Asahel Wright

Asahel Wright was born in New Hampshire in 1786, oldest child of 6, to Daniel and Sarah Freeman Wright.  In 1814, he came with his parents to Centerville, and in November, leased 7 acres of land from Aaron Nutt for 3 years.  This farm was located near the southeast corner or State Route 48 and Alex-Bell Road.  On August 16, 1816, Asahel purchased the south half of Lot #3 in the Nutt Plat from Aaron Nutt for $150.00.  This is the first recorded sale of the property which probably already included the stone house now known by his name.

During his early years in the community, Asahel Wright had a still house on the 7 acre farm.  He distilled several kinds of liquor and manufactured oil of peppermint.  From 1816 to 1824, he also owned the southwest corner of Main and Franklin, which may have been the site of his store.  In 1820, he married Martha Sweeney.  They had 7 children; the first 4 were born in Centerville (Edmund F., 1821; Samuel, 1822; Sara, 1823; and John Q., 1825).  In 1826, Asahel moved his family to Miami County, OH, where he purchased a farm near the proposed site of the National Road.  In addition to farming, he was a storekeeper, tavern keeper (1837) and postmaster.  He died on October 23, 1842, at the age of 56, and was buried in the Bethel Church Cemetery near Old Troy Pike, now the Huber Heights area in Dayton.  Asahel's younger brother was Dan Wright, Jr., grandfather of Orville and Wilbur Wright.  Dan also came to Centerville with the family.  In Centerville, he met and married Catherine Reeder, and their two oldest children were born in Centerville.

About 70 years later, Dan's famous grandsons, Orville and Wilbur, rode their bicycles through Centerville on their way to Miamisburg.  The incident was recorded in a letter written by Wilbur Wright in 1892

Article is from The Curator, Nov-Dec 1999, written by Libby Kingseed, Curator