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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Wright

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1474-1475 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Henry Wright was born in the town of Wright, Schoharie county, New York, November 30, 1833. He was the son of Tunis and Mary (Ketchem) Wright. He was the oldest child, and was but twelve years old when his mother died and the home was broken up. From that time forward he was obliged to support himself, never receiving a dollar's help from anyone. At the age of eighteen, while living at Gallupville, he was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal church. Soon after he felt that he was called of God to the work of the ministry. There was at that time no fund in the Methodist church to aid young men in obtaining an education, but in 1862, after much hard work and rigid economy, he graduated with honor from Union College and in the same year joined the Troy conference. His first appointment was Westbush and Pleasant Square. Among his parishoners at Westbush was Miss Mary Elizabeth Shutts, who, on October 11, 1863, became his wife. They were married in the little church at Westbush on quarterly meeting day by the presiding elder, Dr. William Griffin. Many a time during the thirty-one years of his married life did he congratulate himself on having chosen so capable a helpmeet. For, with the meager salary of a Methodist preacher and a family of five children to be fed, clothed and educated, there was need of a wise manager, and such Mrs. Wright proved herself to be. The rule of the Methodist Episcopal church at that time permitted a pastor to serve a charge but two years, though the limit was soon after extended to three years. During the thirty-two years of his ministry Mr. Wright served fifteen different charges, in Fulton, Montgomery, Albany, Schoharie, Rensselaer, Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties, and at Stamford, Vermont. On some of them the work was laborious and difficult, but every appointment was received as from the Lord, and with simple faith and lofty courage he performed with untiring faithfulness every duty. By his sweetness of spirit, gentle courtesy and sterling integrity he won the love of many and the respect of all. On some of his charges there were large revivals, and during every pastorate some were added to the church. He loved music, had a good voice, and in the absence of chorister or choir could lead the congregation in singing. He was never at a loss for an appropriate hymn, for his memory was well stored with the good old hymns of the church. An ardent temperance advocate, he sometimes incurred the wrath of the rumseller and his friends. He believed that religion and politics could be mixed without harm to either, and though it cost him a struggle to leave the ranks of the Republicans, some years before his death he became a third party Prohibitionist. A sunny disposition enabled him to enjoy to the full the simplest pleasures. The care of a garden, his horse and a few hens was his usual recreation, and an occasional fishing trip his extraordinary delight. Nowhere was he happier than in his own home. His son and his daughters were his greatest earthly treasures. Knowing that he could leave them little of material wealth, he sought to train them to habits of industry and self-reliance, and to give them the best education his limited means would allow. He lived to see his eldest daughter and his son graduate with honor from Syracuse University, and his second daughter from the State Normal College at Albany. These children, when they had finished their school days, began planning a home for father and mother when he should be old and no longer able to preach. A lot was bought in Gloversville that the mother might be near her relatives and the house was in process of building when the father was called to the Heavenly Home. Never in all his life had he had any protracted illness, and he had no experience of the infirmities of age. His hair had become snowy white and was indeed "a crown of glory," but he was almost in his usual health when in the midst of his work God called him home. He died December 27, 1894, at Clifton Park, Saratoga County, and was buried in Prospect Hill cemetery, Gloversville. Children of Rev. Henry and Mary Elizabeth (Shutts) Wright:

  1. May E., born February 17, 1865; married Howard J. Banker.
  2. Joseph A., June 11, 1868; married, December 25, 1901, Fannie Martha Russ; children:
    1. Dorothy, born January 3, 1903;
    2. Helen, July, 1905;
    3. George, July 17, 1907.
  3. Anna C., September 4, 1869.
  4. Helen E., September 20, 1871; married, September 3, 1888, Fred W. Pawling; children:
    1. Harold Ballantine, born February 14, 1896;
    2. Clarence Wright, June 17, 1898;
    3. Helen Beatrice, February, 1906;
    4. Hazel M., July, 1908.
  5. Emma Louisa, March 1, 1877.

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