Lee County Biography

Andrew A. Richardson
Alto Township


Andrew A. Richardson, although of foreign birth, has passed the most of his life in this country, being the son of a pioneer in an adjoining county, and he is now classed among the most intelligent and progressive of the farmers and stock-raisers that form so important a part in the population of Lee County. He has a good sized, finely equipped, well managed farm in Alto Twp.

Mr. Richardson was born near Stavenger, Norway, January 6, 1841, and is a son of Andrew Richardson, a retired farmer of LaSalle County, who was born in the same locality as himself, passed his early life in the land of his birth, and in due time was married to Ingen Reiberland, also a native of that region. In 1846, considering that he could do better for himself and give his family better opportunities in the U.S. he set sail with his wife and 8 chidlren from Stavenger, in the month of April in a ship bound for these shores, and eleven weeks later landed in N.Y. He came directly to Illinois, journeying by the Hudson River and Erie Canal to Buffalo and thence by the great lakes to Chicago, where he arrived two weeks later. From that city he made his way to LaSalle County, and as he had some means, he wisely invested in 80 acres of wild prairie at once, his land lying near the village of Norway. H is first work was to build a log house, and he then began to prepare his land for cultivation. Four years later, he sold that place and, moving to Leland, bought a place near that village. He sresided on it some years, was much prospered in his farming operations, and finally rented his farm and retired to the village of Leland, where he is living in the enjoyment of a competency, well earned by industry and excellent management. The faithful wife who accompanied him across the waters and helped him to found a new home has departed this life, dying in 1883. These five of their children grew to maturity - Richard, Isabelle, Ann, Andrew A. and Ole.

He was so young when he came to America that he remembers but little of his early home, and is a patriotic citizen of this country of his adoption, under whose institutions he was reared to an intelligent and vigorous manhood. At the time the family settled in IL the whole northern part of the State was still mostly in its primitive condition, with deer, wolves, wild turkeys and other game very plentiful where are now beautiful farms and thriving towns. The scattered settlements were but sparsely inhabited; there were no railways and for years, Ottawa was the chief market, although the people occassionally carried their grain to Chicago.

Our subject attended school whenever opportunity offered, and assisted in the labors of the farm during his youth. He remained an inmate of the parental home until he attained his majority, and then began life as a farmer on rented land in LaSalle County. In 1870 he came to Lee County, and invested some of the money he had thus earned in a quarter of a section of land in Alto Townhsip, which is included in his present farm. He farmed with good profit, bought other tracts of land from time to time, and now has 347 acres of as fine land as can be found in the township. He has placed it all under excellent cultivation, has erected neat buildings, and everything about the place is indicative of good care and of modern methods of farming.

Mr. Richard was married in 1862 to Elsie Nelson who was born in LaSalle County of Norwegian parents. She died in March 1876, leaving 5 children; Carrie, Ellen, Rebecca, Amos and Frank. The second marriage took place in 1886 with Laura Iverson, a native of Norway and to them has been born two children, Lyman and Hiram.

Mr. and Mrs. Richardson are members in high standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are regarded as among our best people, their traits of character being such as to win them friendship and true respect fromt heir associates. In politics Mr. Richardson is a sturdy Republican.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892 Pg 419

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