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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Wright, Charles Barstow

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WRIGHT, Charles Barstow, financier, b. in Bradford county, Pa., 8 Jan., 1822. He embarked in business at fifteen, and at nineteen was taken as a partner by his employer. In 1843 he received from the Towanda bank a trust of landed interests in the then small town of Chicago, and in two years he not only fulfilled this mission successfully, but realized handsome profits in Chicago real estate for himself. In 1863 he engaged actively in developing the petroleum interests of Pennsylvania. In 1870, as director and afterward as president, he undertook the work of pushing the Northern Pacific railroad to completion. After the road had been built to Missouri river, and eastward from the Pacific about 100 miles, Jay Cooke and Co., the fiscal agents, failed, during the panic of 1873 that took place, and the completed parts were not paying expenses. Mr. Wright afterward assisted in the reorganization by which the road was completed to Puget sound. In 1873 he took an active part in founding the city of Tacoma, which now has a population of 15,000. He endowed the Annie Wright seminary for girls, and Washington college for boys, at Tacoma, and has been noted for his generosity to young men.