Wright honored by Walden ... finally

Wright honored by Walden ... finally

April 27th, 2011 by Jennifer Bardoner in Community Signal mountain

The family of Spencer Wright, one of the town of Walden's founding fathers, should receive an honorary resolution this week - nearly 30 years late.

"At that time I'm not sure we even had a real recorder," Vice Mayor Elizabeth Akins said in regards to the town's 1975 charter date and why the resolution, which was to be one of the first orders of business, is now posthumous.

After a number of burglaries in the area, Wright set about creating a town and dedicated police presence, although at that time officers often rescued pigs and horses more than people, Akins said.

"We started out with a temporary police department that a few people paid for," she recalled. "It was hard to keep up with everybody. We thought it would be a good time to a start town, so we did. Remember this: we had no money, we didn't know if it was going to work, but there were a lot of people who got busy and made a town."

The township was passed by a vote July 29, 1975, with 253 in favor and 65 against, she added. The first elected officials were Billie B. Ansel, Sam Chester and current Mayor Peter Hetzler's father, Fred Hetzler.

"It was the beginning of a new government, which is a really wonderful thing to observe," said Akins, despite the fact that there were no paved streets or other services. "We were the last people on the list to get ice removed."

Wright died May 3, 2010, and while the resolution is long-overdue, recognition of his many accomplishments, both on and off the mountain, is ever-present, said Akins.