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.”

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Bio Mary. I know that my grandmother (Alberta) adored her Dad. As I write I am sitting at grandma's bedside, grandma is on her final journey and I want to travel with her as much as I can. Grandma always told me stories of GreatGrandpa doing the fling and singing folk songs. It was because of these stories that I began to dance.