Nathaniel Polk Wright

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Nathaniel Polk Wright

Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Washington County, Kentucky, United States
Death: August 17, 1884 (77)
St. Clair County, Missouri, United States
Place of Burial: Lowry, St. Clair County, Missouri, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Wright and Elizabeth Wright
Husband of Matilda Wright
Father of Elizabeth Van Cleve; John William Wright; Amanda Frances Nall; Missouri Poindexter; Thomas Jefferson Wright, MD and 7 others
Brother of Catherine Brown

Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Nathaniel Polk Wright

    Nathaniel Wright and Matilda Moore were married October 11, 1831 in Washington County, Kentucky.   Their home was named “Popular Ridge” and was located on Cartwright Creek.  Until Matilda’s family became so large, she visited and took a great deal of interest in social affairs.  The young people of the vicinity in regard to dress and social manners sought her advice.  She was the first one to be consulted when there was a wedding among the relations; to help plan the dresses, the wedding dinner, etc.  In her later years the increased size of her family and the affairs of her grownup sons and daughters kept her occupied at home.  
    Matilda was a faithful member of the Hardin’s Creek Baptist Church in Washington County.  Nathaniel’s early religious experience in not known, but the minutes of the Hardin’s Creek Baptist Church shows that he converted to God in August of 1854.  The record reads:  During the protracted meeting which commenced on the 8th day of August, 1854 and continued for 12 days in which time there was 28 souls converted to God. Viz. Alfred Fields, Mary E. Batsell, Elizabeth (?) Anne Spaulding of Louisville, Anne E. Moore, Mary E. Moore, Francis Simons, John Fields,  _____ M. Wright, Mary L. Wright, Morgan Wright, George Ensor, Mary (?), Lucy Nall, Elizabeth Ensor, Moranda Baker, Grizzly Wright, Nathaniel Wright, Brother Wm. Ensor’s Charity, C. W. Moore’s Louisa and Jane, R. W. Wright’s Ellen, N. Wright’s James, C. M. Wright’s Jefferson, John Batsell’s Cyrus and Nick, C. M. Wright’s James.  The above meeting was attended by the following ministers viz. W.N.C. Beckhorn, the pastor, G.A. Beauchamp.  Elder David Miller and John Miller.  It is interesting to note that most of the people who joined the church were relatives of Nathaniel and also several black slaves were allowed church membership.  Nathaniel became active at once in the church because on the 4th Saturday in August 1854, he was one of the messengers elected to bear the church letter to the Nelson County Baptist Association in Bardstown, Kentucky.
    That Nathaniel was successful and prosperous planter is evident by the 1860 Federal Census of Washington County.  The value of his real estate is listed at $12,000 and the value of his personal property at $6,150, both substantial amounts for that time.

Matilda Wright died on November 21, 1863, a little over a year after the two armies swirled around Bardstown. The effect of the conflict on her health is open to conjecture. Her memorial reads as follows: Matilda (Moore) Wright, consort of Nathaniel Wright. Aged 50 years. Sister Wright was raised in Washington County, Kentucky, and was the daughter of Mr. Moore. She left a large family of children, a devoted husband, and many other affectionate relatives and friends to mourn her irreparable loss, but their loss is her eternal gain, as she died in the full assurance of faith. She had been a devoted member of the church at Hardin’s Creek for twenty years. When composed, she often spoke of her departure, expressing a desire to remain with her little children, if it was the will of the Lord, but always willed to leave her case to the will of the Lord. About 10 days before her death, she called her husband to her, told him she could not recover, and pointed out the place where she wished to be buried, and said at some suitable time when the children could all be present, she wished her funeral preached from the words of Job, Chapter 19:25-27. After which she said, as she could not stay, she willingly resigned her earthly charge into the hands of her Lord. And thus died that Christian mother, with Jesus as her present and future trust. Weep not, bereaved husband and children; for the sufferings of her whom you so dearly loved are all ended and her sorrows are all gone. Brother Wright says “O Lord, how hard it is for me to realize the fact of her being gone. O that friends may all pray for me, that I may be able to perform all my duties and responsibilities in the fear of God.” “My grace shall be sufficient for thee.” Nathaniel never remarried. He raised the small children left motherless by Matilda’s death with the help of an older daughter, Missouri, and a beloved Negro slave, Aunt Eppie. He found solace during this time from his church. Nathaniel’s mother had been a charter member of the Hardin’s Creek Baptist Church and nearly all of the family had belonged there. Reconstruction was hard on Kentucky landowners after the war. Nathaniel chose to leave his beloved state and he and his children moved to St. Clair County, Missouri in 1868. They settled first in Jackson Township and later in Polk Township. However, Nathaniel managed to make trips back to Kentucky periodically, as evidenced by these newspaper articles: The Lebanon (Kentucky) Weekly Standard, July 14, 1875, “Nathaniel Wright, Esq., father of Dr. T. J. Wright, has recently arrived in this community from the grasshopper region of Missouri. He represents the ravages of that insect out there as terrible in the extreme.”

   The Lebanon Weekly Standard April 4, 1877, “Dr. Wright will ship a carload of cattle to Louisville today.  The doctor’s father, Nathaniel Wright, Esq. arrived here last week from Missouri.”  The Lebanon Weekly Standard, reported on April 18, 1877, that “Nathaniel Wright, Esq. and his son, Albert, will leave here tomorrow for St. Clair County, Missouri.”

Nathaniel died on August 18, 1884 at the home of his son, Dr. Nathaniel Parker Wright at Lowry City, Missouri. A memoriam printed in the Henry County Democrat at the time of his death reads, “Nathaniel Wright was born in Washington County, Kentucky, October 6, 1806 and died in St. Clair County, Missouri, August 17, 1884 after an illness of one week: aged seventy seven years, ten months and eleven days. The active part of his life was spent in his native county, were he purchased land and followed farming. In 1832, he was united in marriage with Miss Matilda Moore, a native of Kentucky, where her parents emigrated in childhood. They raised 12 children, 10 of whom survive them, she having died in 1863. He was counselor of peace and perhaps served in more arbitrations than any other man in that part of the country. He had a clear head and a scrupulous sense of right and these eminently fitted him for an arbiter. He was baptized into fellowship with Hardin’s Creek Baptist Church by N. C. Beckham in 1855 (aged 49) and was one of its most liberal supporters and devoted members as long as he remained in the state. He was a zealous Democrat and his counsel was always sought in making up local issues for a campaign. He was several times solicited to represent the county in the legislature, but respectfully declined, saying he thought the public could be better served by his superiors. He accumulated a good lot of property, but the financial pressure of ’61 and ’62 drew upon him as security, and his slaves were liberated by the war. The loss of wife and property were sore trial, but he bore it with more fortitude than many men can command, but he never fully regathered his former possessions. His daughters kept house, and he was enabled to give his children a good education. In 1868, he sold the old homestead and moved to St. Clair County, Missouri. He afterwards moved to Henry County, and kept house until his youngest daughter married, after which he lived with his children, making his home more with N. P. Wright, M.D., of Bear Creek, where he died. His children, except a daughter living in Kansas, were with him in his last sickness. Truly a good man is gone, and his many old friends in Washington County, Kentucky, as well as those of his adopted state, will be saddened by this intelligence.”

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Nathaniel Polk Wright's Timeline

October 6, 1806
Washington County, Kentucky, United States
October 18, 1834
Age 28
Washington, Kentucky, United States
Age 29
January 20, 1839
Age 32
Washington, Kentucky, United States
January 15, 1841
Age 34
Kentucky, United States
Age 36
Bardstown, Nelson, KY, USA
Age 37
Bardstown, Nelson, KY, USA
January 15, 1846
Age 39
Washington, Mason County, Kentucky, United States
Age 42
Bardstown, Nelson, KY, USA
August 14, 1851
Age 44
Washington County, Kentucky, United States