David Wills & Hiram S. Wright

*This page is a work in progress and more information will be posted as I locate it*

Among the many owners of this house was David Wills, who purchased the property along with Hiram S. Wright.  From the deed:

David Wills was the lawyer whose house in Gettysburg was where Abraham Lincoln put the finishing touches on the Gettysburg Address.  He was also born in Menallen Township.  This house in Gettysburg is now a museum called the David Wills house. I had contacted them at one point and inquired how our house tied into David Wills but they never responded.  When we also visited in person, they had no clue and weren’t very receptive so I have no idea if he commonly did this with other people, however he was the director of Gettysburg National Bank.  At some point I will be updating this with information after I try searching the historical society.  Per History and Directory of the Boroughs of Gettysburg, Oxford, Littlestown, York Springs, Berwick, and East Berlin, Adams County, Pa:

1872 map of Menallen township featuring David Wills and Hiram S. Wright as “Wills and Wright” on the map:

David Wills owned the house with Hiram S. Wright from March 21, 1871 until he and his wife transferred it after Hiram’s death to his wife Alice on April 1, 1885.  Hiram died March 8, 1883 and is buried in the Menallen Friends Cemetery.

hiram wright headstone findagrave

Above screen capture from FindaGrave.com.


From the Gettysburg Compiler, October 21, 1870

Above is the original purchase of the property, dated in the newspaper months before the written documentation attached to the deed.  Again, David Wills actually being tied to the property is not new, but the fact that they purchased the property for $39.75 per acre is interesting.  The next piece of information is what leads me to believe he may have actually been actually involved with the house in some way…

From The Gettysburg Times, January, 19, 1932

Above is a “repost” of a snippet in the local newspaper that ran 50 years before.  I haven’t located the original yet.  However, in it, it acknowledges Judge Wills gifting Hiram S. Wright with a “present” of $50 for the “personal care of ‘Mountain View’ farm”.    I believe Hiram Wright also owned another property, his personal residence, that can be viewed on the 1872 map as “H.S. Wright”.


judge wills letter full front pagedavid wills letter to louisa russel

Above are two images.  The first is the front page of The Gettysburg Times, February 12, 1941 which discusses David Wills’ letter documenting the Gettysburg Address.  The second is an enlargement snippet of the portion in which David Wills communicated with the daughter of Hiram Wright about the Gettysburg Address, very interesting indeed!


One thought on “David Wills & Hiram S. Wright

  1. To: Genevieve McNew

    Hello Ms. McNew,
    I am in awe at your generosity of provision of Lawrence Family residence and involvment in their community for others; however,
    I am interested in knowing anything about my Lawrence family, aside from the names being correct for my Lawrence family ancestors….it is imperative before getting even more excited about this possibility of being my family…,Do you know if this is the
    Lawrence Family whom eventually settled in Caroline County, VA?
    My reason for asking, not doubting your data, but to come to know if this information about your house of which was occupied by, perhaps, my Lawrence family. I will completely review every location of which you provide Lawrence Family Data, are you related to this family? I do; however, need your guidance and provision of everywhere I may find additional information on my ancestors, are you related?

    I can not properly convey to you my true deep gratitude for contaacting me and your kindness to assist me in learning more about my family. Do you have additional family member names?

    Again Thanking you so very much,

    Nita Davidson