Lawyer Robert L. Bright Had Brief Stay Near The Top Of Cameron Hill

Friday, June 24, 2022 - by John Wilson

Attorney Robert L. Bright, who moved to Chattanooga during its Boom period, had a brief sojourn near the top of Cameron Hill. One of his descendants, Fletcher Bright, was a Chattanooga icon.

Attorney Bright lived in a house at 521 W. Sixth St. near the cross streets of Cypress and Pleasant. Pleasant was just off center from Cypress and later it was made a part of Cypress.

Bright was born in 1850 in Fayetteville, Tn., the son of John Morgan Bright and Judith Clark Bright. His father was a prominent lawyer who served as a member of Congress. The father of Judith Clark was the governor of Kentucky. 

R.L. Bright attended Cumberland University and practiced law at Fayetteville with his father before moving to Chattanooga in December of 1886. He had married Sarah Gardner in 1871. Her family was from Fayetteville, though her father, Richard Gardner, took the family to New York City when he went into the mercantile business there.

R.L. Bright later served as county attorney. He had a fine collection of law books that was destroyed by fire when the Richardson Building burned. He also lost the manuscript of a book he was preparing to have published on corporation law. Shortly after the fire, he was one of those organizing a law library for Chattanooga that was placed in the Temple Court Building.

Mary Gardner Bright, a daughter of R.L. and Sarah Bright, started Bright School in 1913. Miss Bright and Kay Thomas were the school's only teachers the first year as it met in a small rented house on McCallie Avenue.

Another of the 10 children of R.L. and Sarah Bright was Gardner Bright, who was a Chattanooga realtor. His son, Fletcher Bright, took over the realty firm.

R.L. Bright, after his short stay on Cameron Hill, moved to a fine home on High Street. 

 


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