Milton Wright

1845 - 1928

“Milton Wright, a prominent and influential citizen of Minnehaha county who has been identified with agricultural interests in this state for about a third of a century, now owns and operates a farm of three hundred and twenty acres comprising the south half of section 30, Valley Springs township. His birth occurred in Des Moines county, Iowa on the 25th of April, 1845, his parents being John and Mary (Bridges) Wright, the former a native of New York and the latter of Indiana. Their marriage was celebrated in the Hawkeye state. It was in 1833 that John Wright settled in Iowa, purchasing land from the government in Des Moines county for two dollars and a quarter per acre. In that state he spent the remainder of his life, passing away at the age of sixty-four years, while his wife lived to be almost eighty-four years old.

Milton Wright attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and when a young man of twenty-two years wedded Miss Mary I. Lefforge. It was in March, 1882, that he came from Iowa to South Dakota, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of his present farm in Valley Springs township, Minnehaha county. He operated that tract successfully for a number of years and in 1908 extended its boundaries by purchasing an adjoining quarter section, so that his holdings now comprise the south half of section 30. His undertakings as an agriculturalist have been attended with a gratifying measure of success and he has long been numbered among the substantial, representative and respected citizens of his community.

To Mr. and Mrs. Wright have been born seven children, four of whom survive, as follows: Frank, who follows farming in Valley Springs township; John, who is a resident of Larchwood, Lyon county, Iowa; Nellie, who is the wife of Albert Stoughton, an agriculturalist of Split Rock township, Minnehaha county; and Emma C., at home.

Mr. Wright is a staunch democrat and has been a factor in local politics for years. He served on the school board for more than thirty years, held the office of justice of the peace for a number of years and has also served on the town board, of which he is a member at the present time. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, which he joined in 1875, now belonging to Unity Lodge, No. 130, of Sioux Falls. His wife is a devoted and consistent member of the Baptist church. The long period of his residence here has made him widely and favorably known, for he has always followed the most straightforward business methods and the highest and most honorable standards in public and private life.”

George W. Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, Vol. 5 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1915) pp. 940 – 941.

Milton Wright is buried in the family lot in Block 20 – Lot 1 of the cemetery. He was buried on August 5, 1928, having lived to the age of 83 years. His wife, Mary Italy, lived for another two years, dying in 1930 at the age of 81 years. Also interred in the family lot are several of the Wright’s children.