Lee County Biography

J.W. Richardson


JAMES W. RICHARDSON, who was President of the village of Ash ton for a number of years, is engaged in business as a grocer, and by his genial courtesy of manner, as well as the superiority of his stock, has gained the confidence of his fellow-citizens. He is one of the brave soldiers, who, more than a quarter of a century ago, fought with distinguished courage for the preservation of the Union,and for that reason, no less than for the strict integrity which has ever characterized his actions, deserves representation in this volume.

A native of this State, Mr. Richardson was born in Taylor Township, Ogle County, June 16, 1842. His father was the late James V. Richardson, who was born in Ireland, and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Mackey, was also a native of the Emerald Isle. The parents were married in their native country, whence they emigrated to America about 1839, and coming direct to Ogle County, this State, sojourned there for a time, and afterward removed to this county. The mother passed away in China Township, this county, in 1852, while the father died in Henry County, IL

The fourth in * family of eight children, our subject was quite young when his parents removed from Ogle to Lee County, and he grew to manhood in China Township. His opportunities for gaining a good education were meager, but by study and observation he has become well-informed. His youth was passed uneventfully on his father's farm, where he assisted in tilling the soil and bringing the land to a high state of cultivation. He has been an interested witness of the gradual development of this county from its primeval condition and has taken an important part in promoting its progress.

In 1861 Mr. Richardson enlisted in Company F, Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and after serving for three years, re-enlisted in the same company and regiment, where he remained until the close of the war. He was an active participant in many engagements, the most important being Shiloh. Corinth, Murfreesboro, and the Atlanta campaign. Later he engaged in detached duty at Gen. Thomas headquarters, and his record is that of a brave soldier, whom no danger affrighted. At the close of the war, he returned to Illinois, but soon went South, remaining in Chattanooga, Tenn., for one year. However, he did not feel contented to make his permanent home in the "Sunny South," and returning to this State, engaged in farming in Taylor Township, Ogle County.

The year 1874 marked the arrival of Mr. Richardson in Ashton, where he engaged in the stock business until October, 1890. At that time he embarked in the grocery business as the senior member of the firm of Richardson A Son, and is now successfully operating as a merchant in Ashton. He was married in Taylor Township, Ogle County, December 25, 1867, to Miss Helen Arnold, whose birth occurred in that county. Two children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Richardson—Frederick A., and Fay A. M. The devoted wife and mother passed from earth at her home in Ashton, March 18, 1886, sincerely mourned by her family and the many friends whom she had won during her residence here.

For several years Mr. Richardson has served as President of the village of Ashton, and in that responsible position has done much to advance the interests of the place. He has taken an active part in local political affairs as a member of the Republican party, and in his social connections is identified with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Dixon Commandery, No. 21. Mrs. Richardson was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Richardson has contributed liberally to the support of the gospel. Besides his property in the village, he owns two hundred and sixty acres and has erected a first-class set of buildings on his place.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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