George A. Wright, 23rd U.S. Marshal, District of Montana
George A. Wright, 23rd United States Marshal for the District of MontanaGeorge Arthur Wright was born May 3, 1894 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, moving with his parents to Glasgow, Montana in 1900. He began his railroad career in 1908 as a callboy for the Great Northern Railway and subsequently worked as a brakeman and freight conductor.
A veteran of World War I; Wright enlisted April 30, 1917 at Fort Harrison in Company G, 163rd Infantry. He was later assigned to Company E, 21st Engineers (Railway), holding the rank of First Sergeant. Shipping out for France on Christmas Day, 1917; Wright served in the Toul sector, the St. Mihial offensive, the Meuse-Argonne offensive and at the time of the armistice was in officer’s training school. He was honorably discharged June 24, 1919 at Fort D.A. Russell with the rank of second lieutenant.
Following the war Wright came home to Havre and returned to railroading for a time. He then worked for the Northern Grocery Company, the F.A. Buttrey Company and the Stone-Ordean-Wells Company. In April 1929, Wright opened the Table Supply, later known as the K & W Store in Havre. Wright was also Director of the Havre Chamber of Commerce and a Director of Havre Federal Savings and Loan Association. He was past president of the Havre High School Athletic Association, and a member of the Havre Kiwanis Club. A 50-year Mason, Marshal Wright served as Worshipful Master of Enterprise Lodge No. 134, AF & AM. He was also a Templar and a member of Algeria Shrine Temple at Helena.
On July 13th, 1923 Wright married the former Miss Gladys Delight Spooner in Havre, June 13, 1923. From this union two daughters were born; Jane Wright Oliver and Mary Wright Omlie.
Having a great deal of pride in his military service, Wright gave of his time and voluntary service to the American veterans through the American Legion. He served as the Montana Vice Commander and in 1944 –1945 served as Department Commander. During his term as Commander, Wright emphasized as his key objective was job training of and aiding the returning World War veterans to return to civilian life.
A standard-bearer for the Democratic Party and a close friend of U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield; Wright began his life in public service, being appointed and serving as the Postmaster of Havre until 1944. In June of that year, Wright was sworn in as U.S. Marshal for the District of Montana with headquarters at Helena and lived at the Montana Club with his family. Marshal Wright moved the district headquarters to Great Falls in July 1945and served as marshal until his June 30th, 1949 resignation. Marshal Wright was then appointed Defense Rental Area Director, Office of Housing Expediter at Great Falls. He was promoted in November 1950 and was he was also made director of the Missoula, Helena and Kalispell rental areas. During that time, Marshal Wright also secured an appointment as a Safety and Security Agent for the Interstate Commerce Commission in Spokane, Washington. He retired from that post in May 1964, the retirement ceremony being televised in the Spokane area.
Marshal Wright, 70, died at a Spokane hospital on March 17th, 1965, following emergency surgery. March 22nd funeral services were held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Havre, and internment at Highland Cemetery.
Sources:- Judy Oliver Sinclair, Havre, Montana, Granddaughter of George Arthur Wright