JOHN RICHART, now retired from active life, although still residing on his farm in section 32, Benton township, was born in Scioto county, Ohio, April 16, 1833, a son of William and Maria (Clingman) Richart. His mother, a native of Pennsylvania, died when he was but five or six years of age. William Richart was a native of Ohio, and carried on a farm in that state many years. He came to Benton county, Iowa, in 1855, and located in the timber in Benton township, which was his home until his death, at the age of about sixty-five years. He was an industrious farmer and a staunch Republican. He was married four times, and his fourth wife survived him, although she is now deceased.
John Richart was one of the four children of his mother, two sons and two daughters, namely: Sarah J., widow living in Kansas; Mariah, wife of Horace Hayward, of Vinton, mentioned elsewhere in this work; Hiram, who died in Ohio; and John.
John Richart was reared and educated in Ohio, and has since been a very successful farmer. He came to Benton county with his father in 1855, spending three years in Benton township, after which he returned to Ohio and lived there ten years. In 1868 he returned to Benton county, and since then has made his home continuously in Benton township. In 1856-7 he had five yoke of oxen and worked at teaming and breaking prairie; the winters were then very cold, and the woods abounded in Indians and wild game. Mr. Richart secured two hundred acres of fine land and made all improvements from the beginning, clearing the land and cultivating it, transforming it from the virgin state to high fertility. He has been highly successful, and has attained his success through untiring labor and enterprise. At the time of his settling in the county Benton City was considered quite a town and a good market. He hauled flour to Cedar Falls, which had been ground at the Graham & Root Mill at Benton City. For a number of years the chief crops were wheat, corn and oats, though in later years general farming was carried on and more attention paid every year to the raising of good stock. Mr. Richart had small capital to make his start in life, but has achieved his success almost wholly within the county. He still owns a well improved farm of forty-five acres, having recently sold over one hundred and fifty acres. He is a member of the Masonic Order in Ohio, and his wife belongs to the United Brethren church. In political views Mr. Richart is a staunch Republican, and is much interested in public affairs.
Mr. Richart married, in Ohio, Maria Thompson, born in Scioto county, Ohio, December 26, 1840, daughter of John Thompson and his wife, who lived and died in the Buckeye state. They reared seven children, namely William, residing at home; Edward, of Shellsburg, married Leo Gingrey and has three children, Elsie, Alta and Violet; Voris, wife of David Lamer, of Benton township, has two children, Lester and John D.; Laura, of Oregon; Pearl, wife of Albert Yerkes, of Taylor township, has one child, Reese; Charles C., at home, married Ethel Williams and has one son, William Alien. When Mr. Richart came to Benton county the country was practically undeveloped, except along the timber, and it then seemed impossible that the county would ever be developed to the extent it has.