W. M. Wright, M.D., was born in DeKalb County, Tenn., November 6, 1838, son of Dr. Ebenezer Wright, who was born in Massachusetts in 1800. He came to Tennessee when a young man, and in 1841 removed to Huntingdon where he was engaged in the practice of medicine for twenty years. He was a man of extended learning and a prominent physician of his day. He died in Huntingdon in 1860, lamented by all who knew him. The mother of our subject was Olivia A. Wright whose maiden name was Moore. She was born in 1812, and died in 1841. She was a daughter of Col. William Moore, who was editor of one of the first newspapers of Tennessee. He was a man of distinction, and died in Carthage, Middle Tenn.

The subject of this biography is the youngest of three children and is of Scotch-Irish extraction. He has one sister, Mrs. E. M., wife of Judge L. L. Hawkins, of Huntingdon. The only brother of our subject was Col. Moses H. Wright, who was born in Dekalb County, Tenn., in 1836. When only a few years of age, he was brought by his parents to Huntingdon and here he passed his early life and received an academic education. In 1854 he was appointed by Hon. Emerson Etheridge (then a member of Congress) to a cadetship at West Point where he graduated with high honors in 1859 in the class with such men as Gen. Horace Porter, of the Federal Army and Gen. Wheeler, of the Confederate Army. During the war he served in the Confederate Army with the rank of colonel in the ordnance department, and gained a high degree of prominence, ranking second only to the chief of his department.

In 1863, near Atlanta, Ga., he married Miss Sallie Lehon, of Nashville, daughter of Rev. E. W. Lehon, who was a prominent divine of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. At the time of Col. Wright’s death, January 8, 1886, he resided in Louisville, Ky., and was a member of the firm of J. Balmforth & Co., of that city. He and J. Balmforth, one of his partners, were killed on the day above stated, by the falling in of their business house. He was an earnest Christian and one of the most prominent business men of Louisville. Dr. W. M. Wright received an academic education at Huntingdon and began the study of medicine in 1859 under the direction of his illustrious father. During the war he was assistant surgeon in the Confederate Army and was commissioned such in 1862. He was graduated from the Mission Medical College at St. Louis. Since 1865 he has been located at Huntingdon, and is one of the leading physicians of West Tennessee.

He is a Democrat politically, and for quite a number of years has taken an active part in politics. He was a member of the constitutional convention, which met at Nashville in 1870. In 1871 he was appointed superintendent of prisons four years and was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at St. Louis in 1876. Dr. Wright was married in 1870 to Erin Hanna, of Paris, Tenn., born in 1850. They have four children: Jamie McNeill, Charles Hanna, William Eben and Thomas McNeill. Dr. and Mrs. Wright are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and are among the prominent people of the county.


Transcribed by David Donahue

Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.