Wright City is on State Highway 64 in the East Texas oilfield on the Rusk county line in southeastern Smith County. It was originally part of the J. Vargas, R. McAnulty, and James Jordan surveys. Both it and nearby Wright Branch were named for a pioneer family. On May 30, 1931, Guy V. Lewis completed drilling the first oil well in Smith County just west of the settlement. In 1936 the town had one business, a church, a cemetery, and a small collection of dwellings. It had a population of 450 and nine businesses in 1940, but by 1950 the number of inhabitants had declined to 220. In 1952 local children attended the Troup Independent School District, where they were still enrolled in 1969. In 1973 Wright City had a cluster of dwellings, two churches, Asbury Cemetery, a business, and numerous deserted oil-refining facilities. In 1989 through 2000 the population was reported as 172.