Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wrights in Eunice, Louisiana

Emma Marie Fusilier de la Claire Philastre has some nice things to say about the Wrights in Eunice, La., in her book, The True Story of Eunice (Louisiana)Published by The Eunice News, Eunice, La., November, 1973.


Louis and Nathan Wright came to Eunice in 1911, and established a store in one of A.B. Picou’s buidings. This is the vacant part of the Picou Estate.

This first store was loaded to the very front door with merchandise. I recall that they strung strings across the store high enough that it did not interfere with the customers entering the shop. There were pillow-slips, towels, bedding of every description. It looked more like someone’s washing hanging out on the line than a place of business, but it did attract attention, and this was the purpose of it all. The people of Eunice frowned on having one more merchant, but grandpere Gus thought differently. Competition was good for all, so Louis and Nathan stayed. At first they were here for Saturdays only then they remained longer and longer. This was the very best thing that has ever happened to Eunice. Business was good for Louis and Nathan. Their merchandise pleased the customers and the price was right.

In 1912, Louis took unto himself a wife, Miss Sadie Kreinik, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Kreinik of New York City. Sadie Kreinik has the most beautiful soulful eyes, large and very expressive. She was and is still a very beautiful person. Louis Wright was a very handsome man, and a very humane man. Louis’ eyes had a dreamy look such as one who is looking into the future and likes what he sees. Nathan was also a good looking man.

On Sunday afternoons one would see Sadie and Louis going for a ride. This was just about all the excitement one could hope for in Eunice. This ride was not in a car which as we know today, no indeed, this was a horse and buggy. A man had to know how to handle a horse, and Louis was a past master. Louis, Sadie and Nathan lived in the Schuman house on Second Street at Ash Avenue West. This is still the first house on the East side of Second Street, in the back of the City Hall. (Now a parking lot)

Louis was most anxious to purchase his own store and home. This took a bit of doing. First Uncle Armand (Pierre) bought the property that which the Louis Wright Store now occupies, on Second Street. When the people heard that the property was for Louis Wright, the noise could have been heard around the world. When they wanted to own their own home grandpere Gus had such a house, this was the Barnett house on Third Street at Oak Avenue West. Mrs. Wright occupies that home today.

The Barnetts had gotten a very good job in Havana, Cuba, so they returned the house to grandpere Gus. At first we thought that grandpere Gus was going to move into this home and for a while we children were really worried. The Barnetts had two sons, James, the eldest and the other was Shira. They returned to Eunice but once and then no more,

The Wrights had the following children: Morris, a lawyer in New Orleans; Sophie, who married Irving Kerstein and has two lovely children: Joan Kerstein a very clever girl who will go very far in the business world and one son (David Arthur Kerstein), who is studying to be a lawyer in New Orleans; Sidney Wright, lawyer in Houston, Texas, Sylvia, Beaulah, Lillian Wright.

Morris, Sidney and Sophie Wright were the eldest and these I remember very well. The three of them would come home and Sophie would ask mama if my brother Walter was home. When Walter would come to the door Sophie who was the spokesman would say, “Miss Walter will you please take us for a ride”?

By the time the Wrights had children, Eunice had graduated from horse and buggy to automobiles. Sophie was referring to an automobile ride. I doubt if she ever rode in a buggy other than as a lark. Such as in Central Park in New York City or perhaps in the French Quarters in New Orleans.

To me Mrs. Louis Wright is the most humane person I have ever known. when the Wrights lived across Ash Avenue West from us, my sister Feliciane who was subject to Chronic Malaria would suddenly become ill. Mrs. Louis Wright would send her maid over with a bowl of soup or some Ice Cream or something else that she thought Feliciane might enjoy. All through the years Mrs. Louis Wright has remembered the sick. Not too long ago she found out that someone was ill, she called a cab and had some soup delivered to this sick person.

It was Mrs. Louis Wright who organized the P.T.A. here in Eunice.
The Wright House Today
The Louis Wright Store Today

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