Joe Green Wright
Joe Green Wright, my father's youngest brother, was born at Little Crab, Fentress
County, Tennessee, and died June 12, 1973, in Casey County, Kentucky. His grave rock lists
his date of birth as June 5, 1891; but the 1900 Fentress County census records list it as
September 1890. He came here to Casey County in 1903, with his parents and their family.
He was about 12 years old at the time. His parents were John
Taylor Wright and Elizabeth Ann (King) Wright. His paternal grandparents were Mathias Austin Wright and Elizabeth Jane (Wright) Wright. His
maternal grandparents were Robert King and Nancy Agnes (Beaty) King. On May 5, 1912, he married Ida Lay, a native of
Casey County. Her parents were William L. Lay and Sarah Jane Lay. William was born in
Tennessee, and Sarah in Kentucky. Ida's grave rock lists her birth date as April 7, 1892;
but the 1900 Casey County census records list both Ida and her younger brother, George
Lay, a year older than their grave rocks do. Ida died January 17, 1978, here in Casey
The children of Joe Green Wright and Ida (Lay) Wright were as follows: John William
Wright, born Mar. 26, 1913, is still living. Elvin Estill Wright, May 13, 1915 - Feb. 1,
1985. Armer Willis Wright, Nov. 10, 1918 Oct. 27, 1937. Flora Wright, born June 1, 1922,
is still living. And Shelby Wright, born Sept. 17, 1925, is still living. The marriages of
the sons and daughter were as follows: John William Wright married Linnie Sapp, Feb. 5,
1936. She is a daughter of John quincy Sapp and Lille (Rich) Sapp. Elvin Estill Wright
married Edith Emerson, Sept. 24, 1935. She is a daughter of William Columbus
"Buddy" Emerson and Myrtle (Grooms) Emerson. Armer Willis Wright died as a
teenager, and never married. Flora Wright married Berkley Buck. I don't have their wedding
date, nor information on his parents. And Shelby Wright married Juanita Ray, Dec. 24,
1944. She is a native of Overton County, Tennessee; a daughter of Benton W. Ray and Mattie
(Sanders) Ray. The others are natives of Casey County.
The grandchildren of Joe Green Wright and Ida (Lay) Wright were as follows. John and
Linnie's children; Murrel Quincy Wright, born Oct. 20, 1937, died as a child. Juanita
Wright, born Mar. 6, 1939, married Wendell Delp, Dec. 21, 1957. Russell Oris Wright, born
July 11, 1941, married Mabel Christine Adams, July 7, 1962. Freida Verona Wright, born
Nov. 8, 1943, married Ronald Atwood, Mar. 31, 1962. A Wright infant, not named, born and
died Dec. 7, 1945. Ronald Darrell Wright, born Aug. 7, 1950, married Pauline Coleman, Oct.
17, 1970. And Deborah Kaye Wright, born Oct. 16, 1952, married Dennis Wilkerson, Oct. 3,
1970. Elvin and Edith's children: Wayne Wright, married Elizabeth somebody; Sherrill
Wright; and Jerry Wright. I don't have any dates on these three. Flora and Berkley's
children: Gary Buck; and Linda Sue Buck. I don't have any dates on these two. Both were
unmarried, I think, 2 or 3 years ago. Shelby and Juanita have one son, Richard Warren
Wright, born Nov. 29, 1945, married Sharon Key Mottweiler, Oct. 16, 1965.
The great-grandchildren of Joe Green Wright and Ida (Lay) Wright: Juanita and Wendell Delp
have one daughter, Cheri Delp, born May 5, 1962, married Jeff Burchell, June 28, 1980.
Russell and Mabel Wright have one son and one daughter. Russell Keith Wright, born Mar.
23, 1962; and Karen Dale Wright, born Feb. 5, 1963. Karen played on the Casey County High
School basketball team, back about 1980. I think that Keith is married now, but that Karen
is still single. Freida and Ronald Atwood have one daughter and one son: Vicki Lee Atwood,
born Mar. 29, 1963; and Ronald Brent Atwood, born July 20, 1967. Ronald and Pauline
Wright's children: Ronald Brian Wright, born Sept. 18, 1973; and Tracie Jo Wright, born
Jan. 1, 1975. Deborah and Dennis Wilkerson's children: Jonathan Bradley Wilkerson, born
Mar. 28, 1977; and Jamie Dale Wilkerson, born Feb. 2, 1980. And Richard and Sharon's
children: Melanie Marlene Wright, born Apr. 23, 1966; Melissa Marcanne Wright, born June
1, 1967; and Jennifer Joanne Wright, born Nov. 24, 1974. This concludes my listing of the
Joe Green Wright bought 15 acres of land from his father, May 22, 1914, and paid $60.00
cash for it. The land was on Tennessee Ridge, at the headwaters of Canoe Creek. Al of
Joe's children were born on the little farm, except John, the oldest. This farm was
located on the Tennessee Ridge road, (now Highway 1615), between the farm of Joe's father,
on Canoe Creek Road, and the farm of Napoleon Bonaparte Scott, which was across the
Tennessee Ridge road. That was 2 months and 3 days before I was born. My parents were
living just up the road from Joe, where Clay Taylor and his wife, Gertrude, live now. Two
or three of Joe's other brothers lived in between, just across Canoe Creek Road. My
parents had arrived here May 18, 1899. And, on March 25, 1901, they had bought 100 acres
of land. Then, on February 21, 1905, they sold 60 acres of it to Grandpa Wright, and kept
40 acres for themselves. Joe's farm was part of the 100 acres.
By 1927, Joe was beginning to farm quite a bit. He needed more land. And he also needed
firewood. So, about 1930 or a little later, he bought a large tract of level woodland,
down the main road about a mile and a quarter, and off it a short way. And, during the
next few years, he and his sons cleared most of it and turned it into a nice farm. He
built a fairly nice house and a barn on it, and spent the rest of his life there. He
farmed all his life, and was successful at it. He probably was a better farmer than his 4
brothers, who all worked around sawmills and gristmills a large part of their lives.
During the 1940s, his sons, Elvin and Shelby, and his daughter, Flora, went to Anderson,
Indiana, to live and work. They remained up there and prospered. The oldest son, John
William Wright, remained in Casey County, near his parents. He started a business in
Liberty, the county seat, called Wright Implement Company, and is doing quite well with
it. His oldest son, Russell Wright, and family, help to run the business. His other son,
Ronald Wright, and wife, Pauline, now own and operate the A and D Supermarket in Liberty.
The Joe Wright house and farm is still owned by the family, and a Wright family reunion is
held there each year, on the first Sunday in August. John and his son Ronald each have
built a modern brick home on the farm and Live there. Grandpa Wright's sons and daughters
all are dead now. and John and I are his only grandsons who still live in Casey County.
Our Fentress County Wrights are no kin to any other Wrights who have ever lived in, or
near, Casey County. Uncle Joe, 3 of his sisters, their parents, and various other
relatives and friends are buried in Whited Cemetery, on the upper end of Tennessee Ridge,
here in Casey County. Dad (James David Wright), and Uncle Al Wright are buried in Austin
Cemetery, at Riffle Creek. Uncle Rob Wright and Uncle Pete Wright are buried in Indiana.
And we have relatives at Cincinnati, in Louisville, in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri,
California, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia; plus the ones back in
by Roscoe Hollis Wright