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Wright, Presco

Born: 1825-10-XX Somerset County, New Jersey

Died: 1899-02-15 Springfield, Illinois

Presco Wright was a salesman, merchant, city treasurer, circuit court clerk, county treasurer, postmaster, and a Mason. He grew up and was educated in New Jersey, where he began working as a salesclerk at age fourteen. He married Phebe A. Sutton at age twenty-four, and the two adopted at least one child together. After relocating to Springfield, Illinois, in 1849, he worked as a salesman for Jacob Bunn, then Lewis & Adams Company, and finally as a partner in Wright & Brown. While working for this firm, he also served two years as city treasurer. He sold his share of Wright & Brown in 1856, and, in November of that year, won election as a Democrat to the Sangamon County Circuit Court. He held this position until 1860. By then, he had a personal estate valued at $2,000 and real estate valued at $8,500. Prominent in the town, in April 1860 he was selected to be a member of Oak Ridge Cemetery's board of managers. In November 1861, he also won election as a Unionist to the position of county treasurer. He eventually joined the Republican Party, and lost election to the position of circuit clerk in 1864 to his Democratic opponent, Charles H. Lanphier. In the spring of 1865, however, Abraham Lincoln appointed him postmaster of Springfield. He held this position until after the Civil War.

History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 275-76, 282, 572, 631, 732-33; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Springfield, Sangamon County, IL, 104; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1867 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1868), 385; Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.