Rose Marie Harshman -- Clark County Pioneers Through the Turn of the Century
Born in New York in 1827, Stephen Wright Sr. came west to Freather River, California in 1852. He remained there until 1862, when he returned to Iowa, and then lived in Kansas. Two years later he brought his family to Clark County, Washington and settled at Washougal on the donation land claim of his wife's brother.
His first wife, Emily durgan, the daughter of Joseph E.C. Durgan and Judia Nancy Rowland, was born in New York in 1824. He married second, Mrs. Nancy Fitzgerald. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John McCarty on October 1, 1875 at Washougal.
In 1870, their son Stephen and his wife Sarah, homesteaded on 160 acres just north of and adjacent to Lawton Creek. Stephen Jr. cleared the land, constructed buildings and put in an orchard. He made final proof on his homestead in 1876 and the grant was signed by President U.S. Grant on January 20, 1877. In 1881, Stephen and Sarah lost six of their nine children to diptheria over a period of six weeks. Family tradition claims that young Clarence survived because a neighbor suggested he be givne a dose of Kerosene for the illness. Sarah died in 1888 at the age of thirty-two. Clarence inherited the original house which burned down in March of 1921. His family lived in tents while a house was being constructed and a year later moved into the new house.
Eighty acrea of the original one hundred and sixty acres of the property remians in the family today, owned by Alfred J. Wright and his two sons, Ronald and Claude.
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Stephen A. Wright
New York, USA
Clark Co., Washington, USA
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