The Sharon Memorial Hall, located at 137 E. Dublin-Granville Road, was built in 1861 for Horace W. Wright and his wife, Henrietta Tuller Wright. Horace was the son of Potter and Lovisa Wright, who moved to Worthington in 1815. Potter was a successful manufacturer of carding and spinning machinery.
Horace worked for Potter until 1855. He owned much farmland and a sawmill near this property. His wife Henrietta was the daughter of Flavel Tuller, a successful farmer and meat packer. She was a schoolteacher before her marriage. Their descendents were active in the civic and religious life of the community. Horace Wright his grandson and Lynn Wright were active in the Worthington Masonic order. The Wright family occupied the home until 1940.
Following a War Memorial Levy, approved by Sharon Township voters in 1945, the property was conveyed to the Trustees of the Sharon Township Memorial. Subsequent uses of this building include the Worthington Historical Society 1955-1969. The building was altered in 1900 to include the Greek Revivial portico and the removal of the Victorian balustrade on the roof. The interior still retains many of its original features.
The Horace Wright House
The Wrights of Worthington were an important part of that story. We will retell a bit of it here. The tale begins with a man named Potter Wright who came to Worthington in "about the year 1815" from Providence, Rhode Island. Worthington had been around for more than a decade by that time, having been founded by several hardy souls from Granby, Connecticut and other points east. Mr. Wright came west to install some machinery for a cotton mill. For some reason the machinery was not installed in Worthington but rather was shipped on to another location. Potter Wright found himself far from home.
The Williams Bros. history put the matter rather forthrightly: "Mr. Wright came to the new country, owing to the glowing descriptions of the prosperity of the community, and the grand future in store for the embryo town. He expected to find a thriving village, already in a fair way to become a great city but was disappointed when he found it in a crude shape and yet to be hewn out of the forest." But something about the new town in the new country must have intrigued him because he did not return to the east or follow the peripatetic cotton mill on its travels elsewhere. He stayed in Worthington and made the town his home. For a time, he worked for the Worthington Manufacturing Company on a salary and had the good fortune to leave the company's employ before it fell on hard times. As payment for his work, he received a house and lot in the village which eventually became his home. He also met and married Louisa Maynard, the daughter of one of the original settlers of the area. The Wrights had eight children over the years, which undoubtedly provided motivation to Potter Wright to make something of himself. He did just that.
He set up a shop and began to build "carding and spinning machinery and other machinery used in cloth making and cloth dressing." He became quite successful in this business. On the machinery he made, Potter Wright inscribed the slogan, "Flourish ye west-'ern manufacturers." Whether they did or not was not always clear, but Potter Wright certainly did. Over the course of a long career, he acquired significant wealth and property until his death in 18 5 5. One of his eight children were named Horace Wright. The young man attended the schools of Worthington and studied over the winter of 1849-1850 at Kenyon College. He returned to town and entered into the family business. After the death of his father, Horace Wright interested himself mostly in gentle-man farming and operating a sawmill near his home. On October 29, 1860, at the relatively mature age of 30, Horace Wright married Henrietta Tuller, thereby uniting two of the older families in the area. In order to provide a home for his bride, Horace Wright built a new house - the one in the picture - the following year.
The Wrights had five children over the years and. were generally quite content in their economic prosperity and social position in the community they called home. Then, in 1876, tragedy touched the Wrights. Within one week in November of that year, three of their children died of diphtheria. Despite this sad turn of events, the family continued to occupy the great house for many years. Around the turn of the 20th century, a Greek Revival portico was added to the front of the home and a Victorian balustrade on the roof was removed. The Wright family occupied the home until 1940. If you would care to see Horace and Henrietta Wright's dream house, it is not too hard to find. In 1945, a war memorial levy permitted the conveyance of the house to the Trustees of the Sharon Township Memorial. It served as the home of the Worthington Historical Society from 1955 to 1969. The Wright house is at 137 East Dublin Granville Road in Worthington. It is well worth a visit.