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 Texas : Feature : Columns : "They shoe horses, don't they?"
Texas Post Offices

The Eagle Befriends the Stork
Port Arthur's legend of F. B. Wright
Port Arthur, Texas

A Hurricane Story

by John Troesser
The 1916 Federal Post Office Building

Photo by John Troesser, 5-03
The now vacant Federal Building / Post Office in Port Arthur remains a formidable building. Built to impress, it's massive weight must've lowered downtown Port Arthur another foot toward sea level when it was built around the turn of the (20th) century.

When Port Arthur streets were flooded during the hurricane that struck the upper gulf coast of Texas in 1915 - the building suddenly became more than just a place to buy stamps or mail postcards. It became salvation.

Several hundred people (most of them without an invitation) took shelter in the all-night facility - two of them being Mr. Wright and his pregnant wife. The falling of barometric pressure during a hurricane often hastens labor and that was the case here. Mrs. Wright gave birth inside the Port Arthur Federal Building - uncomfortable, but dry.

Evidently the delivery was without benefit of a physician - or else the boy might've been named after the doctor. As it was, the parents were so grateful that they named the boy after the building - giving him the official name of Federal Building Wright.

No one seems to know anything about the life after birth of Federal Building Wright. It is said that he went by the abbreviated F. B. Wright during his adult life.

We will never know his accomplishments, his dreams or ambitions - assuming he had some. His mark on the world seems to be simply his name - and the story that we're still telling over one hundred years after his birth.
John Troesser
"They shoe horses, don't they?" - September 10, 2005

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