William J. Richardson

General History of Macon County Missouri:
1910 Henry Taylor & Co., Chicago, IL pp 896-897.

Le Ann Fisher

William J. Richardson

The son of two of Macon county's venerated pioneers, and himself subjected to many of the privations and dangers of a newly settled country, William J. Richardson, one of the prosperous and progressive farmers of Round Grove township, is well prepared to realize and rejoice in the improvement and progress of the county from the state in which he first knew it to its present advanced development. And if his modesty did not forbid he might also feel satisfaction over his own part in bringing about the great and gratifying change. As it is, he rejoices in having had the opportunity to contribute, even in a small way, as he may think, to what has been achieved.

Mr. Richardson was born in the township in which he now resided on September 21, 1852, and is a son of James and Jane (Grimes) Richardson, natives of Virginia, who came to Missouri and settle in Macon county in 1834. They were reared and educated in their native state, where the father was born in 1805, and were married there in 1832. Buoyed up with high hopes, and of a disposition to dare anything in the discharge of duty, the young couple, after passing two years of their married life in the neighborhood of their parental homesteads, determined to cast their lot in the distant West, where the boundless opportunities of life were as yet almost untouched. Nor did they hesitate because the experiment they were about to try was full of peril, and embodied a surrender of nearly everything they had been accustomed to in the way of comfort and social enjoyment. They believed in themselves, and in the end they found their faith fully justified. ON arriving in this county the husband entered 160 acres of government land in what is now Round Grove township, and on this he passed the remainder of his days, gradually breaking it up and improving it until it became a very fruitful, well-improved and valuable farm, yielding good harvests and other profitable returns for the labor bestowed upon it and providing all the comforts of a good country home. On this farm the father died in 1877, after rearing a family to enrich the county and spending forty-three years of faithful industry upon it. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, but three of whom are living at this time. They are Jack J., a resident of Macon county; M.D., who lives in Kansas City, Missouri; and the interesting subject of these paragraphs. The father was a Democrat in politics and took an active part in local and general political work. He died at the age of seventy-two with general recognition of his worth and estimable qualities as a citizen from all who knew him attending him to his last earthly resting place.

William J. Richardson obtained a limited education in the primitive country schools of his boyhood and youth, going to school in the winter and working on his father's farm during the rest of the year. After leaving school he continued to work on the farm and assist the family until 1876. During the next two years he farmed rented land on his own account in this county, and at the end of that period went to Kansas, where he remained one year. Returning to Macon county, he passed another summer on the homestead, and during the twelve succeeding years was located at Clarence and engaged in teaming and other occupations. In 1897 he came back once more to this county and bought eighty acres of land, on which he has ever since carried on a flourishing industry in farming and raising stock.

On June 9, 1876, Mr. Richardson was married to Miss Sarah C. Graves, a daughter of William R. and Permelia Graves, highly respected citizens of Macon county, and numbered among its most worthy and progressive people. Ten children were born to this marriage an five of them are living: Permelia, the wife of Ira Barton of this county; Mamie, the wife of Geo. W. Bogart of Kansas City Missouri; and Newton, Nazo, and Cuba, all of who are still members of the parental household. Following the political principles in which he was trained at home, and with his convictions strengthened and established by his own reading, reflection and observation, Mr. Richardson is a staunch and zealous Democrat, working in all campaigns for the success of his party, and at all times helping to guide it forward in straight lines of integrity and fidelity to duty. In religious affiliation he and his wife are earnest and active working members of the Christian church, seeking by all means at their command to promote its welfare and enlarge its usefulness. In social life they stand high, and in a general way they are everywhere esteemed for their enterprise, usefulness and elevated citizenship, which has been helpful both in its own activity and in the forces for good it has awakened and set in motion in others.

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Ernie Miles