Shelby  County,  Indiana

Mrs.  Nancy  H.  Wright

          This lady, daughter of pioneers and widow of a distinguished man, receives and deserves general respect as one of the interesting relics of the older times that has passed away forever.  Her life covered the whole history of Indiana, as she was born not a great while after the state was admitted into the Union.  She has seen several generations come and go, has known all the prominent people of Shelby county for half a century, and has spent a blameless as well as useful life, in connection with educational reformatory and religious movements.  Mrs. Wright was born in Clermont county, Ohio, October 19, 1819, and was the daughter of  Adam and  Sarah (Hitch) Simmons.  Her father was born in Pennsylvania in 1788, and came to Ohio with his parents, who entered land during the formative period of the state.  Sarah Hitch was born in Pendleton, Kentucky, September 19, 1798, and her marriage occurred in Clermont county, Ohio, October 14, 1814.  After her husband's death she removed to Shelbyville and died there in 1875.  Her children were  John H.,  Eliza Jane,  Nancy H.,  William L.,  Mary E.,  Sarah H.  and  Eliza.
         Nancy Hitch Simmons  obtained her preliminary education in the common schools of Ohio, and for several years attended "Philistia" Academy, followed by a twelve months' course at Worthington Female Seminary ,near Columbus.  Immediately after leaving college, she began teaching, and for fifteen years had charge of schools in Ohio and in Shelbyville, after her removal to this county.  June 20, 1848, she married  Dr. E. T. Small, of Ohio, who died in 1857.  In November, 1859, she married  Cyrus Wright, a prominent attorney of Shelbyville, who was elected Judge of the Circuit Court and became a man of distinction.  He died October 22, 1875, since which time his widow has devoted her life to looking after the welfare of her children and other near relatives and work in connection with the church.  Judge Wright had five children by his first marriage; none by his second marriage.  These children are now living in various states and cities engaged in different pursuits.  George M., is now in retirement after a long life of activity at the Shelby County Bar.  John A. is in the men's furnishing business at Indianapolis.  Frank F. is in South Carolina, carrying on Sunday school work.  Charles is in Georgia, and  Elizabeth H., who married  George Avrett, is a resident of Georgia.  A member of Mrs. Wright's household is  Mrs. Mary S. Yount, a niece, who was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, being a daughter of  Newton and Sarah (Williams) Simmons.  When her mother died she was eighteen months old and was taken in charge by her aunt, who always treated her with the utmost kindness and affection.  She was graduated as[sic] Asbury, now De Pauw University, in 1874, and in October of the same year married Andrew H. Yount, who had been her college classmate.  For several years he practiced law in Lafayette, but for some time has been city editor of the Chicago Record-Herald.  Mrs. Yount died April 23, 1909.  Mrs. Yount taught school for several years in Kansas, Missouri and Chicago.  Charles M. Richey, son of a former Shelbyville physician, is an inmate of Mrs. Wright's hospitable home.  For almost her entire life Mrs. Wright has been on e of the pillars in the Methodist Episcopal church, and she reared all of her children in the same faith.  She is a member of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, and for thirty-three years has been its corresponding secretary.  No week passes without many letters from her relating to this subject, which is one that has always been very near to her heart.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, Edward H. Chadwick, B.A. Assisted by well known local talent, pages 380-381.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

Biography Index       Main Page

For current email addresses of researchers listed above, use the Surname Index