The Wright brothers were in their twenties when they became interested in aeronautical science. Five adults lived here in the years that Wilbur and Orville debated their ideas about how to develop a flying machine around the dining room table. Their mother died of tuberculosis in 1889, when the brothers were teenagers.
Milton Wright headed a family of young adults that put a high premium on family unity. To an extraordinary degree the four Wrights who lived in this house trusted, depended on, and defended each other rather than look for help from outsiders.
It was a comfortable house for its day, filled with Victorian furniture, books, and visitors. Wilbur and Orville's spirited discussions around the dinner table here led to the solutions they needed to invent the airplane.
Who Lived Here
Bishop Milton Wright (1828-1917)
was an editor, a theology professor, and a conservative minister of the United Brethren in Christ (Old Constitution).
Wilbur Wright (1867-1912)
was the third of seven children. Wilbur died of typhoid fever in 1912 here on Hawthorne Street.
Orville Wright (1871-1948)
was the sixth of seven children. Neither Orville nor Wilbur Wright ever married.
Katharine Wright (1874-1929)
was the youngest of seven children. When her two brothers first flew in 1903, Katharine was 29 years old.
Carrie Kayler Grumbach
kept house for the Wrights from 1900 to 1948.
Photographs courtesy NCR Archives at Dayton History and Wright State University Special Collections and Archives.