WILLIAM L. WRIGHT, a farmer residing on section 29, in the town of Porter, is numbered among the early settlers of the county who shared in the trials and privations of pioneer days. He was born April 22, 1809, in Livingston County, N.Y., and is a son of William and Mary (Bullard) Wright, who were also natives of the Empire State. His father was three times married. Shortly after his first marriage his wife died leaving one child, Abigail, who is also deceased. He was a farmer by occupation, and removed to Genesee County, N.Y., where he wedded Mary Bullard, and three children were born of their union, namely: Almira, who became the wife of Ziba Balcolm, who resided in Indiana until her death; Mary, who died at her home in New York, and William L., the subject of this sketch. The mother of this family was called to her final rest while residing in Indiana. The third wife of Mr. Wright was Mrs. Plumilla Balcolm, a native of Connecticut, by whom he had nine children - Asa, Plumilla, Eli, Anna, Julia, Clarinda, Emiline, Mercy Ann and Lucy. In 1851 William Wright, Sr., removed with his family to Wisconsin, where he passed the remainder of his days. His third wife died after a few years' residence in this state. When the late war broke out he enlisted in his country's service, continuing until the close of hostilities. He was a recognized leader of the Republican party, was an enthusiastic and inflexible adherent to its principles and felt a deep interest in its success. He was a man well informed on all the leading topics of the day, was highly respected in the community where he resided, and his death, which occurred at the home of his daughter in Northern Wisconsin, was deeply mourned. Our subject passed the days of his boyhood and youth in his native State, and was reared to the occupation of farming, which he followed throughout his life. Leaving his Eastern home in the spring of 1845 he emigrated to Wisconsin, settling in Rock County, where he entered a claim of eighty acres of land, which he purchased from the Government at the land sale. His capital was then very limited, and knowing that he must depend upon his own labors for a livelihood, without delay he began the development of his land. He erected a little log cabin 13x15 feet, which he made his home for twenty years, but before taking up his residence therein he worked in the neighborhood as a farmhand, receiving only fifty cents per day for the arduous duties which he performed. When evening drew near he would hasten to his claim and devote several hours to work upon his cabin, while he spent the rainy days in the same manner. The hardships which he endured makes his success all the greater. For four years he hauled the water which he used for a distance of two miles, when at the end of that time by hard labor he succeeded in procuring the lumber to sink a well on his farm. During that time he engaged in breaking steers in connection with his other work, thereby gaining the means with which to continue his improvements. As time passed, however, the care and labor which he bestowed upon the land transformed the once wild prairie into a tract of rich fertility, and his efforts of former years were rewarded by bounteous harvests. On the 27th day of March, 1839, in the town of Sheridan, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., Mr. Wright married Miss Caroline Smith, but on the 14th day of November, 1857, the good lady passed away. He was again married April 14, 1858, his second union being with Isabelle Quayle, who was born on the Isle of Man, a small island between England, Ireland and Scotland. Two children have graced the union of this worthy couple: William Jr., who was born June 5, 1859, and is now operating his father's farm, and Kate Patterson, who was born March 6, 1862, and is still under the parental roof. Mr. Wright is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mrs. Wright is a member of the Episcopal church, and they have ever been active workers in the Master's cause. He cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, supporting the Whig party until the organization of the Republican party, since which time he has each election given his influence and his ballot in its support, concluding with the election of 1888, when he voted for our present executive, the grandson of the Tippecanoe hero. Mr. Wright is now in his declining years, and can look back over a well-spent life with no regret for the past or fear for the future.
Chicago: Acme Publishing Co, 1889. pp. 547-548.
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