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 Job Wright

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Job Wright

Birth
Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, USA
Death
4 Apr 1842 (aged 65–66)
Burial
Cassopolis, Cass County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID
26750864 View Source

From the history of Ross and Highland Counties, Ohio, we know that Job Wright was the first settler at Greenfield, Ohio in 1799. He was a native of North Carolina, according to the history written there, though other records show him from Morristown, NJ. He had emigrated with his father's family to Ross County. Originally, he settled at the High Bank, just a few miles south of Chillicothe, but not liking that locality, he moved to Greenfield – at a time when Greenfield actually existed only as a name on a piece of paper.

Job was a tall and thin man, but he was very strong. He had red hair, and wore a heavy beard, and very much looked like the strange hermit that he later would become. He made a decent living making sieves out of hair. At the time, metal sieves didn't exist, and his sieves were considered the best available on the frontier. However, his customers were somewhat unsettled by the appearance of two thumbs on his right hand. When asked about the abnormality, he informed folks that it was a sign of his ability to see into the future and know things about the past, and to cast spells.

Job's greatest pleasure was fishing and hunting. He emigrated from Ohio to Michigan sometime between 1807 and 1808, settling in the most remote place he could find. He lived very simply in a small log cabin, and it was recorded that he brought his mother and his son, and his son's wife, to that modest home.

During the War of 1812, Job was known to have served in the military as an Indian Scout, at which time, he reportedly fought with a Pottowatami chief called "Shavehead." The Indian, said Job, burnt down his cabin and caused him great misery.

After the war, Job took to wandering further and further west, avoiding human contact as much as possible. He made his appearance in Cass County, Michigan in 1929, building a small log cabin and living as a "squatter" on the most secluded area he could find – on an island in Diamond Lake. He seemed content to live as a hermit there (though his mother and son were still reportedly living with him), surfacing only when he needed supplies. He also showed himself in 1832, to stake a claim to his land when he feared it was about to be claimed by another.

Despite the rare sightings of Job, rumors continued to spread. People said that he could stop the flow of blood and save a life, if he was told the person's name and age. Then, it was said, he would mutter some incantation, and the person would stop bleeding. And so people came to him, naturally, and – naturally for Job – he moved further and further west as word of his prophetic abilities spread.

One day, however, Shavehead appeared in the La Grange settlement, and the Indian was drunk and boasting of a medal he'd received from the British for the number of colonial scalps he had presented to them for reward. Job was noticed leaning on his rifle and muttering to himself that yes, this was the Indian who had caused him so much grief.

Shavehead was never seen again after that afternoon of bragging. It was rumored that Shavehead was murdered the same night by Job, though it was never proven. However, the Indian's disappearance was believed proof enough for most of his neighbors.

Another incident that made his neighbors uneasy was his prediction that General Harrison would soon die. Job had fought under the old General, who was elected by an overwhelming majority of the Whig Party (forerunner to Republican Party) for the office of Chief Magistrate. There was quite a celebration planned in Cassopolis for the day of inauguration in 1840, including the release of an Eagle that had been captured a few days earlier.

A large crowd gathered in front of the local tavern to see the spectacle, and recluse Job Wright was noticed on the outskirts of the group, where he stood silently, watching. Job then supposedly said in a solemn, impressive voice, "So many rods as that bird flies, so many weeks will Harrison, my beloved General live – and no longer." So saying, Job pulled his slouched hat over his eyes and walked away amid loud verbal abuse thrown his way by Harrison's friends.

The story continues that then the Eagle was released -- but the bird flew only so far as a small hickory tree, where it landed and stayed 20 minutes or longer, apparently confused by the commotion beneath it.

A few boys brought the bird down, and some unnamed folks in the crowd tore it to pieces. By measurement of the day, the distance it flew was only eight or ten rods. And within that frame of weeks, the General died.

It's no wonder, then, that Job soon took off again, wandering for a period of years before returning to Diamond Lake Island. When he did come home, his heath had noticeably deteriorated, and he died soon after returning, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Cornelis Huff.

A handful of settlers who knew him took a "rude whitewood coffin" to the little burying ground in Cassopolis, Cass County, Michigan. However, the group lacked a minister for a proper Christian burial. When the mourners noticed there was not a reverend present among them, they asked a man who had walked up to them out of curiosity if he might give a short sermon for a fellow human being leaving this kingdom for the next… which George B. Turner then did.

The mystery surrounding strange Job Wright's prophesies was buried with him.

(Bio written by Jody Glynn Patrick
from compositite of stories available about Job Wright).

From the history of Ross and Highland Counties, Ohio, we know that Job Wright was the first settler at Greenfield, Ohio in 1799. He was a native of North Carolina, according to the history written there, though other records show him from Morristown, NJ. He had emigrated with his father's family to Ross County. Originally, he settled at the High Bank, just a few miles south of Chillicothe, but not liking that locality, he moved to Greenfield – at a time when Greenfield actually existed only as a name on a piece of paper.

Job was a tall and thin man, but he was very strong. He had red hair, and wore a heavy beard, and very much looked like the strange hermit that he later would become. He made a decent living making sieves out of hair. At the time, metal sieves didn't exist, and his sieves were considered the best available on the frontier. However, his customers were somewhat unsettled by the appearance of two thumbs on his right hand. When asked about the abnormality, he informed folks that it was a sign of his ability to see into the future and know things about the past, and to cast spells.

Job's greatest pleasure was fishing and hunting. He emigrated from Ohio to Michigan sometime between 1807 and 1808, settling in the most remote place he could find. He lived very simply in a small log cabin, and it was recorded that he brought his mother and his son, and his son's wife, to that modest home.

During the War of 1812, Job was known to have served in the military as an Indian Scout, at which time, he reportedly fought with a Pottowatami chief called "Shavehead." The Indian, said Job, burnt down his cabin and caused him great misery.

After the war, Job took to wandering further and further west, avoiding human contact as much as possible. He made his appearance in Cass County, Michigan in 1929, building a small log cabin and living as a "squatter" on the most secluded area he could find – on an island in Diamond Lake. He seemed content to live as a hermit there (though his mother and son were still reportedly living with him), surfacing only when he needed supplies. He also showed himself in 1832, to stake a claim to his land when he feared it was about to be claimed by another.

Despite the rare sightings of Job, rumors continued to spread. People said that he could stop the flow of blood and save a life, if he was told the person's name and age. Then, it was said, he would mutter some incantation, and the person would stop bleeding. And so people came to him, naturally, and – naturally for Job – he moved further and further west as word of his prophetic abilities spread.

One day, however, Shavehead appeared in the La Grange settlement, and the Indian was drunk and boasting of a medal he'd received from the British for the number of colonial scalps he had presented to them for reward. Job was noticed leaning on his rifle and muttering to himself that yes, this was the Indian who had caused him so much grief.

Shavehead was never seen again after that afternoon of bragging. It was rumored that Shavehead was murdered the same night by Job, though it was never proven. However, the Indian's disappearance was believed proof enough for most of his neighbors.

Another incident that made his neighbors uneasy was his prediction that General Harrison would soon die. Job had fought under the old General, who was elected by an overwhelming majority of the Whig Party (forerunner to Republican Party) for the office of Chief Magistrate. There was quite a celebration planned in Cassopolis for the day of inauguration in 1840, including the release of an Eagle that had been captured a few days earlier.

A large crowd gathered in front of the local tavern to see the spectacle, and recluse Job Wright was noticed on the outskirts of the group, where he stood silently, watching. Job then supposedly said in a solemn, impressive voice, "So many rods as that bird flies, so many weeks will Harrison, my beloved General live – and no longer." So saying, Job pulled his slouched hat over his eyes and walked away amid loud verbal abuse thrown his way by Harrison's friends.

The story continues that then the Eagle was released -- but the bird flew only so far as a small hickory tree, where it landed and stayed 20 minutes or longer, apparently confused by the commotion beneath it.

A few boys brought the bird down, and some unnamed folks in the crowd tore it to pieces. By measurement of the day, the distance it flew was only eight or ten rods. And within that frame of weeks, the General died.

It's no wonder, then, that Job soon took off again, wandering for a period of years before returning to Diamond Lake Island. When he did come home, his heath had noticeably deteriorated, and he died soon after returning, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Cornelis Huff.

A handful of settlers who knew him took a "rude whitewood coffin" to the little burying ground in Cassopolis, Cass County, Michigan. However, the group lacked a minister for a proper Christian burial. When the mourners noticed there was not a reverend present among them, they asked a man who had walked up to them out of curiosity if he might give a short sermon for a fellow human being leaving this kingdom for the next… which George B. Turner then did.

The mystery surrounding strange Job Wright's prophesies was buried with him.

(Bio written by Jody Glynn Patrick
from compositite of stories available about Job Wright).


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