Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick



George Franklin Wright was the son of Franklin Asher Wright, born in Hanover, New Hampshire on September 17, 1801 and Carolyn Susannah Tillotson, born in Burlington, Vermont on Nov. 3, 1807. He is of English ancestry except for some Scottish blood from his motherís side. His family were primarily farmers who maintained a sturdy, character-building discipline.

George took up the study of law, and while still a student, taught in Vermont public schools. After he completed law school, he came to Iowa in the Spring of 1855 and took up residence in the Van Buren County community of Keosauqua. Here he became a student lawyer in the firm of Wright, Knapp & Caldwell.

1857 was a significant year for George Wright. He gained admission to the Iowa bar and at the same time, George G. Wright became Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court leaving an opening in the partnership law firm in Keosauqua. George F. Wright became a partner and the name of the firm was changed to Knapp, Caldwell & Wright.

Mr. Wright continued practicing law in Keosauqua until the Civil War. Early in 1861, he enlisted as a Union soldier and helped raise a company of volunteers in Van Buren County. Mobilized in Keosauqua, these men were mustered into service as part of the 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry.

After the Civil War, George continued practicing law in Keosauqua until the Spring of 1868 when he moved to Council Bluffs and formed a law partnership. A student of government and economic affairs, George was well fortified in his political convictions. He expressed loyal allegiance to the Republican Party and refused a nomination for the office of Representative in the State Legislature.

George also had interests in railroading. He was one of the organizers of the Omaha & Council Bluffs Railway & Bridge Company in 1886, and became its secretary. He was able to gain a government franchise to build the railroad bridge connecting Omaha and Council Bluffs. In 1889, he helped establish the electric street railroad in Ottawa, Illinois.

On October 26, 1863 at the Palmer House in Chicago, George was united in marriage with Ellen E. Brooks and together they parented three children.

(History of Iowa, Edgar Rubey Harlan. American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago, New York: 1931)

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick