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Decatur County >> 1915 Index

History of Decatur County, Iowa
J. M. Howell and H. C. Smith, supervising eds. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Royal Richardson, who is living on his place of fifty-four acres within  the city limits of Pleasanton, has reached the venerable age of eighty- eight years and still takes a keen interest in the affairs of his  community.  He was born on the 12th of February, 1827, in Massachusetts,  a son of James and Sophia (Danforth) Richardson, likewise natives of the  Bay state.  The father farmed in Massachusetts during his active life  but after he retired removed to Pleasanton, Iowa, making his home with  our subject until his demise.  

Royal Richardson received his education in Massachusetts and remained at  home until he was fourteen years of age, when he left the parental roof  and applied himself to learning the carpenter's trade.  He followed that  occupation in the east for ten years.  In 1854 he removed to Batavia,  Illinois, and two years later came to Pleasanton, Decatur county, Iowa,  purchasing the fifty-four acres which is his present home.  He also  bought a sawmill, which he operated for ten years but eventually turned  his attention to the mercantile business and conducted a store at the  same time supervising his agricultural operations.  Later he opened a  hotel in the house where he still lives and which he erected in 1860,  and for twenty-two years conducted that business, becoming well known  and popular to the traveling public.  In 1898 he organized a private  bank but the cashier proved unworthy of trust and absconded with twenty  thousand dollars belonging to our subject, who is now living retired,  enjoying a period of well earned rest.  He was United States marshal  four years soon after the Civil war.  

In April, 1851, Mr. Richardson married Miss Martha Johnson, a daughter  of Jarus and Myra (Stone) Johnson, natives of Vermont, who resided for  many years in Massachusetts, where the father followed agricultural  pursuits.  He passed away in 1828 but was survived by his widow until  1845.  Mr. and Mrs. Richardson have no children of their own but have  reared several, giving them parental love and care.  

Mr. Richardson is a republican and for thirty years served as mayor of  Pleasanton, his long continuance in that office being incontestable  proof of the acceptability of his service.  His religious faith is that  of the Methodist church.  He has resided in Pleasanton for almost sixty  years and has seen the entire development of the town, as it had just  been laid out when he arrived here in 1856.  He has done much to promote  its development along many lines and one of the greatest services which  he has rendered Pleasanton was his efficient work in securing the  building of the Burlington Railroad through the town.  He is not only  rich in years but also in the knowledge of worthy accomplishment and in  the honor and warm regard of a host of friends.