|Date(s):||January 1, 1875 to January 1, 1900|
|Location(s):||GRATIOT, Michigan | SAGINAW, Michigan|
|Tag(s):||Lumbermen, Alma, philanthropists|
|Course:||“Approaches to Michigan History,” Alma College|
Do you know any influential and powerful men? The people of
Alma know of one man and how his generosity helped to shape the town. This man
was Ammi Wright and his personal life choices spoke of his demeanor and how he
though life should be lived.
was an Episcopalian, and while a supporter of that church, he also contributed
to other faiths. One of the most noted faiths that he contributed to was the
Presbyterians. Wright donated land and materials for the Presbyterian Church;
he also supplied land and a building for Alma College, a Presbyterian college,
for which he then served on the board of trustees and set up a trust fund.
Other churches in the area also benefitted from his generosity.
that he did, it may seem that Ammi Wright had many interests, but he really only
had a few. Wright had a considerate interest in business and so he had dealings
in multiple areas. Wright started his business ventures with farming, and then
lumbering. He became a recognized name with his lumbering businesses; he also
was well known in the banking world, becoming either president or director of
many banks across the Midwest and East Coast. In Alma, with his lumbering business,
he built a sanitarium, which was one of the finest in the country; the “Wright
House,” a hotel; and provided funds and materials for many other enterprises in
had accumulated much wealth and dressed sharply, Wright preferred the simple
life. He did not flaunt his wealth but used it to help others, like it is described
in the Christian way of life where man is to help others. He also helped found
the Masonic home in Alma. Though nothing was ever mentioned of how he supported
the party, Wright was a Republican.
grown up in a small town in Vermont, Ammi Wright had to work for his money, of
which he had millions. Over the years from his business dealings, Wright
accumulated millions of which he was generous. He became the quintessential
self-made millionaire. With his money, when he moved to Alma, he had a house
built for himself in the center of town. This would be his home for the rest of