Milton Wright



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Arts and Humanities | History


Wright family -- History; Wright family; Wright, Milton, 1828-1917; Diaries; Daily life; Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912; Wright, Orville, 1871-1948; Haskell, Katharine Wright, 1874-1929


The Special Collections and Archives in the Wright State University Libraries was chosen in 1975 to be the repository for an extensive collection of Wright Brothers' material. Among the thousands of photographs, books, technical journals, correspondence, financial records, and memorabilia were the diaries of Bishop Milton Wright. These diaries of the father of Wilbur and Orville Wright record the full range of experiences of his adult life from 1857 to his death in 1917. They provide a detailed chronicle of Milton Wright's dynamic, and sometimes controversial, ministry and leadership in the United Brethren Church, and his role as the father of the famed inventors of powered flight. The diaries demonstrate the Bishop's awareness of local, national, and world events, as well as his political allegiance and support of progressive movements, such as women's suffrage. Probably the most important contribution the diaries make to present scholarship on the Wright Brothers is the greater knowledge we gain about the dynamics of the Wright family. Through his daily writings, Milton Wright allows us to know him as husband, father, and grandfather. Taken as a whole, the diaries provide an essential resource in the study of the Wright Brothers' career in aviation, the history of the United Brethren Church, and the life of a man dedicated to his family and his church. Bishop Milton Wright recorded his life experiences in forty-one small, black and brown, leather-bound volumes. His handwriting was superb! While most entries are brief, some are detailed. At the end of each year, Milton wrote several paragraphs about the year's events. He lists expenses and his salary for the year, family history and genealogy, remedies for his aches and pains, and important milestones in the lives of his children and in the church he served.

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Special Collections and Archives; Wright State University Libraries


Special Collections and Archives provides reprints or digital copies of our materials for a fee. For further information please visit their website or call (937) 775-2092.

Digital Publisher

Digital Initiatives and Repository Services; Wright State University Libraries

Document Type


Diaries 1857-1917

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History Commons