Obit: Bright, H.A. (1835 - 1913)


Contact: Ann Stevens



Surnames: Bright, Sheppard, Olson, Forbes, Brockway, Withee, Nichols, Welch


----Source:  Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.)  Jan 9, 1913


Bright, H.A. (12 Oct 1835 - 2 Jan 1913)


H.A. Bright died last Thursday morning at his home in Black River Falls after an illness of several months duration.  He was buried at Black River Falls Sunday according to Masonic rites and traditions.  On Oct. 12th Mr. Bright underwent an operation at Rochester, Minn., and at that time it was ascertained that his ailment was a cancer of the stomach and that his chances of recovery were quite remote.  In the face of continual pain and suffering Mr. Bright maintained his sturdy demeanor and hopeful attitude, and it was not until but a few days before his death that he stayed in bed, preferring to continue the active life he had always led.


Mr. Bright was a native of Nova Scotia and was born Oct. 12, 1835.  He came to Wisconsin July 5th, 1841, locating in Milwaukee.  He then went to Hartford, Wis., and from there he moved to Black River Falls, arriving there July 4, 1856.  He went to work there for Andrew Sheppard and for five or six years was foreman for him, both in the woods and the large saw mill.  He then embarked in business for himself, engaging in the logging business.  His first venture was in Clark county under the name of Bright & Olson Co., and this company operated on Black River for several years.  He was also later associated with the Forbes & Brockway Lumber Co., and in the fall of 1866 he formed a partnership with Levi Withee of La Crosse and this firm continued business until comparatively few years ago.  He built two dams on Black River, one at Dells Dam and one at Hemlock and he was driving master and general superintendent of the log driving association on the river for over 30 years, and was also interested in the Black River Improvement Association and for many years was one of its officers.


Quoting from the Semi-Centenial Edition of the Black River Falls Banner "during the palmist days of the lumbering business Bright & Withee cut as high as 20,000,000 feet in a season, but the average was from 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 feet annually, employing from 75 to 150 men and sometimes 200.  Mr. Bright is still largely interested in Clark county lands and owns from 3,000 to 4,000 acres there, which is being rapidly turned into farms."


For several years Mr. Bright and wife lived on their farm at Bright in this county, where each year Mr. Bright increased the tillable acreage, built up a fine dairy herd and did much toward the agricultural development of that section of the country.  He was mayor of the city of Black River Falls for about 12 years, was a director and vice president of the First National bank of Black River Falls since its organization and was financially interested in many other enterprises and institutions.  He was always a staunch republican and in 1904 was one of the presidential electors.


Mr., Bright was united in marriage to Ingabor Nichols in Sept. 1866 and to this union nine children was born, six of whom survive their parents.  The children are Ben, Lottie, Harriet, Edna, Birdine and Julia.  Mrs. Bright died Dec. 7th, 1890 and on March 11, 1899, Mr. Bright was united in marriage to Anna Welch, who also survives her husband.


And thus is closed the life story of a man who lived an upright conscientious life, was a power for good and development to the country and so lived that the ,memory of his kindness and goodness would serve as a lasting monument to him.



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