Bright, Halbert A. (History - 1835)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1891 History of Clark & Jackson Co., Wis.

Halbert A Bright, 1835

HALBERT A. BRIGHT, one of the notable pioneers of Clark County in former days a prominent representative of the lumber industry, and later a Large dairy producer, was born in Nova Scotia, Oct. 12, 1835, his father, John, being a native of Scotland. In 1840 the family removed to Washington County, Wis., where the parents resided until their death. There were seven children, none of whom, however, are not alive. In July, 1856, at the age of nearly 21 years, Halbert A. Bright went to Jackson County, Wis., whence in the fall of the same year he came to Clark County to look over a piece of land. Here he became connected with the lumber business as foreman for Andrew Shepard for five years and then formed a partnership with Olson and Brockway, the firm sawing lumber and floating it to points on the lower Mississippi River.


In 1868 Mr. Bright formed a partnership with Levi Withee, under the firm name of Bright and Withee, which association lasted for nearly a quarter of a century, or until about 1892. During this period, or the greater part of it, and for a number of years afterwards, he resided at Black River Falls, of which place he was mayor for twelve years. A member of the Republican party, he took an active part in politics and was a presidential elector in 1904, casting his vote for Theodore Roosevelt. It was not until 1905 that he moved to Green Grove Township, Clark County, taking up his residence on the farm in section 20, on which his wife now resides. He had owned the place for many years, however, opening it up in 1866 and cultivating it for the purpose of supplying his lumber camps with vegetables, his men working on it after the spring drives. This system was profitable to him and was popular with the men, as it kept them employed all the year around, except those who wished to go home to develop farms of their own. After settling on his farm Mr. Bright devoted his attention chiefly to dairying, raising Holstein cattle, of which he kept a large number, milking as many as ninety-three cows at the time. He also owned large tracts of land, including a number of farms. Here he resided until his death, which occurred Jan. 2, 1913, when he was 77 years of age. In Clark County, as in Jackson, he took an active part in local affairs, having the general interests of the community at heart, and ever ready to support a worthy cause. With his death there passed away a man whose career had been intimately bound up with the history of the county, especially the development of the lumber industry, although for many years he had resided outside its limits.

He was a member of the Masonic Order and of the Odd Fellows, in the former having advanced to the eighth degree. Mr. Bright was first married in 1866 to Miss Nichols, a native of Norway, who came to America with her parents when young, they settling at Blair, Wis. She died Dec. 9, 1890, having been the mother of nine children: Lottie, Benjamin H., Harriet, Edna, Berdine and Julia. Three died in infancy. On Mar. 11, 1899 Mr. Bright married for his second wife, Miss Anna Welsh, of Neillsville, Wis. She was a native of Sheboygan, Wis., and a daughter of Henry and Emma (Seidel) Welsh, her father being a farmer, and later a merchant at Colby, Wis. Mr. Welsh was, a veteran of the Civil War, having served in the 26th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and at one time he was captured and confined in Andersonville prison. He was discharged in 1863 on account of a wound in the head which affected his hearing. He died at Colby, Wis., Feb. 21, 1912. His wife died Sept. 11, 1886, a quarter of a century before him. They had a family of ten children, their names respectively being: Daniel, Anna, Minnie, Henry, William, Lula, Emma, Pauline, Lewis, Richard died in infancy, the others all living. No children were born of the second marriage of Mr. Bright.

Military Service


We have found no evidence that H. A. Bright fought in the Civil War or served in the Military.  If you have information to the contrary, please contact us.

Census Records, provided by Deb Sanger.

1870 Wisconsin Federal--Jackson-Albion-page 7, June 2, 1870
Bright, HA, age 32, male, white, runs Hotel, born in Nova Scotia
Ingabar - wife is 23 and Lotta is 3 years old and born in Wisconsin.

1880 Wisconsin Federal--Jackson-Albion-ED 75, page 1, June 1 1880
Halbert A. Bright @44, b. Nova Scotia, Lumberman, Parents b. Nova Scotia
Wife: Ingobar @30, b. Norway, Keeping House, Parents b. Norway
Dau: Lottie E. @13, b. WI, Student
Son: Benjamin H. @6, b. WI, Student
Dau: Hattie @2, b. WI
Other: Mary Dagget @24, b. Norway,Servant, Parents b. Norway
Other: Ben Emerson @31, b. Norway, Cook, Parents b. Norway
Bright, Halbut A, white, male, age 44, husband, married, lumberman, born in Nova Scotia, father born in Scotland, mother born in Nova Scotia.
Wife: Ingobar, age 30 born in Norway. 3 children born in Wisconsin so living there in 1867 as eldest is listed as 13 years of age.

1910 Wisconsin Federal--Clark- Green Grove ED 26, page 6B, 4/30/1910
Bright, H. A, head, male, white, age 74, married twice - current marriage for 12 years, born in Canada, parents born in Canada, immigration 1844, naturalized, Dairy farmer.
His wife Anna is 44 and born in Wisconsin.

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