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John Ellsworth Richards


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/17/2010 at 14:12:47

John Ellsworth Richards is a well know farmer and stockman of Boone county. He owns and cultivates a fine farm of 280 acres situated on section 9, Harrison township, and in addition has other property, including a 40 acre tract of land on section 8 and a tract of 80 acres on section 15. Forty-six years have come and gone since he arrived in the neighborhood in which he still resides. He made his way to this state from Ohio and two years after arriving in Boone county he returned to Ohio for a short time. He is a native of that state and was born in Logan county on August 27, 1849, his parents being Thomas and Naomi (Stanfield) Richards. He cannot remember his father, and his mother died when he was but seven years of age. From early youth he has been dependent upon his own resources and may be truly called a self made man, for he has been both the architect and the builder of his own fortunes. For two years in Ohio and one year in Boone county he was in the employ of James G Elliott, with whom he came to this state, settling on section 16, Harrison township. Mr Richards was in the employ of others until he reached the age of twenty-six years. In 1873 he purchased 40 acres on section 4, Harrison township, which he sold about five years ago and bought 40 acres on section 8. In 1880 he purchased a part of his present place, where he has resided since the following spring, and he has added to his possessions until his holdings now aggregate 400 acres of rich and valuable land. He has always followed general farming and stock raising, his cattle and hogs being high grade and finding ready sale on the market. He is a thoroughly self made man. He early recognized the eternal principle that industry wins, and industry became the beacon light of his life. He started out with practically no educational advantages to aid him and with no money but has worked persistently and energetically as the years have gone by and is today one of the substantial farmers of the county, possessing a very gratifying competence.
In the fall of 1875, Mr Richards was united in marriage to Miss Amanda Dixon, who was born in St Lawrence county, New York September 27, 1859, a daughter of John and Mary (Geddes) Dixon, who came to Boone county in 1867, locating on section 4, Harrison township. For many years they were well known pioneer residents of this section of the state, but the mother passed away in 1898 at the age of seventy-six years. The father has now reached the age of eighty-seven years and spends the greater part of his time with Mr and Mrs Richards and also a part of his time in Boone. He was born in Ireland and was brought to America in infancy, being reared in New York. He followed farming successfully until 1880, when he retired and removed to Boone. He has suffered three paralytic strokes. Mrs Richards has one sister, Mrs Mary Taylor, the wife of George Taylor, of Boone who is a painter of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, occupying a good position in charge of different crews for the company. Mr and Mrs Richards lost one child, who died in infancy. Their other children are as follows: Henry Austin resides in Bear Creek, Boone county, where he follows the occupation of farming. He married Miss Agnes Morgan and to them were born five children, Jessie, Raymond, Mildred, Lucia and an infant, deceased. Terressa is the wife of Robert McVicker who is residing in Bone township, about six miles north of Boone and they have one son, Virgil. Charles married Miss Mildred Carlson a daughter of John Carlson, mentioned elsewhere in this volume, and they have on son, Chester. Nettie is the wife of Thomas Flynn who resides upon one of her father’s farms, and they have a daughter, Geneva. Bert a resident farmer of Harrison township, married Miss Mabel Smalley, a daughter of William Smalley, of Jackson township, and their four children are Opal, Donald, Beatrice and George. Myrtle is the wife of William Craven, a resident farmer of Harrison township, and they have a daughter Virginia. Harry, twenty-two years of age, and Verna the youngest, complete the family.
Mr Richards has resided upon this preset home farm since 1881 and its excellent appearance is largely due to his unfaltering energy, perseverance and high ideals. He is known as a representative farmer and stock raiser, and his success if well merited. He and his wife spent the first four years of heir married life in a frame shanty on 40 acres he had purchased on section 4, Harrison township. The second year he put in a new floor and built a new roof, and then he rented his father in law’s place on the same section. They suffered many hardships and difficulties in those early days but as the years passed on industry and determination won for them success and they are today numbered among the people of affluence in Harrison township. Politically Mr Richards is a stalwart republican hub has never accepted office. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church but Mr Richards was reared in the faith of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. It was in the last named state the John E Richards was born and there lived until he came to Iowa, where he has continuously made his home for more than forty-five years. He ahs therefore witnessed the greater part of development and up building of this section and has borne his full share in the work of public progress, especially along agricultural lines.

1914 Boone County History Book


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