Powhatan Sampson Wren

b. July 1842, d. 19 July 1917

Powhatan Sampson Wren, 1842-1917
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren was born in July 1842 in Powhatan County, Virginia.
  • Joseph Wren appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1850 in Powhatan County, Virginia. Other members of the household included Powhatan Sampson Wren, Martha Cornelia Wren, Laura Elizabeth Wren, Clara James Wren and Isabella Hopkins Wren.
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren and Joseph Porter Wren appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1860 in Richmond, Virginia, both boarding in the household of boot & shoe dealer W. P. W. Taylor, likely their employer.
  • He was a clerk, according to the 1860 census.
  • Powhatan S. Wren enlisted on 21 April 1861 in Richmond, for a period of 12 months, as a private in Company D, 1st Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was discharged by reason of a surgeon's certificate of disability on 11 September 1861, and paid the following day. Subsequently, at age 21, P. S. Wren joined Capt. Chas. G. Talcott's Company, 4th Battalion Virginia Volunteers, which later became Company F, 4th Battalion Virginia Infantry, Local Defense Troops (also called the Naval and Navy Department). The 4th, with Companies A-E, was organized and mustered into the service of the Confederate States 23 June 1863. Company F was added 17 June 1863, but appears to have been later withdrawn from the battalion. Powhatan S. Wrenn, Co. F, L.D.T., prisoner of war, having taken the oath of parole at Manchester, Virginia, on 3 May 1865, received permission to go to his home in Powhatan County, Virginia.
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Galveston County, Texas.
  • He was a railroad clerk, according to the 1870 census.
  • He married Martha Campbell, daughter of Clark Calhoun Campbell and Lucy Caroline Goree, on 17 November 1874 in Galveston County, Texas.
  • The following appeared on 21 November 1874 in The Galveston Daily News: [Married] At the residence of the bride's parents, in Galveston county, Tuesday evening, November 17, 1874, Powhatan S. Wren, Esq., and Mattie, eldest daughter of Dr. Clark Campbell. No cards.
  • The following appeared on 16 July 1876 in The Galveston Daily News: (Clear Creek, July 15) The following are the proceedings of a meeting held this day, at Dickinson, in pursuance to a call of L. H. Babcock, president of the Mainland Democratic Club of Galveston county, for the Democracy of the sixth and seventh precincts to meet at Dickinson Station, on Saturday, July 15, at 12 o'clock. The president being absent, Mr. Goree Campbell was requested to act as temporary chairman, and Mr. P. S. Wren, secretary. . . . Mr. Goree Campbell, was unanimously elected permanent President. . . .
  • Clark Calhoun Campbell and Lucy Caroline Goree appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Galveston, Texas, at 5 East Broadway. Other members of the household included Powhatan Sampson Wren, Clark Calhoun Campbell Jr., Lucie Frances Campbell, Martha Campbell, Clark Campbell Wren, Powhatan Sampson Wren Jr., Mary Caroline Campbell and Ann W. Campbell. Boarders (nieces) Mary and Nannie Campbell are the sisters of Sam Campbell, found nearby in the household of Clark's brother Archibald, all children of Clark's brother Marcus.
  • He was Galveston County clerk, according to the 1880 census.
  • The following appeared on 19 April 1883 in The Dallas Weekly Herald: Mrs. P. S. Wren, wife of the County Clerk of Galveston county, and sister of Mr. C. C. Campbell, agent of the G.C.& S.F. railroad at this point, is a guest at the Cleburne House.
  • The following appeared on 22 August 1883 in The Dallas Morning News: The city council, which has held daily sessions since Monday under the new administration, has nearly completed its work, finishing up the police slate this afternoon. Mayor Fly has shown himself a strong presiding oficer and has impressed the wild and wooly members of the council with the fact that he will stand no foolishness. A lively scene was enacted at the meeting to-day during the debate on the police slate. Alderman P. S. Wren had spoken and as he sat down Alderman Harry Jaques jumped up and declared what Mr. Wren had said was false. The mayor told Jaques his language was unparliamentary and Wren said if Jaques was worth noticing he might take offense at when he said. Jaques replied hotly and the mayor ordered the chief of police to eject the unparliamentary alderman. As the chief moved toward Jaques the crowd, which was packed in the lobby like sardines, thought a storm was about to burst and stampeded, nearly causing some people sitting in the windows to take a tumble to the pavement. At the juncture Jaques apologized. Wren accepted it and all was serene again.
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren appeared in the 1888=1889 Galveston, Texas, City Directory at SW corner Broadway & 14th listed as a notary public and chief clerk by Wren & Rose (abstracts of titles)..
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren appeared in the 1890=1891 Galveston, Texas, City Directory at SW corner Broadway & 14th listed as a notary public, conveyancer and abstracts of titles, located in the Tremont Hotel..
  • The following appeared on 9 April 1891 in the Galveston Daily News: Probate Docket. Estate of Ann W. Campbell, Minor; John W. Campbell appointed guardian, bond $10,000; A. R. Campbell, P. S. Wren and W. R. Johnson appointed appraisers. [Note that she is mentioned in Caroline Williams Campbell's probate.]
  • The following appeared on 25 August 1893 in the Galveston Daily News: The agony is over and Alderman Wren has resigned his seat in the municipal legislature. He did it, however, at the request of the secretary of the treasury. Collector Finlay having received a communication from the department at Washington stating that the old presidential order of 1873 would be adhered to in this and other cases. After receivign the intelligence from Washington Alderman Wren addressed the following to Mayor Fly: August 24. -- Hon. A. W. Fly, Mayor of Galveston: Dear Sir -- At a meeting of the city council held on Monday the 21st there was a resolution offered to the effect that I was no longer a member of the board of aldermen. In reply to that statement you will remember that I then stated that if the department at Washignton enforced the executive order of 1873 I would be compelled to resign as alderman or give up my position in the custom house. The department deeming that the best interests of the government will be subserved by the enforcement of the order in all cases, has notified the collector here under the date of August 21, 1893, of its ruling in the premises. In deference to said order and ruling I respectfully tender to you my resignation as alderman at large of the city of Galveston. Very truly yours, P. S. Wren. A News man dropped in on Mr. P. S. Wren at his office in the custom house during the afternoon and found him as serene and smiling as if he was still a member of the Galveston house of lords for keeps. With his usual sang froid he greeted the reporter and said: "Yes, I've done it. That is, I have tendered my resignation as a member of the board of aldermen, but you will observe that I did it at the instance [sic] of the federal authorities and not at the instance of the city council or any of those authorities so glibly quoted by the learned Theban who hails from the Seventh now holding the position of alderman at large. If you remember I stated in my remarks to the council on Monday afternoon -- the speech which you printed in The News -- that the federal authorities had both the right and the power to request my resignation of the aldermanic position. If I remained in the service of Uncle Sam and that I said further when they assertd [sic] this prerogative and requested me to resign one of the places I would bow to the mandate and give up my seat in the council. Thus it will be seen that I have been borne out in the position taken and that I have resigned my position in the council at the request of the secretary of the treasury and not at the instance of the city council or those decisions which were quoted. Had I waited for excommunication at the hands of the latter I would have sat in the council until old age came creeping on, or rather until my term of office expired, but when the federal authorities asked me to give up one place or the other I naturally resigned the aldermanic seat. As I have said time and again, it was a matter in which I felt but little personal interest. I was elected alderman-at-large by the qualified voters of the city of Galveston, and many of those voters -- belonging to our best element -- have insisted on my not resigning, contending that I was needed in the council. For that reason and that alone I held on. I am imbued with the spirit of patriotism to as great an extent, I believe, as the average citizen, but patriotism is one thing and bread and meat another. Hence, when it came to a show-down of resigning one or the other of the positions, in justice to myself I was compelled to give up the seat in the council, as much as I regretted to do so over the earnest protest of leading citizens." In view of Mr. Wren having resigned, the political culdron [sic] has already begun to boil in this city, and yesterday the local politicians were diligently engaged in discussing the question of who shall succeed him as alderman at large. A News man met Mayor Fly, and he said he would call an election to fill the vacancy within the ext few days. Then the fur will fly about? right. and a fight hot enough to singe eyebrows will be at once inaugurated. "This is an important period in Galveston's history," remarked an old citizen, "and we should be very careful whom we select to succeed Mr. Wren. It is the one time above all others when the tax payers and well wishers of Galveston ought to break their stay-at-home rule and go to the polls and vote for the right kind of a man to the end that the city's interests may be carefully guarded." this expresses the general feeling, and the election of an alderman at large is not going to be a tame affair. Everybody manifests a keen interest in the matter, and even if the election was held now a heavy vote would be polled. Numerous gentlemen are mentioned in connection with the successor, among them being Messrs. Reymershoffer, Tom Sweeney, O. Menard, Paul Shean, Richard Tiernan, Louis Schmidt, Morris Brock, Louis Schlessinger and others. There seems to be a strong sentiment in favor of Mr. Yeymershoffer, notwithstanding he resides in the same ward with Alderman Henderson. The latter says he will move into another ward in order to make Mr. Reymershoffer eligible if he will make the race, but it is not known whether or not he can be induced to do so. Mr. Sweeney said to a News reporter that it would be out of the question for him to run, as his cashier, Mr. Spillane, is an alderman, and both gentlemen could not attend the council meetings at the same time. Mr. Schlessinger said that he would make the rance under no circumstances, as his business is such that he could not give the city the required attention if elected. The News man did not run across Mr. Schmidt, but it is generally understood that he will stand for the position. It is safe to say that there will be several candidates and plenty of fun before the polls close.
  • The following appeared on 17 March 1898 in The St. Louis Republic: (Galveston, Texas, March 16) To-day P. S. Wren, chief clerk of the Custom-house, was arrested by F. Polk Johnson, special agent of the United States Treasury Department, for alleged forgery and embezzlement of $190. He was taken before United States Commissioner Dart, waived examination and was admitted to bond in the su of $500. He is charged with signing a shipmaster's name to a rebate check for $190 and appropriating the money to his own use. His case will be heard at the present term of the United States District Court. Mr. Wren is connected by marriage with one of the oldest and most respectable families of the city, and is quite prominent in a number of secret societies. He declares his innocense of the charge.
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren and Martha Campbell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Galveston, Texas, at 2306 Avenue J living in some sort of boarding house with Claude & Frances Cochran.. Other members of the household included Powhatan Sampson Wren Jr., Julia Lee Wren, Lucie Caroline Wren and Francis Jefferson Wren.
  • He was a clerk, according to the 1900 census.
  • The following appeared on 11 September 1900 in The Dallas Morning News: Capt. P. S. Wren, who has resided in Galveston a little over thirty-three years and who served as city clerk four years, county clerk six years and deputy collector for eight years, is here. He said to The News representative this afternoon: "The terrible calamity which has befallen the city of Galveston within the past few days recalls to memory other storms which have visited that place during my residence of thirty-three years there. The storm of 1867. . . . All that I have is at Galveston, wife, children, friends and everything and I still hope all is not so bad as pictured."
  • The following appeared on 12 December 1900 in the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner: Visitor from Galveston. Accompanying M. R. Kiley from the east was P. S.Wren, of Galveston, Texas. Mr. Wren has been a resident of Galveston for thirty-three years, and owns considerable property there. He happened to be absent in Fort Worth at the time of the big storm on September 8th, but his wife and children passed through the storm unharmed. He says it was a terrible night of horror for them, though, as a portion of the roof of their house was blown off and the windows of the upper story were blown in, while the salt water from the gulf, as well as the rain, was blown in great sheets, flooding the first floor to a depth of two feet. Mr. Wren owned some houses and lots along the gulf front. The houses were blown down and washed away and the lots on which they stood have been covered with water ever since to a depth of three to five feet. Mr. Wren places the estimate of loss of life during the storm at about 8000.
         Like the remainder of those who escaped from the disaster he still pins his faith on the city and says it is destined to be as good or better a town than it was before.
         Mr. Wren will remain in this section for several days.
  • The following appeared on 19 September 1906 in the Prescott Morning Courier: In this issue of the Courier, P.S. Wren, the well known a popular merchant of Constellation, announced himself as a single statehood candidate for supervisor, subject to the action of the democratic county nominating conventions.
         Two democratic supervisors will be elected this fall, and Mr. Wren desires to be one of them. He is a very competent business man and is thoroughly identified with the interests of this section. He was born in Virginia in 1842, served through the civil war, having been mustered into the service of the Confederacy April 21, 1861, at Richmond. At the close of the war, he moved to Galveston, Texas, of which place he was a resident for 33 years; railroad employee, eight years; cotton buyer, two years; city clerk, four years; county clerk, six years; deputy collector of customs, eight years; real estate and abstract business, five years, during which time he was registrar of voters for Galveston county, and also served as a member of the city council for a short time, resigning to enter the customs service. He left Galveston in April, 1900, for Fort Worth, to establish a commercial agency, remained at Fort Worth until Nov. 30, 1900, and left for Arizona in the employ of the Oro Mining Comnpany, at Minnehaha, and also as the representative of I. J. Swasy, a Fort Worth citizen; remained with this company two years, then was employed by T. M. Earnhart at Kirkland until November, 1903, from there went to Prescott, remaining until the latter part of January, 1904, when he purchased an interest in a mercantile business at Constellation, since which time he has been merchandising and mining. He is a life-long, dyed in the wool, rock-ribbed Virginia old line democrat.
  • The following appeared on 30 May 1907 in the Prescott Morning Courier: P. S. Wren, the merchantmayor of Constellation, as well as justice of the peace, was a welcome caller at this office yesterday. . . . F. X. O'Brien, who has valuable mining properties in Black Rock district, upon which a mill has recently been placed, will start up his mill tomorrow or next Monday. The development of this fine property has brought a great many people into that district to examine neighboring properties, and Judge Wren, the Constellation merchant, says he is doing an increasing hotel business in consequence.
  • The following appeared on 2 February 1908 in The Arizona Republic: (Wickenburg, Jan. 31) . . . P. S. Wren and wife of Constellation were in Wickenburg Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
  • The following appeared on 9 February 1908 in The Arizona Republic: (Wickenburg, Feb. 8) . . . Judge Wren and Mrs. P. S. Wren Jr. were in town on business on Friday and Saturday.
  • The following appeared on 23 February 1908 in The Arizona Republic: (Wickenburg, Feb. 22) . . . Miss Mattie McMellen, who has been visiting with Mrs. P. S. Wren, Jr., Constellation, for the last three weeks returned to Los Angeles Tuesday.
         Judge Wren and Mat Canfield were in from Constellation on Thursday and Friday last week.
  • The following appeared on 13 May 1908 in the Prescott Morning Courier: Judge P. S. Wren is in from Constellation. He is general manager of the Golden State Mining and Milling company, and has eight men at work.
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren appeared in the US federal census of 15 April 1910 in Black Rock & Castle Creek Mining Districts, Yavapai, Arizona Territory, and boarding with him was James Mahoney, age 61, born in Ireland.
  • He was a retail merchant, according to the 1910 census.
  • The following appeared on 7 May 1912 in The Arizona Republic: P. S. Wren, a member of the house of representatives from Yavapai county, received a telegram last evening from his son, P. S. Wren, Jr., containing the news of the destruction by fire of Constellation mining camp some ten or fifteen miles east of Wickenburg. The fire occurred yesterday afternoon and originated in the residence of Mr. Wren occupied by himself and his son when both are at home.
         The telegram stated that the young man had built a fire in the kitchen stove, preparatory to cooking his evening meal and had left it to go into the store about twenty-five yards away on an errand. When he returned the house was in flames. There are no water facilities available for fighting fire, in fact even water for domestic purposes is scarce, so the building was entirely consumed, the fire spreading to the store and postoffice which also burned to the ground, together with a couple of tent houses that stood nearby. The loss was practically total and was estimated by Mr. Wren last night to be about $2500. There was no insurance as none could be secured under the conditions obtaining.
         Asked about the postoffice Mr. Wren said he did not imagine there was any loss of moment to the government and it is likely that if there were any valuables in the office they were removed. The postmaster is John Miller who lives a half mile distant and keeps all his reserve stock of stamps and postal supplies at his home. The buildings enumerated constituted the entire town, but the mine works were not affected as they are located a mile and a half away.
         Mr. Wren said last night that he would not desert his legislative duties to go home for there is nothing left but the town site and he had no doubt it would be there after the legislature has finished its work. He wished his son to go immediately to Wickenburg, buy lumber, employ carpenters and rebuild the necessary houses, so he expects when he does go home to see a new town in place of the old one he left.
  • The following appeared in Who's Who in Arizona (1913): Powhatan S. Wren is a native of Virginia, and proud of that fact. He also possesses the traits that mark a true Southerner of the old school, and despite the fact that Mr. Wren denies the old school, the family record shows that he was born in Powhatan County, in July, 1842. Like the loyal southern boys of that period, he shouldered his musket in 1861 and retained it until the close of the war. During these years He participated in may battles, bore the hardships of a losing cause with much fortitude, and, when the end came, returned to his old home in Richmond. There he found the mercantile business established by himself and his brother had been destroyed, and being without funds or credit he was unable to follow his inclination to re-establish his business, so he entered the employ of the Richmond & Danville Railroad Company. In the fall of 1866, however, he left that position and journeyed to Galveston, Texas, where he accepted another railroad position, which he retained until 1875. From that time he was variously engaged until April, 1877, when he was appointed clerk of the City of Galveston, served in this capacity until 1880, and was then elected Clerk of Galveston County for six years. During Cleveland's first administration he was appointed Chief Clerk and Deputy Collector of Customs at Galveston, and held the same position when Cleveland was re-elected, having meantime been engaged in the real estate and abstract business. Mr. Wren came to Arizona in 1900, at once engaged in mining and merchandising, his present occupation, and immediately began to take active interest in Democratic politics, and was chosen one of Yavapai's representatives in the First State Legislature. His friends are legion, for he has retained to the fullest the buoyancy of youth, the keen sense of humor and ringing laugh that most frequently mark the man of early years. Mr. Wren is one of the capable committee workers, and is member of the following committees: Appropriations, Good Roads, Counties and County Affairs and Suffrage and Elections.
  • The following appeared on 13 February 1913 in The Arizona Republic: House Kills Anti Lobbying Bill Quickly. The excitement in the house yesterday afternoon came during the sessions of the committee of the whole during the consideration of Irvine's anti-lobbying bill. . . .
         The early hour of the house deliberations was taken up with a nice little Lincoln celebration, in honor of the birthday of the first martyred president. Captain Kelton of Cochise county, a former confederate soldier, moved that his colleague Judge Duncan, formerly a union soldier, be granted unanimous consent to read the Gettysburg address of Lincoln, which was unanimously agreed to. . . .
         Judge Powhatan Wren of Yavapai, a confederate soldier, spoke of "One country, one flag," in a telling way. All this was spread upon the minutes. . . .
  • The following appeared on 11 September 1913 in The Tucson Citizen: Within a short time governor Hunt will appoint Judge P. S. Wren of Constellation, Yavapai county, and a member of the first state legislature, superintendent of the Pioneers' home, at Prescott. He will succeed Percy V. Coldwell, whom the governor appointed to that position soon after his inauguratio.
         Coldwell has had a great deal of trouble as superintendent of the home and his friends say that he has decided to end his difficulties by giving up the position.
  • The following appeared on 18 April 1914 in The Arizona Republic: Among the developments yesterday in the political party that now controls the administration of the state was the statement of State Auditor J. C. Callaghan, that he is not a candidate of governor. . . .
         In this connection it is also interesting to note that Judge Powhatan J. Wren of Constellation, Yavapai county, resigned his seat in the legislature on Jefferson's birthday. Many of Judge Wren's friends are predicting that he is to be appointed to the Pioneer Home to succeed P. V. Coldwell. Judge Wren was a supporte[r] of Governor Hunt's policies during the meetings of the legislature.
  • The following appeared on 26 August 1914 in The Tucson Citizen: Few members of the first Arizona state legislature will be back to the second. An almost entirely new set of faces will be seen in the legislative halls next January.
         Among those who will be missed are Michale Glenn Cuniff, president of the senate for its three sessions; Sam Bradner, who was speaker of the house during the first session and was willing to continue; H. H. Linney, who displaced Bardner; Captain C. B. Kelton; Powatan S. Wren, of the tearful voice and the flowing locks; and many others. . . . and P. S. Wren is expecting to be appointed superintendent of the pioneer home. . . .
  • The following appeared on 23 September 1914 in The Arizona Republic: Powhatan S. Wren, superintendent of the Pioneer Home at Prescott, was appointed a notary public yesterday by Governor Hunt, as was also W. J. McDermith of Phoenix.
  • Powhatan Sampson Wren died on 19 July 1917 in Prescott, Yavapai, Arizona, . His death was officially witnessed by Clark Campbell Wren.
  • His wife Martha Campbell became a widow at his death.
  • He was interred at Odd Fellows Cemetery, Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona.
  • The following appeared on 20 July 1917 in The Tucson Citizen: Powhatan S. Wren, a pioneer of Arizona, and until last Monday superintendent of the Arizona Pioneers' Home at Prescott, was found dead in his room at the Pioneers' Home this morning by Superintendent J. F. Mahoney.
         Judge Wren's death evidently occurred early last night, as an examination of the body revealed the fact that life had been extinct for some hours. The body was clothed in a night-gown and was lying across the bed, as though Judge Wren had made an effort to rise and fallen back.
         The deceased was about 75 years of age, and had lived in Arizona for 17 years. He was a member of the first Arizona legislature from Yavapai county and had been superintendent of the Pioneers' home for two years.
         For many years Judge Wren lived at Constellation, Yavapai county, where he engaged in mining, holding the office of justice of the peace in that precinct for a considerable time. He leaves a widow in Texas and a son, who is a major in the United States army.
         A coroner's inquest was held this afternoon. Prescott friends of Wren are endeavoring to locate his family in Texas.
  • The following appeared on 20 July 1917 in The Arizona Republic: Judge P. S. Wren, who until last Monday, July 16, was superintendent of the Pioneers' Home at Prescott, yesterday morning was found dead in his bed at the home, the end having come to the Arizona pioneer some time during the preceding night and while he was alone. Word of the sudden end of the former superintendent came to the state commission of public institutions yesterday morning shortly after it had been discovered by the new superintendent, James T. Mahoney.
         Judge Wren was 75 years of age and had been a resident of Arizona for 17 years. His home for many years had been at Constellation, in Yavapai county, but at present Mrs. Wren and a son, an attorney, are in Houston, Texas. Judge Wren was arranging to join them in Texas. No funeral arrangements will be made until the family arrives.
         In his home county Judge Wren was prominent in politics and business and was a member of the first Arizona legislature. Two years ago he was appointed as superintendent of the Pioneers' home. For a considerable time Judge Wren held the office of justice of the peace. He also was interested in mining. Besides the son in Houston, Tex., who is an attorney, there is another son who is a major in the United States army.
  • Last Edited: 19 Jun 2016

Family: Martha Campbell b. 26 April 1853, d. 15 December 1932