Andrew C. (Jack) Wright

Location of Name

On the south side of Signature Rock, a 15'X20' boulder just to the southeast of North Gateway Rock. Above the name is a star composed of two equilateral triangles and the date 1858. The name is several inches to the right of the Wm. Hartley name.

Condition of Name

The last three letters in the name Wright have been partially obscured by the subsequent chipping of the rock.


Andrew C. Wright, better known by his nickname Jack, was born in New York City on 4 July 1835. While still quite young his parents moved him to Natrick, Mass. There he was educated and grew up. When twenty years of age he moved west to Kansas Territory, settling in the town of Lawrence in 1855.

Three years later Wright was among the thirty-five unmarried men who joined the goldseeking party organized by John Easter. The party left Lawrence in the spring of 1858. They arrived at the Garden of the Gods on 8 July 1858, and remained encamped there for just over a month.

When interviewd by Colorado Springs historian F.W. Cragin in later years, Jack Wright recalled that while encamped in the Garden he and two of his friends - Jersey Hinman and Frank Cobb - had "carved their names on the S. side of what is now known as the 'Sentinel Rock.'" In actual fact, the three names were carved into Signature Rock, a much smaller rock just to the east of Sentinel Rock. The Hinman and Cobb names have long since disappeared, but the Wright name remains clearly visible to this day.

Wright remained with the Lawrence Party during the move north to the Russell Diggings at the mouth of Cherry Creek in September of 1858. But soon he moved up the South Platte to what became known as Henderson Island. There he went into camp with squawmen William McGaa, Bill Roland and Jim Saunders. When word reached them about the organization of St. Charles (later Denver City) by some members of the Lawrence Party, Wright and his new companions decided to return to the mouth of Cherry Creek. On the west bank of the creek they built a two-story log cabin. The new town of Auraria was soon laid out around it.

By the spring of 1860 Wright was back in the Pikes Peak region. In May or June of that year he and Jersey Hinman took up a claim to Jimmy Camp, the famous stopover on the Cherokee Trail some fifteen miles east of the Garden of the Gods. The two men laid out a foundation of logs beside the famous springs. They stayed only a day and a half before deciding to abandon their claim and return to Lawrence.

Back in Lawrence Jack Wright married a woman named Cordelia E. Ricker. The newlyweds eventually returned to the base of Pikes Peak. In 1865 they built a frame house in Colorado City, on Lot 10, Block 185. Two years later Wright was listed in the tax schedule as the road overseer for El Paso County. By then he and his wife had become the parents of two children: four-year-old Wilmer and two-year-old Annie.

That same year Jack Wright and his wife decided on another move. On 4 June 1867 they sold their land to Robert Innes for $500; on 26 September they sold their house and lot in Colorado City to Patrick Nolan for $250. Once their properties were disposed of the Wrights immediately moved to Buffalo Flats in Summit County.

Wright made at least one more move during his lifetime, this last one to the city of Denver. On 7 June 1870 he was listed in the Territorial Census as a "Livery Stable Keeper." This was undoubtedly the same livery stable he had opened with George Estabrook, the first of its kind in Denver. Later, during the administration of Mayor Joseph Bates, Wright was elected street commissioner, receiving the highest number of votes on the ticket. Under William Scott Lee's administration he served as health commissioner.

When interviewed by F.W. Cragin at the turn of the century, Wright could be found "from 8 A.M.-5 P.M. at the stoneyard cor. of 5th and Colfax Av." At that time his address was listed at 930 W. 14th Avenue, Denver.

Jack Wright's last days were described in his obituary:

"In June, 1905, he broke his left hip in a fall, and in June, 1906, broke the other in a similar accident. He was in San Francisco during the earthquake and the shock and exhaustion suffered by him after the catastrophy enhanced his sufferings and hastened his death."

Andrew C. (Jack) Wright died on 6 April 1907 at Mercy Hospital in Denver.


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1- Obituary in The Trail, Vol.1, No.11, April, 1907.

2- Letter from A.C.. Wright to the editor of The Trail, dated 30 January 1907.

3- Interview with F.W. Cragin, Cragin Papers XVIII, 10. Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

4- El Paso County "Big B" Recorder's Book, The Colorado College Special Collections.

5- El Paso County Tax Schedule, 1867. 1