Wright, George Henry and Nannie Brooks Hale

by admin on June 15th, 2003

Biographical Sketch by George Henry Wright and Nannie Brooks Hale
Dickson County Herald, April 1, 1938 “Over Eighty Club”

“…… We are both eighty and over. I was born o­n Yellow Creek where I am now living and every night I sleep in the very room where I was born. My father, John Franklin Wright, was a Robertson Countian by birth, and my mother, whose maiden name was Virginia Coleman, came to Tennessee when she was but a child. My birthdate was June 27, 1853, and I was o­ne of seven children, five boys and two girls.

I went to school at the old Union Hollow School and I never went anywhere else. We didn't go to school a lot then like they do now. I can remember the Civil War well. I recall when my father went out in the army in '62, and the Yankees came here while he was at Fort Donelson in the fight. They surrounded the house and searched everything but they didn't take anything. Father came home after the fight at fort Donelson and a cousin substituted in his place, so he didn't have to go back to war.

I have lived o­n a farm all my life. When I was a lad I never went fishing or hunting very much, but you should have seen me swing the ladies around, for I sure tried to dance. If I do say so, I was right good-looking then. My son, Elmer, favors me more than any of the other children, so everybody says. I met the girl I married in February before I would have been twenty-one in June. She was Nannie Brooks Hale, daughter of Ellen Hollis and Thomas Hale, and was born November 18, 1856. She was visiting o­n Yellow Creek the first time I saw her. I had been to Clarksville and had come home in the night with a load of tobacco, and the next morning being sunday I met her while I was o­n the road to church. She was with a group of girls. I thought she was so pretty, but no o­ne would make me acquainted with her that day, but the next Sunday I got acquainted. I fell in love with her that very first time I saw her, and she told me later that she fell in love with me too. Her folks sold out in Cheatham County and meant to move to Texas, but instead they bought a farm o­n Yellow Creek and came down here to live. The second sunday, as I was saying, she went o­n home from church and i went over to the Cullums. Later she rode over o­n horseback,and when she got ready to return home again, I asked Alice Cullum if she thought Nannie would “sack” me if I asked her to let me go home with her, and Alice said she didn't know but could ask her to, and I said that if she did I'd ask her to throw in the buttons and thread. My son, Elmer, says that “sacking” a girl nowadays is “standing her up.” So Nannie went out her horse and I got o­n mine and then I asked her if I could see her home and she said “yes”. I rode home with her and stayed about 30 minutes and she gave me a date for the next Sunday. Well o­n May 10, 1874, after having known each other hardly three months we were married. Our wedding took place in the house where my mother and father were married, and they tried to stand us in the same spot. I have loved Nannie all my life and she says that she has loved me all of mine. Our married days have been our happiest days. We have lived together sixty-three years and almost sixty-four. o­n our golden wedding anniversary back in 1924 our children presented us with a silver loving cup.

After Nannie and I were married we lived with my parents until that fall, and then we rented a farm and stayed there until after Christmas, and in the spring we moved up to Jones Creek and bought a place from old man Leech. later we traded with Lenard Leech and moved back here with father and mother. We built a house just above this place and lived in it until 1883 and then when my father moved to McEwen, we bought this place, and have lived here ever since, except a year when we lived in McEwen and I ran a mill. I ran that mill for six months after we moved back here.

Nannie and I had eleven children and they are all living today. They are all married and gone —- seven boys and four girls. The are: Mrs. Ben Williams, Yellow Creek; W.T. Wright, Bruceton; Mrs. D.O. Thompson, McEwen; B.A. Wright, Tennessee City; J.J. Wright, Paris, Ill.; B.A. Wright, Wartrace; Mrs. R.B. Averiett, Yellow Creek; G.E. Wright, Dickson and Mrs. V.W. Adams, Danville, Ill. We have forty-one grandchildren, and twenty-four great grandchildren.

I was a member of the county court for twenty years. I used to like to trade a good deal. I was what you call a horse swapper. I swapped horses, cattle, sheep and mules, and I was a veterinarian too. I have set up several nights all night long with sick stock. Nannie kept house and held the fort. I had help o­n the farm and a lot of the time I spent working in the railroad, helping to build the Mineral Branch of the L & N from Clarksville to Pond. I also hauled tobacco to Clarksville and it would take three days to make the trip. You can go in a truck now twice a day and more. I have seen lots of change in my life. Things have happened that we never thought of. I haven't ridden in an airplane yet, and I won't the next time you hear from me.

I have traveled around a right smart. Went to Texas o­nce and down to New Orleans and around.

Nannie and I have always gotten along fine, but we won't see these times again. She is feeble and I have the palsy and am sort of weak. I can't read any more because I shake so much. I still like pretty girls, but have never seen o­ne yet that looks as good to me as Nannie……. ”


Note: George Henry Wright died Jan. 29, 1947, Nannie Hale Wright died Oct. 16, 1938. They are both buried in the McEwen, Tennessee Cemetery.

* Quoted from The Primal Families of Yellow Creek Valley by William J. Nesbitt, c. 1985

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