Jonathan R. Wright

JONATHAN R. WRIGHT was for many years one of the best known agriculturists of Garden township, and his death, which occurred December 19, 1888, was sadly mourned as a loss to the community. He was born in Wayne County, Indiana, January 20, 1820.

Jonathan R. Wright was educated in the public schools of Winchester. Indiana, after which he taught school at different times, teaching nine years in all. On November 5, 1877, he came West to Cherokee County, and settled three miles northwest of the present family homestead, in Spring Valley township. He farmed there one year, then removed to section 20, township 34, range 25, in Garden township, where Mrs. Wright now lives, it now being an improved farm of 120 acres. He was very successful as a farmer,being an industrious man and a capable manager of his affairs.

Mr. Wright was twice married, his second union being with Mary J. Gates, October 9, 1859. She is a daughter of John L. and Eliza (Ennesly) Gates, and of nine children she is one of three surviving sisters. Her father was a native of North Carolina and her mother, of Wayne County, Indiana. Mr. Gates moved from Wayne County, Indiana, to Miami County, that State, before the Indians had left and was one of the earliest settlers, helping to clear and develop that country. He died there before the Civil War, and Mr. Gates died about 1868.

Mrs. Wright was seven years old when she was taken by her parents to Miami County, Indiana, and there she received her education. Her marriage resulted in no issue, but she raised the daughter of Mr. Wright by his first marriage, giving her a mother's care. She rents her farm on shares and has displayed much ability in the handling of her affairs. Her trading is now done at Galena, but in the early days Baxter Springs was the trading point. In 1893, she had the misfortune to lose her home by fire, and many valuable records were destroyed, among them being a diary of current events and all business that had been kept by her husband, as well as his law books. Religiously, she is a member of the Friends' Church. Her estimable character has won the love and friendship of many acquaintances throughout the county.

History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 5/5/97.

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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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