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Edwin Eugene Wright

As published in the "Commemorative Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin containing Biographical Sketches of Business and Professional Men and Many of the Early Settled Families", The J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, 1906.

Transcribed by Marcie Pierce Colleary, Thank you Marcie!

Edwin Eugene Wright, who conducts a furniture, undertaking and harness establishment in the thriving village of Wilmot, Wis., was born in Randall Township, Kenosha County, Feb. 6, 1857, son of James and Elizabeth (Kellett) Wright, natives of Lincolnshire, England. The grandfather died in England when his son James was a small boy, and his history and that of his wife are lost. The grandfather on the maternal side, Samuel Kellett, a native of England, came to America and finally located at Zumbrota, Minn., where he died at an advanced age. He was a farmer in his later years.

James Wright, father of Edwin E., came to America when eighteen years of age, and worked in several cities is the East before striking out for the West, in 1852. In that year he located in Randall Township, Kenosha County, locating on 143 acres of land upon which he engaged in farming until his death, in 1881, in his sixty-third year. Mr. Wright became prominent in township affairs and held various township offices. His widow survived until 1892 and was sixty-nine years old at the time of her death. They were Methodists. They had twelve children, seven of whom are now living: Joseph, of Appleton, Minn.: Alert, of Richmond, Ill.: Elizabeth, wife of Lucius B. Rice, Of Richmond, Ill.: Edwin E.: John Franklin, of Chicago, Ill.: Pearson, of Three Oaks, Mich.: and Nellie, the wife of Herbert F. Gibbs, of Genoa Junction, Wisconsin.

Edwin Eugene Wright was reared on his fatherıs farm, and attended the district schools and the public schools of Richmond, after which he taught school for several terms. In 1887 he removed to Wilmot, Wis., where for six years he conducted a meat market, and then followed shipping. Mr. Wright then bought out the furniture and undertaking business of Louis Scherf, and has conducted that business to the present time, also engaging in the harness business. He has been successful in his efforts to build up a paying trade among the residents of this section, his straightforward business methods and strict integrity having completely won their confidence.

On April 23, 1885, Mr. Wright married Mary Hodge, daughter of John and Peggy (Watters) Hodge, and to this union have been born three children, Ethel, Floyd and Clarence. Floyd died aged three months. Mr. Wright belongs to Wilmot Lodge, No.241, F. & A.M., and also to the Modern Woodsmen of America. Politically he is a Republican.

The parents of Mrs. Wright were natives of Cornwall, England, where John Hodge was born March 30, 1828. He came to America July 3, 1849, and his wife on July 5, 1849. They were married Nov. 4, 1852, in Yorkville, Wis., and settled in Caledonia, Racine County, where he operated a sawmill for four years. In May, 1856, they removed to Richmond, Ill., on a farm where in connection with farming Mr. Hodge had the care of the round house at Richmond. In 1871 the road was extended to Lake Geneva, Wis., and after he severed his connection with the railroad company he was engaged as captain and engineer of the ³Annie Wilson², the first steamer that plied the waters of Lake Geneva. He afterward became the engineer of the ³Lady of the Lake², discharging the duties of that situation with marked ability. His connection with the passenger traffic of the steamers covered a period of nine seasons. He died in 1889. His wife still survives him, at the age of eighty-one, and resides on the old homestead. They were the parents of five children as follows: Edson H., a farmer of Randall Township: Mrs. Mary Wright, of Wilmot: John W., a farmer of Randall Township: Thomas E., who is on the old homestead: and Christina, wife of J.D. Smith of Ringwood, Illinois.

Thomas Hodge, Mrs. Wrightıs paternal grandfather, was a native of England, where he died at an old age, after following agricultural pursuits all of his life. He married Mary Thomas, who also attained an advanced age, and they had nine children. Mrs. Wrightıs maternal grandfather, Henry Watters, was also a native of Cornwall, England, and came to America with his family in 1849, settling in the State of Pennsylvania for several years, following mining. About the year 1867 he came West to Illinois, and made his home with his daughter, Peggy, as whose home he died at ninety-six years. His wife, Sarah Richards Watters, also died at her daughter Peggyıs home, when in her seventy-fourth year. Mr. and Mrs. Watters had a family of twelve children, of whom eleven grew to manhood and womanhood.

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