see our research end.  Thank you all for your help and interest!  Continue to send us stories, we always love to add knowledge to the clan archives.  I hope you've had as much fun reading these snapshots as we have had writing them.

A few notes:  if anyone is interested in "those Bleecker Boys" who Wright women kept marrying check out Skip Bleecker's excellent genealogical website:

We are saddened with the passing of Alberta Wright Kickbush, the daughter of Albert Wright, who died just last week.  Here is a link to her beautiful obituary:
The Reunion is two weeks from today!  Bring yourselves, your sunscreen and a dish to pass.  Here is the information once again:
Join us for the 88th Wright Family Reunion! We will be gathering at the
Cedar Community Beach House once again, 5595 County Road Z, West Bend, WI 53095

July 8th 2012 at 10:00 in the morning. We will gather, have a meal (bring
a dish to pass!) have our family business meeting and hang out together at
Beautiful Cedar Lake. You can find a map at our blog:

or if you need futher instructions feel free to contact me, Mary Bubenzer
(your secretary) at

If you are unable to come this year please send us a note via email to
share with us "doings" in your family!

Due to cost and ease of use after this year we will be sending email only,
and not the paper mailing. If you know someone who is still getting the
mailing, please encourage them to send us their email addresses.

Hope you can come in July! We'd love to see you there!


Mary Bubenzer
Wright Family Secretary

I have enjoyed being your secretary so much and will be handing over the reins to a worthy successor at the reunion.  Consider taking the post:  it is a real pleasure and I will be more than happy to show our new secretary the ropes!

With love, 
Mary Bubenzer

Monday, June 18, 2012

Snapshot: Albert Wright

Nathan and I took a little field trip to the Wisconsin Historical Society Library today to look up a biographical article about my (Mary Bubenzer’s) Great Grandfather, Albert L. Wright.  If you ever have a chance to go to the Historical Society, right down on the campus of UW Madison, I highly recommend it.  It is a beautiful beautiful stately and lavish old building. We had a location that we found on the web site for a “History of Washington County, Wisconsin.” biography. The record was on microfilm, which we viewed on what seemed to be an antique machine.  VERY old school.  It was a hoot. 

According to our notes, Albert Wright was the first Wright child born in Wisconsin, 14 October 1865.  He grew up on his father’s farm. At some point he lived in Minnesota with relatives and that is where he met and married his first wife, Jennie M. Smith (November 1889 in Fillmore, MN.) According to the biography at the Historical Society, he spent some time at a horse importation ranch in South Dakota, so he must have been with George at that time.  Jennie and Albert’s first child, Cecil or Cecile, was born in South Dakota in 1890.  While he was there he sharpened and honed his great interest in horses.  Jennie and Albert were in Minnesota for the birth of their second daughter, Lucille, in 1893.  He attended the Ontario Veterinary College where he got his DVS in 1904.  After this time Jennie, Albert, Cecil and Lucille moved back to Wisconsin where he began a veterinary practice in Columbus.  Their third child, Florence was born in 1907.  Unfortunately Jennie died in 1908 Leaving Albert a widower with three children.

In 1914 Albert Married Kathrine S. Frey, my great grandmother.  They had two children, Kathrine E. Wright Atwood, my grandmother, born June 1916 and Alberta Wright Kickbush, born June 1918, who is still with us today.  Albert died in 1935, and Kathrine Frey Wright died in April, 1954.

In the biography it said “He has a natural love for animals, an understanding knowledge of their ailments and is an expert in the treatment and healing of their diseases. His success is based upon his thorough technical knowledge and mechanical skill.”  “A Republican and always votes the party ticket.” (unlike his great granddaughter...) and “The sterling and upright qualities which he inherited from his father have been active factors in his success.” He also was a member of the “Knights of Pythias” which we assume is a fraternal organization.

Here are some memories that my Mom, Kathrine Laycock, sent to me:

“You have far more of the specifics of Albert in your computer already…..but here is my recall of what I heard of him as his granddaughter.

Albert Wright was and is my grandfather…the father of my mom, Kathrine Wright Atwood. He had the strong, stocky build and lovely mustache of many of his brothers.

He died of the heart disease that plagued so many of the Wright males and my mom could remember him popping nitroglycerine pills for many years for angina. My mom was 18 when he died; her only sibling Alberta was 16.

Albert was trained as a veterinarian in Canada as were 2 of his brothers. The Scots love their animals and he was a rural, large animal vet with his Wright's Clinic in Campbellsport, Wisconsin. He was compassionate and capable and the farmers knew they could call on Doc Wright anytime day and night. He was not a business man and often was paid in eggs and apples from the orchards and potatoes from the field. He never made much money and his relaxed attitude about money was cause of heated disagreements with Gramma.

He was a Scot in his love of music, and poetry and all things "bright and beautiful". He could sing and quote poetry - especially Bobbie Burns with the best of them.

Our gramma Kathrine was grandpa's second wife and at the Wright Reunions my mom and Aunty Bert were the youngest of the first generation past the original 12 Wright siblings. That made us direct grandchildren and I was always so proud to write on my name tag KC Atwood Granddaughter of Albert Wright!!

I never met my grandpa Albert but always felt I knew him through the clan gatherings every year.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

Snapshot: Leslie Allyn Wright

Born in 1863, Leslie Allyn Wright was the last Wright child born in Ohio.  He moved to Wisconsin with his family, and he never strayed far from home. 

Leslie married Caroline Rhodes January 10, 1893.  They lived in Columbus, where he had a veterinary practice, following the Wright preferred profession!  Caroline and Leslie had two children,  Allyn Lee born in 1894, and Elizabeth, born in 1906. 

Leslie died in 1930, and Caroline moved to Minnesota to live with her son Allyn, a banker, and his family.  She died in 1958 at the ripe age of 86, outliving both of her children.

Just two Wright kiddos left!  Next week we will visit Albert Wright (from whom I am descended).  Send any info!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Snapshot: Alexander H. Wright

Alexander H. Wright was born in Medina County Ohio in 1862. He was only a couple of years old when the family moved to Wisconsin, the first of many moves for Alex.

He spent some time in Canada at the Ontario Veterinary College (now part of the University of Guelph, near Toronto), Graduating in 1895. His name shows up in the Journal of Comparative Medicine and Veterinary Archives from that year in the listing of graduates at the 26th annual commencement on March 29th. It also mentions that he earned honors in pathology and anatomy. We believe he might be pictured in the photo of graduates on the OVC web site. See if you can find him. It is the sixth photograph in the queue at the bottom (sepia colored).

After graduation, he married Hattie May Loomis on December 29, 1897 in Columbia County Wisconsin. In the 1905 Wisconsin census the couple is living in Lake Mills and Alex is working as a veterinary surgeon. In 1910 they are in Appleton, now with a one year old son, Philip.

Sometime after 1913 and before 1920 the family, now with sons Philip and Robert, moves to Gresham, Oregon, near Portland. We can surmise this because he is listed in the Neenah-Menasha Telephone Directory in 1913 as living at 622 Union in Appleton with an office at 625 Morrison. They have a farm in Gresham, and it is here that Alex lives the rest of his days, passing away on November 11, 1935 at the age of 73. May, as she is listed in many of the census records, lives another 15 years, dying in 1950.

On a side note, you may recall from the Snapshot of May Wright Bleecker last week that she and her children were also in Appleton at about that same time as Alex and his family. May Wright Bleecker’s son Leslie was also a veterinary surgeon, and he is also listed in the 1913 telephone directory. His office was at 203 Main Street in Neenah, with his home at 312 Commercial in Neenah.

Next week: Leslie Allyn Wright. As always, please send us any news or information you have for Leslie Allyn, or any of the 12. We hope you are enjoying these snapshots, and maybe learning a little more about the family.

Once again: Join us for the 88th Wright Family Reunion! We will be gathering at the Cedar Community Beach House, (5595 County Road Z, West Bend, WI 53095) July 8th 2012 at 10:00 in the morning. We will gather, have a meal (bring a dish to pass!) have our family business meeting and hang out together at Beautiful Cedar Lake. You can find a map at our blog from the April 4th post. We have received a few emails to share. If you have news you want passed along at the reunion, you can email it to us at