Biography of John A. Wright
North Central Ohio Biographies





John Aubrey Wright. Among the active men prominent in the business and social life of Bellevue, one of the most prominent is John Aubrey Wright, who is president of the Wright Brothers Insurance Agency. He was born at Bellevue, March 28, 1858, the son of John and Betsy (Ford) Wright.

Both John Wright, the father, and his wife were natives of England. At the age of 20 years he came to the United States and settled on a farm in Lyme Township, Huron County. During his first year here he was employed by Rufus Russell for the sum of $100 per year. With this small start after one year he married and settled on a farm in Groton Township, Erie County, Ohio. Mr. Wright became one of the most prosperous farmers in this section of Ohio and was the owner of 4,000 acres of well improved land. He retired from farming in 1884. He was then living in Lyme Township, Huron County, four miles east of Bellevue, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1907. His wife, Betsy Wright, died in 1886. Both are buried in Lyme Township. Two years following the death of his first wife he married Miss Fannie E. Wright, with whom he lived 20 years before his death. John Wright, with his sons, purchased the Bellevue Bank in 1889, and reorganized it as the Wright Banking Company. Mr. Wright held the office of president until his death. John Aubrey Wright was vice president, G. A. Wright, cashier, and Hubert Wright, a director. Mr. Wright was a Republican, and associated with the Lyme Township Congregational Church. There were 10 children born to Mr. and Mrs. Wright: Alfred, who died in 1920; Josephine, who died in 1924, was the wife of John Drury; Eliza Langan, who now lives in Cleveland; Emma Swalley, who died in 1930; Susanna, who died at the age of 12 years; Herbert, deceased; John Aubrey, the subject of this sketch; Hubert, who died in 1930; Isabel, deceased; and George, who died in 1926; Demares Nye, a daughter of the second marriage, lives at Bellevue.

John Aubrey Wright grew up on his father's farm in Lyme Township and attended the district schools. He attended Norwalk High School, and graduated from Western Reserve Academy, and Western Reserve University in 1880. He was appointed and served as a member of the faculty of Western Reserve Academy for nine years, and upon his return to Bellevue in 1889, he became interested in the banking and insurance business with his father, as vice president of the Wright Banking Company. At the latter's death in 1907, Mr. Wright succeeded to the presidency, and held that office continuously until Feb. 24, 1930, at which time the Bellevue Savings Bank Company and the Wright Banking Company merged as The Union Bank & Savings Company. Since 1923 he has also been interested in the general insurance business, to which he now devotes the greater part of his time.

Mr. Wright was married (first) in 1890 to Miss Ella M. McKeown, of Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of William and Miranda McKeown, both natives of Mahoning County. Mrs. Wright died in 1894 and is buried in Youngstown. She was a graduate of Smith College, and at the time of her marriage she was lady principal of Western Reserve Academy. To this union were born two children: 1. Adeline F., born in 1892, a graduate of Wellesley College, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa honorary fraternity, lives at home. 2. John A., Jr., born in 1894, a graduate of Williams College, now identified with the Guarantee Trust Company, New York City, as manager of the bond department, and recently elected as a second vice president. He married Miss Charlotte Drysdale, and they live at Montclair, N. J. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honorary fraternity, and Delta Upsilon fraternity. During the World War he served overseas, being discharged with the rank of first lieutenant.

In 1901 Mr. Wright was married (second) to Miss Gertrude P. Wood, of Wooster, Mass., the daughter of Melvin and Helen Wood, of Bellevue. She was a graduate of Wellesley College and the Albany Library School, and before her marriage was librarian in the Wooster, Mass., Public Library. To Mr. Wright and his wife, Gertrude, were born three children: 1. Margaret, born in 1903, a graduate of Weliesley College, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and now a member of the faculty of the latter institution. She married E. T. Randall, and lives in Cleveland. 2. Paul Webber, born in 1905, a graduate of Williams College, is now a Master at Groton Boys School, near Boston, Mass. He took a prominent part in athletics during his college career and served as captain of the Varsity basketball team for two years. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honorary fraternity, and was awarded a prize for proficiency as both a student and athlete. 3. Melvin W., born in 1911, is now a sophomore at Oberlin College.

Politically, Mr. Wright has always been a Republican. For 21 years he has served as a member of the Bellevue School Board, and has been active in Y. M. C. A. work. He, for many years, served on the boards of trustees of The Harkness Memorial Hospital and the Carnegie Stahl Library, both of Bellevue. He is a trustee of the Congregational Church and is affiliated with the Masonic Lodge, 32nd degree, Elks Lodge, Kiwanis Club of Bellevue, Delta Upsilon fraternity, and Phi Beta Kappa, honorary fraternity.

Mr. Wright is the owner of one of the finest private libraries in North Central Ohio, and is an active member of the Bellevue Book Club.

Mr. Wright has a summer home located at Chautauqua Lake, New York, and his Bellevue residence is at 806 East Main Street.

From:
History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931


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