Biography - George Wright

GEORGE WRIGHT is a native of Yorkshire, England, where he was born December 30th, 1809. His parents, John and Anne Wright, had a family of twelve children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the second. John Wright, with his family, left Yorkshire and embarked for America in 1830, and arrived at Carrollton, Illinois, in July of the same year. He soon after located on a farm west of the city, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits at the time of his death, which occurred at 9 o'clock P. M. of the 23d of March, 1865, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. His widow is yet living, and resides with her son, David Wright.

George Wright was educated in the schools of his native city, receiving a good, practical business education;' and when about the age of fourteen he became an apprentice to learn the trade of carpenter. He came with his parents to Illinois in 1830, and, for six years after, assisted his father in carrying on the farm. In May, 1836, Mr. Wright purchased a stock of goods and engaged in merchandising at Carrollton, which business he continued until 1871. As a merchant, he proved very successful, combining, as he does, in a large degree, the essential qualifications of business - having broad, comprehensive views, and an accurate judgment of man and things. His success in business is an instance of what perseverance, intelligence, and integrity may accomplish. Whatever he undertakes, he does with all his might, and yet, at the same time, he is orderly and systematic in his performances.

He is plain and unassuming in manners, a genial companion, and generous in disposition. His judgment is well guarded, and generally found to be correct. Few men of the city of Carrollton have been engaged in business as long as Mr. Wright, and made as few enemies. At one time he was interested in three mercantile houses - one at home, another located at Jerseyville, and the third at Carlinville.

Believing that "roughing it" alone in this world was not exactly the thing, and acting upon that idea, in May, 1844, he was married to Miss Anna Tunstall, the amiable daughter of Captain John Tunstall, formerly of Louisville, Kentucky, but at that time a resident of Greene county, Illinois. By this union, Mr. Wright and wife were blessed with four children, of whom the eldest, a daughter, is now deceased. After eleven years of prosperity and happy married life, a cloud settled over that household, and draped in mourning a pleasant home, caused by the death of Mrs. Wright, which occurred on the 18th of May, 1856. In January, 1860, Mr. Wright was married to Miriam Tunstall, a sister of his former wife, by which union he is the father of two sons. Mr. Wright and wife are both members of the Presbyterian Church.

After becoming a citizen of Illinois, Mr. Wright, from principle, became a strong supporter of the anti-slavery party, though, as a general rule, he may be classed among those who manifest little interest in political topics.

Mr. Wright is a man who does his own thinking, and works out his own course, and the success he has achieved abundantly verifies the soundness of his judgement. Among the successful merchants of Greene county, he stands foremost, and almost alone. During his career of almost forty years as a merchant, he has been fortunate enough to make but few bad deals, as he has always been guided by his own judgment, rather than by the windy ideas of those who prove a failure in their undertakings. He commenced life poor, but by economy and industry, has climbed, round after round, up the ladder of success, until he has gained a competency. Like most of the pioneers of a new country, his success was marked by much hard labor; and, by his kind and gentlemanly manner, he has won the esteem and respect of those who have acted with him in the history, growth, and development of Greene county. One thing is said of George Wright which cannot be said of all men: that the truth of his word is never doubted by those who know him best. He can certainly be classed among the self-made men of the county. He has now retired from active business, and, at his beautiful residence, surrounded by an interesting family, is enjoying the fruits of a well spent life.

Extracted 05 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from Atlas Map of Greene County Illinois, 1873, page 34.

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