Mary Wright House

A white house depicted in a painting has brown trim and is surrounded by a lawn and leafy trees.
Mary Wright's home was the scene of a colorful domestic life as well as decorative windows

"The Wright House" by Heather Heckel

Quick Facts

West Branch, Iowa
Part of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

On April 30, 1873, J. M. Wetherell sold Lots 23 and 24 to Mary Wright for $270. She owned the property for the next 48 years. If you’re wondering why the deed was in her name, it might have something to do with the fact that in 1870, Mary had learned some surprising news. Even though she and her husband, William “Billy” Wright had been married for thirteen years, and she’d given him six children, he had never divorced his first wife. When the first Mrs. Wright tracked down her deserting husband, Billy sent her $40 and she agreed to never trouble him again.

The Wright House features a clapboard-sided front porch with a pyramid-shaped hip roof that’s supported by two short, square columns painted brown like the rest of the home’s trim. This large white house also features a few other architectural embellishments. You might notice the beautiful bay window that faces the street. But can you find the triple-paned piano window?

For a time, Wright owned a blacksmith shop at the southwest corner of Main and Poplar streets. Perhaps the competition from neighbor Jesse Hoover, Herbert’s dad, was what led Billy to sell his business in 1875 and open a harness and boot shop.

Last updated: November 17, 2018