W.T. WRIGHT. – Among the many who with their parents braved the dangers and endured the hardships of the pioneer’s life, Mr. Wright whose portrait is herewith presented, deserves a prominent place.
He was born in 1845 in the state of Illinois, and in 1852 with his parents came the over-memorable “plains across.” Although he was then a small lad, the terrors of that trip, over the long, dry, dusty and ofttimes dangerous roads, with slow, toiling ox-teams, are still vividly remembered by Mr. Wright, after a lapse of more than a third of a century; and their recollection will never be effaced. Arriving at the present site of Portland in the early winter of 1852, with a depleted purse, but rich in a strong determination to win in the battle of life, and to assist in the great work of building up a state, the father, George Wright, went to work, and until 1861, when he left for the mines of Idaho, was recognized as one of Portland’s substantial and worthy citizens. He is now living in Union, Oregon, surrounded by all the comforts of life, and enjoying the respect and confidence of all who have every known him.
In 1882, somewhat against his judgment, he was persuaded by his fellow Republicans to accept the nomination for county clerk. The county was Democratic by about two hundred majority; but his popularity carried him through; and he was elected, and served out his term, making a splendid officer. While in that office, in 1883, he organized the First National bank of Union, of which he is now and has been since its organization cashier and manager, controlling a majority of its stock. The success of this bank has been all that anyone would wish, and, considering its situation, almost wonderful; and it proves Mr. Wright to be financier worthy of a larger and more extensive field. His whole business career has been very successful; and at the early meridian of life we find him possessed of an ample competence and laying more extensive plans for the future. He is possessed of large landed interests in Union and Baker counties; and doubtless his future operations, guided by conservative and well-governed business principles and extensive experience, will be as successful as have been the past.
In politics Mr. Wright is an earnest Republican, – not for office, for that he has not sought, but from principle, – and has not failed for many years to attend the state conventions of his party as a delegate from his county. He is well-informed, a great reader, and wields a trenchant pen.
Mr. Wright is a zealous Mason, advanced to the degree of Knight Templar, and has enjoyed in the order every mark of distinction which his brethren could show. In 1883 he was elected grand master of Masons of the state of Oregon, having previously served as senior and junior grand warden and deputy grand master. His administration of the affairs of that high office was wise, discreet and able, and stamps him as an executive of high ability. His interest in the affairs of Masonry is shown by the fact that for fifteen years he has not missed an annual communication of the grand lodge, in which body he is an influential member. He is also an Odd Fellow, and a member of the A.O.U.W.
In 1870 Mr. Wright was married to Miss Belle Mallory, a native of new York. They have a family of eight children, all strong, active and intelligent. He has a splendid home, and is surrounded by all the comforts and luxuries of life. Possessed of a vigorous constitution and sound health, his p0rospects for a long, useful and happy life could not be better. He is a man of strong character, self-reliant, slow in forming attachments; but, when once formed, they are lasting. He is devotedly attached to his family; and his home is one of the most pleasant that can be found. His life has been a successful one; and his future seems to be unclouded save with roseate shadows.