History of Decatur County, Iowa
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.