LINCOLNTON - On May 29, 1918, Lincoln County native David Milo Wright became the first Lincoln County resident to be killed in World War I.
In the spring of 1917, he volunteered for entry in the U.S. Army, and was a member of the American 1st Division, one of the first American Infantry forces to fight in France. After only 14 months in the Army, he was among 200 Americans killed in battle near the French town of Cantigny. In addition to those killed, more than 200 Americans were incapacitated by German gas attacks.
So important was this first American commitment to the battle at hand that, on April 16, General Pershing himself came to address the Division. He told them …..you will represent the mightiest nation engaged. Our future in this conflict depends on your action.
Private Wright, the son James Andrew Jackson Wright and Ella Ann Lackey, was 19-years-old when he entered the service and, prior to his enlistment, had been employed at the Saxony Spinning Company.
Besides his parents, he was survived by three brothers and six sisters. On July 10, 1918 a memorial service was observed in the Lincoln Court House to honor Private Wright. The local American Legion Post, established in September 1919, was named in honor of him.
His remains were not returned to Lincolnton until March 26, 1921, and the remains were met at the depot by his parents and other relatives and friends. The following day he was buried with full military honors, being interred in the Pleasant Grove Methodist Church Cemetery, in western Lincoln County. Members of the newly established David Milo Wright American Legion Post 30 served as pallbearers for this burial. The events surrounding his service, death and burial was reported in the March 28, 1921 Lincoln County News.
Veterans from the Lincolnton David Milo Wright American Legion Post 30 will conduct a Grave Site Remembrance Service for Private Wright at the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery, 2069 Highway 182, in Lincolnton on Thursday, May 29 at 7 p.m. Any surviving family members of David Milo Wright are warmly invited to attend this ceremony as well as the public. This ceremony, although specifically designated for Private Wright will be conducted in a manner to give full honors for all deceased WWI Veterans.
Surviving family members of Private Wright (nieces, nephews, cousins) are still being sought and are requested to contact Tom Hawk at (704) 735-0550.
Have Us E-mail You The Daily News
Your Lincolnton-Lincoln County Online News Source for News, Sports, Opinion, Obituaries, Religion, Classifieds, Events, Photo, Community, Coupons, Live Cameras and Police Scanner.
Serving the areas of Lincolnton, Denver, Maiden, Stanley, Alexis, Vale, Crouse, Iron Station, High Shoals and Cherryville.
Not a newspaper, not a magazine, we’re online – on your computer at home or work, on your smartphone… with news and more 24 hours a day, seven days a week including holidays.