William Crow Wright
Introduction; In the late nineteenth-century, popular biographies were a lucrative business for publishers eagerly seeking new markets for their products. In 1889, the F.A. Battey Company of Chicago, published a hefty volume entitled, Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas: Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and Many Early Settled Families. This leather-bound, gold embossed and richly illustrated work contains almost a thousand pages of biographical essays about Texans. Although resembling an objective historical tome, this work is in fact, a subscription biographical collection for those wishing to immortalize their family name. It is a sign of the times that of the thousands of entries I note only one Hispanic surname (and that misspelled), no African-Americans and very few women.
Though the main purpose of this work was to create profits for the publisher, it has contributed to the rich history of Texas. Apparently the salesmen were quite active in North Texas for the Red River counties are very well represented in this work. We are fortunate that there are ten entries about illustrious Denton citizens. This work is not great history but from these sketches we can glean some new information about these men. In two cases there are excellent and rare engravings. The Denton Review will reproduce these biographies over the course of future issues.
William Crow Wright is a son of Dr. James G. and Sarah (Caruthers) Wright, the former a native of Alabama, and the latter a daughter of Major William Caruthers, of Tennessee, while his maternal grandmother was a Pierce. Dr. James G. Wright abandoned his practice in Alabama in 1830, and came to Texas, visiting and sojourning at Harrisburg, Gonzales and Clarksville, the last named in the then territory of Red River, where he was elected clerk of the territory, filling that office at the same time he was engaged in his profession. While at Gonzales, he once rode a distance of one hundred miles to attend a patient, and for the visit received 5,000 acres of land. He was a Royal Arch mason and a man of universal popularity, and was prominent in every movement for the advancement of the different localities in whence he lived. He was a surgeon in the war between Texas and Mexico.
William Crow Wright was born in Clarksville, Texas, February 29, 1837, and began business by working for five dollars per month, saving from his earnings sufficient money to pay for his education at McKinzie College. After leaving school he clerked in a dry good store at Sherman, four years, and then gathered together what means he had, invested his cash in Spanish mares and brought them to Texas. Just at that time the war for succession broke forth and Mr. Wright enlisted in Company F, Madison's regiment of Texas cavalry, and served until the final surrender, passing through twenty-two battles and receiving one wound only, and that from a spent grape-shot, came very near killing him; but he recovered, and on his return found the State infested with wild Indians, border ruffians, and desperadoes of every character. Mr. Wright at once organized a company for the protection of the citizens, and of this was elected captain, and did much to suppress the lawlessness the rife, by warring upon the Comanches and Kiowas and horse thieves. The Indians were under the lead of their chiefs, Big Tree and Santana. For four years these Indians and white desperadoes continued their depredations, plundering and murdering, and driving off the range the cattle and horses, at times capturing as high as a thousand head in one raid; but they yielded at last to the bravery of such men as Crow Wright, and order was again restored.
January 7, 1869, Mr. Wright married Julia A. Gober, daughter of John W. Gober, a native of Georgia. Seven children have been born to this union, and are named - William W., Effie M., Mary M., James G., Eulalie, Crow and Gober,. Mr. Wright is a Free Mason and an Odd Fellow, while his wife is member of the Methodist Episcopal church of the South; he is one of the wealthiest men in his county, owns 16,000 acres of farming and grazing land, and cattle and horses in enormous herds and droves, to the breeding and marketing of which he devotes his whole time and attention, and now resides on his stock farm at Bolivar, Texas. Editors notes: Historical Connections William Crow Wright was born in Clarksville, Texas in 1837, the same year that John B. Denton, moved to Clarksville. Both Denton and Wright's father were lawyers there. Ironically, Wright attended McKinzie College named for the John McKinzie, who married the widow of John B. Denton. In 1892 William Crow Wright erected a mansion on West Oak Street called "Bosco Bel". In 1899, The William Crow Wright Opera House erected on the north- east corner of the square with bricks salvaged from the old 1875 Denton County Courthouse. In 1901 W.C. Wright served as one of the pall bearers for the reinterrment of the bones of John B. Denton on the Denton Courthouse Square.
The Obituary of W.C. Wright- 1906