Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Dr. William T. Wright

For twenty-one years Dr. William T. Wright has engaged in practice at Denison and in the time named few men have been more closely identified with the progress of the city. He has acquired an enviable reputation and is today one of the leading practitioners of the state.

He was born at Lewes, Delaware, September 1, 1856, a son of William and Rachel Weld (Smith) Wright, both of whom were natives of London, England. The father came to America in 1850, or shortly before, and was an architect of Baltimore, Maryland, for a short time. He entered the Episcopal ministry and in 1865 came to Waverly, Iowa, where he preached, later officiating at Nashua, Denison, Des Moines, Marengo, Grinnell, Carroll and Vail. He died at Denison in 1900 at the age of seventy-six, his wife passing away in March, 1910, at the age of eighty-one years. In 1852 he was a missionary with his wife in Africa, where they encountered many hardships and dangers. He was a man of energy, ability and high character and a devout follower in the footsteps of the Master.

Our subject's grandfather Wright was also a native of England. He engaged in the mercantile business and married Miss Eldershore. There were five children in their family: John, Richard, William, George and Thomas.

The maternal grandfather, James Juneau Smith, was a manufacturer of sauces and pickles in England. By his first marriage he had one child, Eliza, and for his second wife he married her sister, Rachel Eldershore, by whom he had three children: James, Yealing and Rachel.

The father of these children died in middle life and Mrs. Smith was again married, her second husband being a Mr. Reynolds, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One daughter, Margaret, was born to this union.

Six children came to bless the home of William and Rachel Wright, namely: William T., the subject of this review; John, Mary and Robert, who are deceased; and Leighton and Alfred, both of Denison, Iowa.

William T. Wright came with his parents to Waverly, Iowa, at the age of nine years and was reared there and in Nashua and Denison. He attended the public schools and the academy in Bradford; later entering Kenyon College, from which he was graduated in 1878 with the degree of A. B. He then taught school for one year in Crawford county, Iowa, after which he matriculated in the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduating in 1882 with the degree of M. D. He began practice at Denison but afterward practiced one year at Ute and six years at Vail, then returning to Denison, where he has achieved more than the ordinary measure of success. He is a member of the County, State and American Medical Associations, and he is now serving with general acceptance to his professional brethren as secretary of the Crawford County Medical Association.

On the 22d of October, 1891, Dr. Wright was united in marriage to Miss Florence M. Brigham, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and a daughter of J. B. and Julia (Fuller) Brigham. The parents were born in Vermont, and the mother died in New York when Mrs. Wright was a child. The father was one of the early settlers of Monona county, Iowa, locating at Ute, where he engaged successfully in farming. He died at Ute in 1890 at the age of seventy-five years.

Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wright, namely: Winifred Weld, Alma Lucile and Alice Edna.

Dr. Wright and his wife are members of the Episcopal church, in which he is serving as vestryman. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America, also holding membership in the Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Theta Pi college fraternities. In politics he adheres to the republican party. He has been an active worker in behalf of his party and was coroner of Monona county in 1889, also serving as county superintendent of schools of Crawford county in 1896. For one year he filled the office of chairman of the county republican central committee, discharging his duties with an ability that met the hearty approval of the members of the committee. Earnest, energetic and competent in whatever he undertakes, he is also a champion of progress and represents in his profession and in his life the highest ideals. No man in Denison occupies a more honorable place in the estimation of the people than Dr. William T. Wright.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.