William Wrightson 1827 - 1865

Information sourced from the University of Arizona

thanks to Frederick Wrightson III & Roann Monson

William Wrightson was born in Albany, New York, in 1882, of English parents, educated for the Episcopal Ministry; but in 1852 joined his brother Thomas in Cincinnati in the editorship of the Railroad Record, then advocating the extension of Railroads in the valley of the Mississippi.

When the first Texas railway was projected to extend from the Mississippi river to the Pacific Ocean, the Railroad Record was selected as the exponent of the views of the company in the paving the way for commercial intercourse between the valley of the Mississippi, and the outlets to Asia on the Pacific Ocean. 

As an adjunct to the great enterprise, it was considered advisable by the Directors of the company to have an exploration of the newly acquired Gadsden purchase made for mineral resources, and Mr. Wrightson warmly advocated the scheme in the Railroad Record. When the company of exploration was formed he became the Secretary, and aided materially and mentally in sustaining the explorers in the then remote Arizona.

The reports from Arizona, and the brilliant future which seemed then to be approaching, induced Mr. Wrightson to abandon his editorial duties in Cincinnati and conduct a company to Arizona to work the Santa Rita mines, which had been opened by the company.

Mr. Wrightson's expedition reached Tubac in the Winter of 1858, and at an expense of several hundred thousand dollars, opened the Santa Rita mines and established reduction works there.

It is worthy of remark that Mr. Wrightson transported the first printing press ever imported into Arizona, which printed a weekly newspaper at Tubac, called "The Arizonian".

It would be interesting to follow the history of this press; but presumably like all the machinery and dearly acquired rights of the early pioneers it has been appropriated; and sweetly the trump of fame of some Territorial bellows.

Mr. Wrightson made several visits to the States; and in Washington exercised great influence in getting the Territorial organization of 1863 passed through the Congress and approved by the President, without, however, claiming any official reward for his great and acknowledged public services.

W Wrightson was killed by the Apaches in the spring of 1865, near Fort Buchanan. A gentler spirit was never taken to the bosom of God. Another surviving brother caused his mortal remains to be transported to Albany, where they repose in the family vault.

A peak of the Santa Rita will perpetuate his name. His memory will always be treasured by his surviving companions and friends.

C.D. Poston

Arizona Daily Star, March 6, 1880

Some links  

Mt. Wrightson - Tuscon USA - click for map Santa Ritas. The highest peak is Mount Wrightson, named after William Wrightson, killed by Apaches near Sonoita at Hacienda del Santa Rita in 1860's. Wrightson - Mines in Arizona