John Shelby Wisdom. (October 1855 - March 7, 1931) Born into a large family in Tennessee, John Shelby Wisdom moved with his family to a farm near Mulberry, Arkansas, when he was very young. He moved to Texas as a teenager and found work in ranching and cattle driving. Years later, he met a 12-year-old fiddler named Madison Pinkney "Pink" Wright and his widowed mother, Hattie Wright. Wisdom married Mrs. Wright in 1880, and the three of them lived in various parts of Texas before coming to reside in this area in 1897. In 1901 they purchased 148 acres for $100. Hattie Wisdom died in 1918. Wisdom and Pink Wright began to observe the Boy Scouts who camped on the property just west of their own. In 1920, John Shelby Wisdom was so moved by a troop of Scouts holding an Easter Sunday service in the woods that the older man was inspired to invite the Boy Scouts to camp on his land whenever they liked. In 1922, Wisdom and Pink Wright deeded 185 acres of land to the Dallas Council of the Boy Scouts (now Circle Ten Council), retaining a life estate in 130 acres. Known by this time as "Daddy" Wisdom, John Shelby Wisdom spent much of his time with the Scouts. In December 1924, the house shared by "Daddy" Wisdom and Pink Wright burned. The Boy Scouts immediately set to work building them a new home. Pink Wright died in 1925 of a cerebral hemorrhage. One month later his neighbors arranged for a grieving John Shelby Wisdom to reunite with his oldest brother, who had come to Dallas for a Confederate reunion. Wisdom, accompanied by several Eagle Scouts, later traveled to Arkansas to visit long-lost relatives. When Wisdom died in 1931, he was mourned by his family and thousands of Boy Scouts. (2000) #11841

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by Texas Historical Commission #11841 of the Texas Historical Marker series

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