Herbert Perry Wright (1865-1945) Papers (KC0013)
H.P. Wright was born in Stockton, Illinois. A short time after his birth, the family moved to Woodstock, Illinois, where Herbert was raised and educated. He attended Northwestern University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1887. In October of 1890, Wright married Hattie Haw of Ottumwa, Iowa, whom he had met at the University. Immediately upon graduation, Wright came to Kansas City where he was employed as a bookkeeper in an investment banking firm. He climbed the corporate ladder quickly and in 1890 organized the H.P. Wright and Company which was latter incorporated in 1901 as the H.P. Wright Investment Company. In 1924, he co-founded the investment banking firm of Prescott, Wright and Snider. However, he retired from active business in December 1928 to become a private investment counselor and care for his own holdings.
Wright was an active participant in civic, social, and business affairs. He was one of the founders of the Investment Bankers Association of America, and assisted in the organization and development of numerous corporations including Sinclair Oil, American Power and Light Company, Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company, Kansas City Life Insurance Company, Cook Paint and Varnish Company, and the Kansas City Bolt and Nut Company which later became the Sheffield Steel Company. Wright was the chairman of the Kansas Gas and Electric Company from its organization in 1909 until a few years before his death; a director for many years of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad; and a director of the Kansas Power and Light Company and of the Safety Federal Savings and Loan Association. Wright served as a trustee of Northwestern University and Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas. He was president of the Sons of the Revolution in Kansas City and also president of the State Society of the Sons of the Revolution; a vice-president of the advisory board of the Salvation Army; an active member of the Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City, the Rotary Club, the University Club, Blue Hills Club, the Mission Hills County Club and the Kansas City Club; and was a lifetime member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. In 1945, Wright wrote and published the book, Saga of the Prairies, describing the early pioneer days in his native Illinois. He was known for his humor and philosophy of success which earned him the nickname, "the Will Rogers of Baltimore Avenue."
This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, memorabilia, financial records, and various other documents which concerned or originated with Herbert Perry Wright's friends, associates and business interests. The materials were organized into twelve scrapbooks, generally arranged into a chronological sequence, with a detailed index for each volume. An additional scrapbook relates to a trip taken by Wright with a group of capitalists of the East and Midwest who were touring the Pacific Northwest inspecting their investment properties in 1910. 1887-1945.
Two folders and 13 volumes (MICROFORM); five cubic feet.
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Monday, February 07, 2011
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