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W. J. Bright House

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William Josiah Hatch Bright, born February 28, 1849, in Arkansas, was the son of Gatlin and Elizabeth Matthew Bright of Tennessee. The family came to Gonzales when Josiah was a young boy. He married Nora Mitchell December 14, 1871, and they had five sons. Nora, the daughter of Eli and Elizabeth Zumwalt Mitchell, was born in Gonzales February 19, 1850. Eli was born in Turkey Foot, Pennsylvania, and Elizabeth was born in St. Charles County, Missouri. According to family members, Eli owned property that included the area between St. Vincent Street and the Guadalupe River. He and his family lived in a log cabin south of where the Bright house is located. After Eli died, Nora inherited some of the property including the four acre plot bordered by St. Vincent, College, Mitchell, and Bright Streets. She and Josiah moved the Mitchell cabin to the College Street location and lived there until they built their Victorian style house in 1885. It may have been built around the original cabin because recently a pest control company told the owners that they could not spray part of the foundation as they had encountered large timbers. Family friends also remember Nora sitting in her rocker and mentioning that the house was built around the Mitchell family log cabin. Josiah and Nora were both graduates of the Gonzales College. Josiah worked for the Miller and Sayers banking firm until he established and became president of the Gonzales State Bank and Trust Company.
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