Indiana Photo of the Day - Wilbur Wright Birthplace & Museum

Title of Marker:
1525 N 750 E, 4 miles south of Mooreland & 3 miles north of Millville. (Henry County, Indiana)
Installed by:
Erected Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, 1966
Marker ID #:
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - East Central Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums
East Central Edition
Marker Text:
April 16, 1867-May 30, 1912
Co-inventor of the airplane
With his brother, Orville, he began studying flight, 1896; built first model airplane, 1899; began gliding, 1900; and achieved first successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 17, 1903.
 Brief History
The third of seven children born to Milton Wright and Susan Catherine Koerner Wright, Wilbur was born near Millville, Indiana. The family would remain in Indiana until 1869, when Milton Wright, a Bishop in the United Brethren Church, moved to Dayton, Ohio. The Wrights would return to Indiana in 1881, where Wilbur and his younger brother Orville took up kite flying.
Milton Wright (November 17, 1828 – April 3, 1917)
Milton, son of Dan and Catherine Reeder Wright, entered life on a farm in Rush County, Indiana. In 1840, the family moved to Fayette County, Indiana. At fifteen, he had a religious conversion. After investigating several churches, Milton joined the United Brethren Church in 1847. His rise in the church was swift, to deacon in 1849. After purchasing a farm in Grant County, Indiana, he rented it out after his appointment as Supervisor of the Preparatory Department at Hartsville College in Bartholomew County. He met his future wife, Susan Koerner, while in this position in 1853. Thus began a six-year long courtship that ended with their marriage in 1859. During this long stretch, he had become ill and returned to his Grant County farm. He taught school for two years in Decatur County while he studied for the ministry. After graduating, the Church appointed him a circuit preacher, traveling from church to church. His circuit included Hartsville, where he kept company with Susan. The church then appointed him as a missionary to go to Oregon and he asked her to marry him. She said yes, when he returned to Indiana. He did return in 1859 and the two married on Thanksgiving Day. The couple had their first three children, Reuchlin, Lorin, and Wilbur in Indiana.
Wilbur Wright (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912)
A Day in Indiana History - April
A Day in Indiana History - April

His father Milton and mother Susan moved a lot while Wilbur was a child due to Milton's job. When Wilbur was two, the family moved from Indiana to Dayton, Ohio. Here, in 1871, Orville Wright was born. It was during their stay at Dayton that Milton brought home a toy helicopter in 1878 that enthralled the two boys. This toy helicopter spurred the boy’s interest in their quest to fly. In 1881, the family moved to Richmond, Indiana where Wilbur attended high school. During this time, the boys had tried to build flying helicopters from the model their father had given them. These did not fly well, so the brothers began building kites. Wilbur had accrued enough credits to graduate, but their sudden move back to Dayton prevented him receiving his diploma. He planned on going to college at Yale, but his mother became sick with tuberculosis and he stayed home to care for her.
Flight Experiments
After stints in the printing and bicycle repair and manufacturing businesses, the brothers return to studying flight from after learning of Octave Chanute's glider experiments on the shore of Lake Michigan near Miller Beach, Indiana. The Wrights based their design on Chanute's biplane glider he tested there.
For more information on the Wright Brothers, visit:

1525 N. 750 E.
Hagerstown, IN 47346
(765) 332-2495
The museum is in Hagerstown, a short distance east of Wilbur Wright Road on Indiana State Road 38. This museum is a bit out of the way but well worth the visit. The museum includes the reconstructed home that Wilbur Wright was born in, an extensive museum filled with Wright photos and artifacts, a reconstruction of the camp at Kitty Hawk where Wilbur and Orville stayed while testing their airplane and a full size, flight capable model of the Wright Flyer.   

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