Who Were Wilbur and Orville?
1630 1859 1884 1889 1893 1895
1859 - 1874
Milton Wright
Milton Wright
Milton Wright was born in Indiana, where he grew up on the rugged edge of westward-advancing American society. The physical hardships of the frontier instilled self-reliance. His father, an ardent abolitionist and supporter of the temperance movement against alcohol consumption, passed on his strength of character, sureness of purpose, and sense of high moral resolve.
Milton Wright (1829-1917)
Milton Wright (1829 - 1917)
Intellectual and Religious
As a boy, Milton was an avid reader. Despite long hours working on the family farm, he studied a wide range of subjects and prided himself on his efforts to improve himself and to train his mind to think. Drawn to a religious life as a young man, Milton joined a Midwestern Protestant sect called the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in 1846 more because of its stand on such political and moral issues as slavery, alcohol, and Freemasonry, rather than its theology.
Milton Wright
Milton (front row, center) at a United Brethren convention, circa 1900.
The Power of the Pen
Milton became an itinerant minister and one of the most outspoken members of the church, rising quickly within the church hierarchy. He fought against a liberalization of United Brethren doctrine on many issues. In 1869 he was appointed to the influential post of editor of the Religious Telescope, a weekly newspaper that carried official church views across the nation. He was ultimately elected a bishop in 1877.

A social reformer, Milton believed in equal opportunity for all. Both Milton and Susan benefited from parents who encouraged broad intellectual pursuits. They carried on this tradition with their own children.
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The politics of Piety
The politics of Piety
Milton Wright was drawn to the Church of the United Brethren in Christ largely because of its stand on such political and moral issues as slavery, alcohol, and Freemasonry, rather than its theology. He believed in saving souls for the hereafter, but his main focus was convincing people to lead righteous lives while on earth.