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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


HON. J. E. WRIGHT may usually be found at his homestead on section 8, township 13, range 10, where he has lived many years, and has become well-known to the people of this region. He is a native of Morgan County, and born July 11, 1842. His parents were John W. and Eliza Wright, the father a native of Tennessee, and the mother of Kentucky. The paternal grandfather, John Wright, settled on section 9, township 13, range 10, at an early day, but finally removed to Murrayville, where he died in the eighty-sixth year of his age. It is believed that he came to this section as early as 1828. His son, John W., then a young man, and Wright Precinct was named in honor of the father.

Capt. Wright, as he is familiarly called, since the close of the civil War has been largely interested in live stock. He received a practical education in the common schools, necessarily somewhat limited, but has kept himself thoroughly informed in regard to passing events, and is naturally adapted to business pursuits. He was first married to Miss Maria Wilson, and there were born four children, three of whom are living - Minnie O., Mattie and Charles J.

After the outbreak of the rebellion our subject, Aug. 1, 1861, enlisted as a private in Company G, 1st Missouri Cavalry, which was assigned to the Western Army, and was mostly under command of Gen. Curtis. A year later Mr. Wright was promoted to Corporal, later to Sergeant, and served as a scout more or less, while he also fought the guerillas in Missouri. He met the rebels in the battle of Pea Ridge and at the charge of Sugar Creek, his company being at the front in the latter place. Later he participated in other engagements, and after the close of the war received his honorable discharge. In the meantime he had returned to this county and organized a company of infantry, Company E, in the spring of 1865, consisting of about 100 men, and which became a portion of the 58th consolidated infantry. The regiment was assigned to the 16th Army Corps, under command of Gen. A. J. Smith, and served mostly in Alabama, being present at the surrender of Mobile.

Upon the organization of this company Mr. Wright was elected First Lieutenant, but the Captain being called away on detached duty, Lieut. Wright was obliged to assume command of the company. He did not leave the army until the last of April, 1866. Then returning to this county he once more turned his attention to rural pursuits, and has now a well-regulated farm of 240 acres, which yields him a handsome income. In the meantime he has interested himself in political affairs, and in November, 1886, was elected to the Lower House of the Illinois Legislature for the term of two years. Prior to this, in 1875, he was the candidate of his party for the office of Sheriff, his opponent being Irvin Dunlap, of Jacksonville. Socially, he belongs to Watson Post No. 420, G.A. R., at Murrayville, and was installed as its first Commander after the organization, which position he still holds. He is a pronounced Republican, politically. He believes in strict economy, which at times approaches the verge of what some people would term penuriousness, although his integrity in business cannot be questioned, and he enjoys the esteem of a large circle of friends.

1889 Index
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