WRIGHT, WALTER BENJAMIN (1852-1939) advanced from railroad porter to secretary for the industry's top administrators. He was born in Harrisonburg, WV, and moved to Columbus, OH, at 12 years old. Wright started out as a porter on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern RAILROADS and then became porter on the private car of Daniel W. Caldwell, general superintendent of the Panhandle Railroad (1873). Wright followed him to Pittsburgh and, in 1882, to the Nickel Plate Railroad in Cleveland. In 1892, Wright became Private Secretary to Caldwell, president of the Lake Shore Line (1894-97). He also served two successors (Samuel R. Calaway and W. H. Caniffin) in the same capacity, before retiring in 1922.
On 21 April 1891, Wright married Sarah Marie Johnson; their children were Harry B., Woodworth M., Lloyd L., Beatrice Wright Fox, and Edith Louise Wright Ryce. The family lived in Cleveland and owned property in Zanesville, OH. Wright helped sponsor local cultural events featuring AFRICAN AMERICANS. He belonged to the Veteran Association and the Round Table Club, both of the Nickel Plate Railroad, and was a trustee of ST. JAMES AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL (AME) CHURCH