Wright Township


Was formed in 1851; was taken from old Hanover township and named in honor of Col. Hendrick B. Wright, of Wilkes-Barre. Conrad Wickeiser was the first settler in 1798; his place was near where James Wright made his tavern-stand. The last named gentleman opened the first tavern and built the first sawmill. These are all now in Fairview township.
In what is now Wright proper the first settler was probably Cornelius Garrison in 1833 or 1834. He built his sawmill on the Big Wapwallopen creek in the southwest part of the township. This mill was the longest to continue to run in the township. Mr. Garrison made the first little farm improvement, planted the first crop and set out the first orchard. The settlements and most of the industry, to the time of the recent division of the township, were in what is now Fairview township. It is now left with its 152 inhabitants, without a postoffice, without a railroad station though two roads pass through it, and the few inhabitants are on the little patch farms scattered sparsely on the few level places or clinging to the hillsides.
The pioneer postmaster was William G. Albert. His office was where J. Shafer lived on the west side of the township. The mails came at first once a week, on horseback. Afterward Horton & Gilchrist, of Wilkes-Barre, started a stage line between Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, and then the mails were received three times a week.
At the first town meeting Eleazer Carey was elected assessor. He held the office for eight years.
The rise, decline and present condition of this township that was purely lumber district is told in the cold figures o the census reports. In 1860 it contained a population of 278; 1870, 603; 1880, 881; 1890, 152. Those figures tell the story, but not the whole story. There was not as the figures would seem to indicate a general running away of the people when the lumbering business had completed its work. The fact is the territory that constituted old Wright township shows an increase of nearly 150 inhabitants in the last decade, but the most of them are now in the new township, Fairview, since February, 1889. This divided Wright township on the school line between districts 1 and 2; the north part containing much the larger portion of the township, was given the new name, Fairview, and the lower part retained the old name of Wright. The only village or the only hamlet and place of any industry at all was a part of the new township and hence there is but a nominal population of 152 in the present Wright township.

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