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Walter Adam Richmond,1871-1950

RICHMOND, CAVERS, CLARK

Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 3/10/2011 at 19:14:51

Walter Adam Richmond [1871-1950], was born in a two room log cabin located in the SE 1/4 of Section 36, Armstrong Grove Township, Emmet County, Iowa. He was the second son of Matthew [1834-1921] and Margaret Cavers Richmond [1832-1919], who came to Eastern Ontario, Canada, from Scotland in the late 1830's and 1840's respectively. After their marriage in 1858, they farmed the old Richmond farmstead near Ayr, Ontario until late 1868. In October 1868, the grandparents and their four young children, Janet [Mrs. Wm. H. Gibbs], Anna [Mrs. John Dows], William C. and Robina [all deceased], left their Ontario home, traveled by train to McGregor, Iowa, and were met by grandmother's brothers, Adam, James and William Cavers of Village Creek, Allamakee County, Iowa. At Village Creek, they outfitted a prairie schooner and set for their new home in Emmet County, 200 miles westerly, on October 15, 1868. They arrived at their log cabin home, near the East Fork of the Des Moines River, on October 27, 1868 Grandfather often told that the only worldly things he possessed were "My wife and four small kiddies, my team and prairie schooner, some clothing and furniture, our family Bible and ten dollars in my pocket!" Uncle John was born in the log cabin, in April 1875, on the old farmstead southeast of Armstrong.

Walter received his early education in the old rural Hackerson school, then attended the old Normal School at Algona. He taught country school for one year. When Armstrong was founded in 1892, he became one of the first merchants and engaged in a general mercantile business until the spring of 1897. At that time Matthew moved to Armstrong, where he served as Postmaster during the William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft administrations. Walter was one of the original signers of the petition asking that Armstrong become incorporated in 1893, after the railroad had arrived on Christmas Day, 1892.

Walter disposed of his business and began farming the old family farm in March 1897. He and Grace Eleanor, only daughter of Bertine Pinckney Clark [1852-1940] and Eleanor Wallace Clark [1855-1916] were married at Estherville on March 31, 1897. Three sons were born to this union, Wallace, May 12, 1899, Wayne, June 13, 1901 and Wilbert, July 12, 1906. Most of their lives were spent on the farm until their retirement in 1948.

Grace was born July 16, 1875 near Meridean, Dunn County, Wisconsin and passed away at Armstrong on February 24, 1974. She came to Iowa Lake Township, Emmet County, Iowa in a covered wagon, after a ten day journey with her parents across the prairies of Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa in the spring of 1879 to their home eight miles northwest of the present town of Armstrong. In January 1881, a raging prairie fire swept across the prairies between Iowa Lake and Tuttle Lake during the night and burned their home to the ground. They returned to Wisconsin and grandfather resumed his trade as a millwright in the lumber mills at Meridean. In the Spring of 1889, the grandparents, Grace and her young brother, Bert L. returned again to Iowa by covered wagon, driving their cattle and sheep with them to their home in Iowa Lake Township.

Grace received her early education in the public schools of Wisconsin and Iowa Lake Township, then attended Fairmont High School, Fairmont, Minn. and the Normal School at LeMars, Iowa. She taught in the rural schools of Iowa Lake Township and Martin County, Minn. for five years prior to her marriage.

She was a charter member of the Ladies League [now the P. W. O.] of the First Presbyterian Church in Armstrong, a longtime member of the church, always taking an active part in church, school and community affairs during her younger years. She and her lifelong friend, Ethel Burt Anderberg, were the co-organizers in 1914 of the Riverside Country Club southeast of Armstrong. It began with over thirty charter members and became a dominant influence in the social life of the community. It is one of the oldest Women's Club's in Iowa.

Walter was always active in community affairs. He was a regular sponsor of Redpath-Vawter Chautauqua during the many years it included Armstrong on it circuit, an organizer and director of the first Emmet County Farm Bureau, the Farmer's Co-operative Elevator at Armstrong, the Riverside Rural Telephone system and an organizer of the first free rural mail delivery routes out of Armstrong. He was a lifelong Presbyterian and member of the Republican Party.

Walter and Grace helped raise Wallace Richmond's young family after the death of his wife in January 1932, a truly great sacrifice for them at their age. Truly, they were of the old breed of pioneers, always willing to sacrifice for the good of others and the welfare of the community.

Contributed by: Jim Richmond. Source: "History of Emmet County, Iowa, VoL. III", Compiled by the Emmet County Historical Society as a Bicentennial Project., Inter-Collegiate Press, Inc., Shawnee Mission, Kansas, 1976, pp 355-356.

Interment in Armstrong Grove cemetery
 

Emmet Biographies maintained by Constance McDaniel Hall.
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