By a life consistent in motive and action and because of his many fine personal qualities, --of Union City, Randolph county, has earned the confidence and respect of the people of this locality, and in his home, which is the center of a large social circle, there is always in evidence a spirit of generosity. He was in his earlier years engaged in various pursuits, but the latter years have found him one of the leading undertakers of this section of the state. He has been content to maintain his home here most of his life, where he has not only attained a high degree of success in his business ventures but also established a reputation for uprightness in all the relations of life.
Mr. Wright was born in Wayne township, Randolph county, December 4, 1850. He is a son of William Wright, a contractor, and during the last year of his business life he was engaged in the furniture business in Union City. His death occurred in 1909 at the age of seventy-seven years. He married Margaret Jane Kerlinger, who was born in Maryland, and her death occurred in March, 1905, at the age of seventy-six years. These parents were members of the Disciple church and were loyal to its teachings. John Wright, the paternal grandfather, was a native of Pennsylvania. In early life he followed farming, later conducting a hotel. His death occurred in Wayne county, Indiana, in 1874, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife was Elizabeth Stewart. She was a Disciple and she died in the early eighties. The maternal great-grandfather was James Stewart, who was born in northern Ireland, from which country he came to America when a young man and settled in Pennsylvania. The mother of our subject was known in her maidenhood as Margaret Jane Kerlinger, and was of German ancestry; she was but three years old when her parents both died, and she was brought up in the home of an uncle who lived in Baltimore, Maryland. When she was about eighteen years old she came to Wayne county, Indiana, where she met William Wright and they were afterwards married.
Curtis K. Wright was educated in the common and high schools, graduating from the latter at Union City in 1868. When a boy he learned the carpenter’s trade, at which he worked until he went into the grocery business as a clerk with B. F. Stewart, continuing in the same ten years, enjoying a good trade and then returned to carpentering. In 1883 he went to Muncie, Indiana, and engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, which he continued there with very gratifying results for a period of nine years, then sold out and removed to Union City and again followed the grocery business for two years, then formed a company, under the firm name of Wright & Snell, in the undertaking business, which they conducted four years, then our subject resumed carpentering for eighteen months then bought out the undertaking firm of J. M. Campbell changing the name to C. K. Wright & Worth, and for a period of sixteen years they continued doing a large business in Union City, Mr. Worth selling his interest in 1911 to Gerald S. Van Dyke, and the firm is now Wright & Van Dyke. They are modernly equipped in every respect for their work and have well-kept parlors, and high grade and prompt service is their aim. This is one of the most popular and best firms of its kind in this section of the state.
Politically, Mr. Wright is a Republican. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Improved Order of Red Men and Rebekahs.
Mr. Wright was married March 23, 1871, to Sarah M. Polly, who was born in South Salem, Indiana, January 9, 1849. She is a daughter of David Polly, who died several years ago. His wife, Anna Spencer, is also deceased. Mr. Wright has one brother, John T. Wright, a merchant in Kansas City, Kansas, and a sister, Mrs. Katherine O. Headington, died in Toledo, Ohio, in 1904.
Mr. Wright was graduated July 1, 1901, from the Indiana State Board of Embalmers. He took a post-graduate course October 17, 1900, at the Chicago College of Embalming; also received diploma from Clark’s School of Embalming at Cincinnati, Ohio, March 24, 1899, also received diplomas signed by Auguste Renouard March 18, 1897, at the Renouard Training School of Embalming, also a diploma from the Indianapolis School of Embalming, in May, 1892. He is thus exceptionally well qualified for the successful carrying on of his chosen business. He is a close student and is constantly on the research for improved methods in this field.
To Curtis K. Wright and wife one child has been born: Harry H., born January 26, 1873, in Union City and was educated in the schools of Muncie, finishing in the high school in Union City; he married Emily Grooms, who was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1881, and was graduated from the high school there; three sons have been born to them, namely, Curtis G., was born in Pontiac, Michigan, July 5,1903; Frederick, born in Flint, Michigan, April 5,1906; William J., born April 5, 1911, at Orellia, Ontario, Canada. Harry H. Wright had full charge of the painting department of the Standard Vehicle Company, of Pontiac, Michigan, from 1902 to 1906, and in 1907 he had charge of the body department there, where automobiles are finished, and one hundred men under his direction. From 1907 to 1909 he had charge of the Buick painting department, and from 1909 to 1913 he had full charge of the painting department for the Tudhope Carriage and Automobile factory at Orellia, Ontario, Canada. He is regarded as being one of the best in his line of business and is known in every important factory of automobiles and vehicles in the Union and Canada and his services are in great demand. He has a method of preparing paints which is superior to any yet devised and it is known only to himself and many factories are offering him handsome sums for it, but he prefers to keep the same under his own control.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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