Clark County Clipper, February 16, 1923

(Eli Bunnel Wright)

This county lost another of its pioneer citizens when E. B. Wright died at his home in Ashland at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.  Mr. Wright had been in his usual health and had eaten a hearty breakfast that morning and had been out about the place as usual.  He had enjoyed the newspaper that morning his wife reading to him as was their custom.  Just a short time before the end he spoke in a causal way about being tired.  He had gone in the living room and sat down in his chair, and it was only a few moments later when his wife looking in the room saw that he had slid down in his chair, and when she went near to see what the trouble might be she saw that the end had come.  Mrs. Wright summoned the neighbors who came and gave such assistance as they could until M. G. Stevenson, undertaker, arrived to take charge of the body.

Fallen Asleep

Eli Bunnel Wright was born in Cass county, Michigan, on October 14, 1846.  When he was fourteen years old, his mother was left a widow.  Being the oldest son in a large family of children, he early took on the responsibility of life.  He was the support of his mother, spending some time in Missouri, Iowa and Illinois during the troublesome times of the Civil War.

He was united in the holy bonds of matrimony to Susan J. Warren on October 14, 1873, at Harvel, Illinois.  Here their son and two daughters were born.

About 1883, they moved to La Clede County, Missouri, from whence they exchanged their little farm for a quarter section of land about six miles southeast of Ashland, Kansas, now owned by T. R. Cauthers.  Here, with the true spirit of the pioneer, he educated and trained his own three children and his niece, Anna Rhodes, whom he loved as his own.

During those years he held places of trust, as class leader in the Methodist church, on the Pleasant Valley charge, on the school board, and township board.  He helped to build the court house in the summer of 1888.

He was a man of strong physique and spent a number of years in the threshing business.  With the help of neighbors, he undertook and dug a well with a pick and spade ninety feet deep.

In the fall of 1896, he disposed of his farm and stock and set up a hardware and tin shop and purchased a home in Ashland.  His business increasing he took in M. T. McCord as partner who later sold his interest to E. W. Currier.  Upon the death of his wife, February 3, 1908, he retired from active business and sold to E. O. Palmer his entire stock, then located on the lot where now stands the new post office building.

His niece, Mrs. Anna Mayse, preceded him on February 7, 1908.

At the time of he came to Ashland he transferred his church membership from the Pleasant Valley Methodist church to the Methodist church at Ashland, where he served as a member of the board of trustees at the time of the building of the present church and the parsonage.  He also was a member of the city council at one time, being elected to that position in April 1909.

On October 8, 1912, he was married to Mrs. Florence Williams and has maintained a home and kept up many of the pursuits of life which to many of less determination would have seemed impossible.

His daughter, Mrs. Mary Wallingford, preceded him on February 24, 1914.

He was for more than sixty years a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge.  In the lodge, as in the church of Jesus Christ, he built up a splendid friendship among his fellow men, and his brethren in the church.  Those who knew him best held him in high esteem for his devout and noble Christian character and influence.

On Sunday morning, February 12, 1928 at 10:30 o'clock, suddenly, he was not, for God took him at the ripe age of eighty years, three months and twenty nine days.

His faithful wife, son, Clarence of Englewood, daughter, Mrs. May Palmer of this city, his brother, B. F. Wright of Lahoma, Okla., sister, Mrs. J. O. Fyffe, of Ames, Okla., seventeen grandchildren and two great grandchildren remain to share with a host of friends, the loss of one of God's noble men and one of the  community's most noble citizens.

The funeral service was conducted at the Methodist Episcopal church at 2:30, Tuesday by the pastor of the church, Rev. Robert L. Foster, and the body was lain to rest in the Highland Cemetery to await the morning of the resurrection when all who sleep in Him shall come forth a glorified body to dwell in the presence of his Lord who he loved to service so faithfully through a long and useful life.  At the Cemetery the I. O. O. F. had charge of the services which was given according to the beautiful and impressive ritualistic rites of that order.

Contributed by ~Shirley Brier~ October 27, 2005.

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