Voices from the past speak to us through autograph albums, letters, and diaries. In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ll be sharing poems and sayings found in our collections.
Susan Koerner Wright Autograph Album 1853
Susan Koerner Wright was the Wright Brothers’ mother. Born in 1831, Susan was the daughter of a Virginia carriage maker. The family moved to Indiana in 1832. Susan joined the United Brethren Church in 1845 at the age of 14. She attended Hartsville College in Indiana. She studied literature and came within three months of meeting the requirements for graduation, but did not finish, apparently more interested in scholarly study than obtaining the degree. Susan met Milton Wright in 1853 at Hartsville. Milton proposed marriage in 1857, just before he was to head to Oregon Territory on a missionary trip. Susan agreed to a future marriage, but not to the mission trip. She remained in Indiana and the marriage was delayed. Milton Wright spent the next 2 years in Oregon. They were married on November 24, 1859, within a few weeks of his return to Indiana. If you’d like to learn more about Susan Koerner Wright, visit Special Collections and Archives on the fourth floor of the Dunbar Library at Wright State University.
This verse is from Susan’s autograph album dating to 1853 when she was at Hartsville College. It was written by a classmate, Isaac Branson.
May sweetest blessings crown your hand
In traveling through this lonely land,
Such may your fortune ever be –
Smiling on the greatest of plenty.
Could I my wishes have come true
Time long and peace I’de wish for you
And while these blessing were extended
As a friend of yours I’de be remembered.
-Isaac H. Branson