Henry County Illinois
History and Genealogy News
Fires and Other Disasters

The Geneseo Republic, Geneseo IL, June 6, 1860
During the extraordinary heavy wind of Wednesday last, the sidewalk in front of the carriage shop of Mr. Lyon, State Street, caught fire from a bunch of cotton, into which some careless person had dropped a lighted sigar; and had it not been timely discovered by Dr. Wells, who happened to be passing at the time, the whole block must, inevitably, have gone by the board. Gents should be careful when they throw their old stubs, especially where the wind blows as it did Wednesday night.

Brief biography of the Parents of H.A. and Dr. F.R. WRIGHT  - Fire destroys store in Woodhull, Ill
Written by H.A. Wright son of John and Rebecca Hand WRIGHT - submitted by Barbara McCoy
My parents, John Riburn Wright and Rebecca Hand Wright were married in Madison County, Indiana, thirty-five miles northwest of Cincinnati, and their post office address was College Corner, Ohio. They moved to Morning Sun, Iowa, about 1858, to the farm just west of town, on the north side of the road, being the first farm west of Morning Sun, where they lived a few years, and then our father moved into Morning Sun, and went into the grocery business which he conducted for some years, and then sold out and went to Burlington, where he clerked in a clothing store for a firm known as Netzgar and Libstatter for some years and then he and a man J.C. Kufus, moved to Woodhull, Henry County, Ill, twenty miles N.W. from Galesburg, and opened a store. Later, my father sold his interest in the store to his partner and opened a store of his own, and on May 4th, 1871, that store burned down one night and the fire was of "undetermined origin." His insurance expired the first of that week, and the agent went to see my father to reinsure, but my father expected to sell and deliver possession Saturday, May 4th, and said he would not insure for so short a time. I remembered hearing one lady say, who lived nearby and in plain view of it, that she saw a man acting very suspicious and she watched him and she saw him stoop down and look as though he were looking under the store, and shortly after that store was on fire, and everything burned. My father had but $17.00 in his pocket, at that time, and he was in most wretched health and that was the reason he was selling out, to get out of the store and in the hope that he would regain his health in time. He was in wretched health for years, after that, in fact as long as he lived. He died November 30th, 1871, at Morning Sun, having moved back there from Woodhull, Ill. Aftter the fire, I went to live with Uncle Cyp Wright and remained there two years, and Brother Warren went to live with Uncle Will Butner, but he stayed there not a great while, but I stayed at Uncle Cyp's the two years, and then went to live with Uncle M.W. Branneger and stayed there two years, and until I began working out on the farm by the month. Charlie our oldest brother and he practiced law, but his  health failed and he became an expert practioner in the government departments, particularly the pension bureau, and had the reputation over the state of Iowa, of being the most prominent attorney in those departments, in the state of Iowa. His health failed and he bought the paper at Wapelo, known as the Louisa County Record, and edited that for some years, and I heard a party say that he was the best newspaper man that was ever in that county seat. He was the oldest child. He died about 1915, very suddenly and unexpectedly.  (this is all from a letter written by H.A. Wright)

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