Frank P. Wright

First County Commissioner

Frank P. Wright of Genesee County, New York, arrived in Valley City, and then called Wahpeton, in April of 1874.  He took a claim two and half miles north of the railroad built a shanty of logs and broke two acres of ground.  His neighbors were D. D. McFadgen, John Morrison, Pat Flood and Mike Conners, all at the railroad crossing.

The winter of 1874 was severe but with good sledding all the time.  In 1875 Wright broke twenty acres and, like the other residents, raised mammoth vegetables.  In 1876 he raised 16 acres of wheat and peas, getting 350 bushels of these, plus 500 bushels of potatoes from three acres.  There being no threshing machines in the county, the grains had to be pounded out by flails.  He sold the potatoes for 90 cents a bushel and the peas at $1.50 per bushel, some in Worthington and the rest in Fargo.

Trains did not run in the winter but a stage coach ran twice a week from Fargo to Bismarck during the winter months.

By 1877 Wright had acquired some poultry, a pig or two and eight head of cattle and raised 250 bushels of oats in addition to the other small grains.

Wright returned to New York the winter of 1878 but returned in 1879 but returned in 1879 with a carload of horses and other stock, farm machinery, buggies and so forth.  He enlarged his house and stable and by 1880 had acquired 800 acres.

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