Henry E. Wright, whose residence is at 1205 North Hunter street, Stockton, is a typical California pioneer, representative of all the best elements and qualities of that semi-romantic but withal very strenuous and enterprising individual. The veterans of the old vanguard who made settlement in the state fifty years ago are few and constantly decreasing in number, and the deeds done in their days of activity certainly deserrve chronicling before the actors themselves pass from the stage of life. Of the nearly eighty years of his life, Mr. Wright has spent the last fifty-two in California, and a full half century has been passed within the confines of San Joaquin county, so that none have a more intimate acquaintance with the development and upbuilding of this portion of the state. And he has been interested in many lines of enterprise, and no one has a fund of experience richer and more fulsome of the days agone than Mr. Wright.

He lived in the east until he was about twenty-seven years old, and in 1852 embarked at New York city on the ship Racer, and after a long boyage of one hundred and thirty-two days around the Horn arrived in San Francisco. In that city he became a clerk in the commission house of William H. Stowell, who was one of the pioneer commission merchants of the state. In the fall of 1854 he arrived in San Joaquin county and in company with his two brothers engaged in general agriculture and ranching on the Sonora road about nine miles from Stockton. This business was carried on for a number of years, and the firm was familiarly known as the "Wright Boys." Having sold out his interest in this enterprise Mr. Wright opened a general merchandise establishment at Eight Mile Corners located on the Sonora road eight miles from Stockton, and later, near this same place, he once more took up ranching. Subsequently for a short time he was superintendent of Melones' Old Mine, located at Robinson's ferry on the Stanislaus river. Then for a number of years following this last mentioned enterprise he continued his agricultural pursuits near the Corners, until 1877, when he moved into Stockton, where he has resided to the present time. Ever since coming to the county he has given much attention to the wheat growing and shipping industry, and since taking up his residence in the city of Stockton he has been particularly active in this line of commercial endeavor. He is one of the influential Democrats of this part of the state, and for several years served as postmaster at Eight Mile Corners.

Mr. Wright was born in Washington county, New York, August 20, 1825, being a son of Caleb and Maria (Thorn) Wright, both natives of New York state, the paternal ancestors being English. On July 30, 1864, Mr. Wright married Miss Fannie Kennedy, who was born in the north of Ireland, and in 1859 accompanied her parents direct to California, coming by the isthmus route. Her parents, Thomas and Fannie (Long) Kennedy, located on the Sonora road about nine miles from Stockton, but after several years residence there they returned to their native north Ireland, where they died. Andrew Kennedy, an uncle of Mrs. Wright, came to California, crossing the plains in 1849. He had formerly lived in St. Johns, New Brunswick. It was owing to this fact that her parents came to California. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wright, two sons by the name of Henry A., the first one having died young, and the daughter Minnie M. is also deceased. Alice M. is the wife of Walter A. Morrisey, of Los Angeles. The living son Henry A., popularly known as "Chick" Wright, has a world-wide reputation as a champion amateur billiardist, and is a member of the well known grain brokerage firm of Yates and Wright at 303 California street, San Francisco. He is a very popular young man in business and social circles, and has been successful in whatever he has undertaken.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume I

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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