Wright, Edward Bingham (1838–1914)

By: Forrest McDonald

Revised by: Brett J. Derbes

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 17, 2021

Edward Bingham Wright, Presbyterian minister and Civil War veteran, son of Philo and Electa (Coe) Wright, was born in Hudson, Ohio, on May 11, 1838. His father passed away in 1842, and Wright grew up in Detroit in the home of his aunt and uncle. He worked briefly with the United States Lake Survey under the direction of George Meade. Wright earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in 1859 and 1862 from Western Reserve University, where his father had been on the faculty. He served during the Civil War in Battery B, First Michigan Light Artillery, reached the rank of captain, and was wounded near Resaca, Georgia, on May 16, 1864. In 1867 he graduated from the Union Theological Seminary in New York, was ordained a Presbyterian minister, and began his preaching career at Stillwater, Minnesota. In 1870 U. S. Grant appointed him a member of a board of visitors to the Red Lake and Pembina Indians.

From 1872 to 1907 Wright was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, where his congregation grew from seventy-five to over four hundred. He organized the Ministerial Association and served as president on multiple occasions. In 1876 Wright received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from his alma mater, Western Reserve University. He married Evelyn Hunter Bell on March 5, 1878, and they had two daughters. For his services to the Texas Confederate Home in Austin, he was made an honorary member of the John Bell Hood Camp, United Confederate Veterans. Wright was an honorary member of the Salvation Army and a ministerial delegate to the labor Unions of Austin. He taught Bible study classes for the University of Texas at Austin chapters of Sigma Nu, Sigma Chi, and Phi Gamma Delta, as well as Beta Theta Pi, of which he was a member. He was the founder of the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter on campus. Wright served as chairman of the home mission committee in the Presbytery and the Synod, and represented the Presbytery in the General Assembly of the Church at Columbus, Ohio, in 1907. The following year he was elected pastor emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of Austin. He died of pneumonia at his home in Austin on January 4, 1914, and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

Austin American-Statesman, July 13, 1876, January 5, 1914, January 11, 1914. Who Was Who in America, 1943.

  • Religion
  • Presbyterian
  • Military
  • Confederate Military
  • Soldiers
Time Periods:
  • Reconstruction
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Forrest McDonald Revised by Brett J. Derbes, “Wright, Edward Bingham,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/wright-edward-bingham.

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November 17, 2021