Quartius Wright First Mayor of the Borough of Vineland
By Frank D. Andrews
Quartius Wright, the ninth and youngest child of Joshua and Sibel Wright, was born in Genesee County, New York, September 10, 1813, but in early life moved to Wrightsville, Pa., a town founded by his father, where he carried on a general store. The greater part of his married life was spent in Pennsylvania and his three children, two sons and a daughter were born there.
In 1867 Mr. and Mrs. Wright removed to Vineland, then a new settlement of five or six years growth, and located on a farm on East Boulevard, a short distance below Chestnut Avenue, where he engaged in farming.
Mr. Wright was a practical farmer and his crops of corn and clover, as well as the choice fruit he raised, were seldom excelled on the Vineland tract. He was an active member of the Agricultural Society and for eight years one of the Township Committee. Advancing years led him to dispose of his farm and build a large and substantial residence on the south side of Montrose Street between Seventh and Eighth Streets, where freed from the laborious life of a farmer he hoped to spend his declining years.
In the Spring of 1880 there was considerable agitation regarding the incorporation of the Borough of Vineland which put to vote was favorably decided, and at the election of Borough Officers, October 5, 1880, Mr. Wright, who had been chairman of the Township Committee, was chosen Mayor on the Republican ticket by a small majority over his opponent Nelson Roberts who had been nominated by the Citizens' Party.
Mr. Wright accepted and held the office of Mayor until July 1881, when he resigned and Joseph Mason was chosen to fill out his unexpired term.
After the death of Mr. and Mrs. Wright's only daughter who had married Robert T. Cummings before they left Wrightsville, their granddaughter, Dora W. Cummings became an inmate of the household. Mr. Cummings also spent some years in Vineland engaged in the coal business. His health failed and after vain efforts to regain it, he too died.
Mr. Wright's place on Montrose Street enbowered in trees and shrubs, with a magnificent hedge along the entire front, became one of the show places of Vineland. Within his grounds he later erected a large brick house arranged for two families.
On September 10, 1885, Mr. Wright's wife, Olive J., died, aged 65 years, 11 months and 20 days. This was a great loss to him and his granddaughter, who continued to reside in the lonely home until the marriage of Miss Dora, a lovely girl of twenty, to Charles O. Anderson, September 23, 1886 in the Presbyterian, Church, added another inmate to the Montrose Street home.
The following March Mr. Wright, who had been failing since the death of his wife, was stricken with apoplexy and died March 6, 1887, one son, Newton F. Wright of Wrightsville, Pa., of his three children surviving him.
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson sailed for Europe in the Celtic, June 22, visiting the home of Mr. Anderson, and many points of interest in the old world before returning to their Vineland home which was again the scene of sorrow and affliction, when on the 27th of January, 1887, at the age of 22 years, 7 months and 8 days the youthful bride closed her eyes in death.
She, with her infant child, as Mr. and Mrs. Wright had been, were taken to Wrightsville, Pa. for burial, and their life in Vineland is in the past, but a memory to those who knew, honored and respected them.