FRED D. WRIGHT. Foremost among the younger business men of Anderson who have made good in their undertakings and enterprises may be mentioned Fred D. Wright, secretary and treasurer of the Wellington Milling Company for a number of years and identified with the business in a lesser capacity since 1907. He is well versed in milling lore, for he began to take an active interest in the work as early as his seventeenth year, and has maintained a continuous identification with the milling business from that time until the present. His rise has been a steady and continuous one and altogether pleasing to those who have watched his career from boyhood and are conversant with the many excellent traits that have contributed to his success.
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A native son of Randolph County, Fred D. Wright was born in the town of Modoc on September 13, 1877. His parents were Willis C. and Mollie (Vardaman) Wright. The father was also a native of Randolph County, and was a farmer by occupation. He is now living in the city of Anderson, but the wife and mother has been called to the home beyond.
Fred D. Wright attended the village school of Modoc until his sixteenth year, and quitting his studies at that time he accepted a position in a flouring mill at Muncie, Indiana, the firm with which he identified himself being the Wysor & Hibbets Milling Company. While in the employ of that company he entered the service of the U. S. Army, enlisting with the Twentieth Infantry, U. S. Regiment, on the 12th of May, 1898. He served in all the engagements in Cuba, and returned home in the following August, receiving his discharge in November following. While with the Wysor & Hibbets Milling Company-, Mr. Wright received a thorough training in the milling business, and he continued with the firm for about seven years, leaving their service in 1902, but acquiring in that time a complete knowledge of the business in all its various departments. In that year he came to Anderson and entered the employ of the Wellington & Son Flouring Mill, remaining with them until 1905, when he went to Los Angeles, California, in an effort to better the condition of his health, which, while not incapacitating him for work, was sufficiently bad to cause him some concern. But a short time in the healthful climate of southern California restored him to abundant health and vigor, and he returned to Anderson in 1906 and assumed charge of the Pioneer Milling Company at Linngrove, Adams County, Indiana. In January, 1913, he acquired an interest in the Wellington & Son Milling Company, which, by the retirement of James Wellington, the father, came to be known as the Wellington Milling Company. Soon thereafter the son also retired from the concern, leaving Mr. Wright in full charge of the activities of the business. Under his regime the mills have taken on new strength and the business is being pushed forward to an exceptionally high plane. The plant is equipped with a complete roller system and separators, and every labor-saving device known to the milling business is found in operation in this thoroughly modern and well conducted plant. With a capacity of one hundred and twenty-five barrels daily, the mill runs at capacity the year around. It has a large local trade, and is at the same time engaged in handling wheat, oats and other grains peculiar to this region, its principal markets being Baltimore, Maryland, and Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio. The care of the business could be in no better hands than Mr. Wright’s, for an addition to his thorough knowledge of the business from its more practical side, he is also an accomplished office man, thoroughly qualified to oversee the clerical side of the business and to understand every detail of office management. He fitted himself for that phase of the work in the Anderson Business College, where he pursued a thorough course of training some years ago.
In 1901 Mr. Wright was married to Miss Iva E. Longfellow, of Rush County, Indiana, a daughter of S. C. Longfellow, for many years a teacher in Rush County and one of the best known men of that district, and of Rosetta (Durham) Longfellow, a descendant of a pioneer family of Rush County. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wright-Noland C. and Noline M. Wright.
Mr. Wright is a member of Anderson Lodge of the Knights of Pythias and also of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Anderson. The family home is at 203 East Fifteenth street.