Our History

The City of Wright City was platted as a village in 1857 by Doctor Henry C. Wright on land granted to Dr. Wright in 1831 by the United States. The village was platted to take advantage of the new North Missouri Railroad which was constructed in 1857. Dr. Wright built his home about 1860 on land that sets now at the corner of South First Street and South Locust.

In September 1863, the Wright City Raid took place during the Civil War. The Baptist Church, Bryan’s Blacksmith Shop and Kennedy’s Saloon (all known to be places where Southern sympathizers congregated) were burned to the ground by Union Militia.

The town of Wright City was incorporated in 1869 and its early industries, such as the tobacco factory, a flouring mill, Nieburg wagons and Nieburg coffins did business through the railroad. Around this time, Wright City also established its first public school, and several township schools also popped up throughout the county. More information on the school’s history can be found here. Much of Wright City’s history recalls stories of balls, dances and social “hops” with their fair share of customs and whimsical themes. In 1907, the first Warren County Fair was held in what is now Diekroeger Park. The annual event continued here through 1913 and even featured horse races along with the typical county fair exhibitions.

With the advent of automobiles, Highway 40 ran through the center of town bringing motorists and businesses catering to travelers. One such business was Big Boy’s Restaurant owned by Jim Chaney. Mr. Chaney was from Arkansas and ended up in Wright City when his car broke down here.

The Wright City Area Chamber of Commerce was chartered in 1939 by 39 businesses looking to center its interests in the business and welfare of the community. Over the years many businesses and volunteers have donated countless hours to the organization’s endeavors. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the two-lane Highway 40 was replaced with Interstate 70, a new divided, four-lane highway constructed through the northern section of the city. At this time, Wright City saw the growth of three manufacturing firms in addition to a number of motels, restaurants and gas stations.

WC block map