members of the family were named;
Margaret, Jane, Thomas A., Mary A., James and
The paternal ancestors of our
subject were of English-Irish origin; the ancestors on
the maternal side were English. As far as can be
learned, the Richardson family are supposed to have
first located in Pennsylvannia (sic), but nothing
definite can be ascertained upon this point.
Our subject lived in Noble County,
Ohio, until he was married, Nov. 29, 1849, to Jane E.
Thomas, who bore him five children, one of whom, Mary
E., who is now the wife of J. R. Vallery, and resides
in Cass County, survives. The four deceased children
were named Sarah L., Melissa J., Margaret E. and
Jennie C. The first wife of Mr. Richardson departed
this life at her home in Mt. Pleasant Precinct March
24, 1864. She was a model wife and living mother, and
her death was felt to be a great loss to the community
as well as to the family.
On Aug. 21, 1864, our subject
married Mrs. Mary E. Kennedy, the widow of James B.
Kennedy, who was a resident of Cass County, Neb. This
lady is a native of Ohio, having been born in
Muskingum County, Aug. 15, 1837. She was the daughter
of William and Mary (Richey) Colvin.
This lady's parents were both
natives of Muskingum County. Her paternal ancestors
were English. When she was a child of about five years
old her parents removed with their family to Franklin
County, Ohio, where they lived until she was sixteen
years old, when the family moved west to Marion
County, Iowa, where they lived until she reached her
maturity, and was there married on Jan. 31, 1857, to
Mr. J. B. Kennedy, by whom she had two children: Loran
V., now residing in California, and May, now the wife
of J. M. Hamilton, Attorney at Law in Lincoln, Neb.
James B. Kennedy, her first husband, met his death in
Colorado while out with two companions prospecting,
under the following circumstances: Being short of
provisions he and one of his comrades had gone to the
top of the mountain to procure some game, for
breakfast; while they were looking for game five
Indians came and took supper in their tent. The
Indians pretended to be going on down to Denver;
instead of doing so they hid in the bluff and killed
Mr. Kennedy and his companion, a Mr. Shanks of Omaha.
A Mr. Slaughter, who was one of the trio, alone
escaped to tell the tale.
The first wife of Mr. Richardson was
a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Thomas. By the
second marriage, and his present wife he is the father
of four children: William T., now at home with his
parents; Lily A., deceased: Frank S., now attending
the Lincoln Business College, and Florence E., who is
attending school at Lincoln.
In the spring of 1860 our subject
came to Cass County and settled on his present farm,
which at that time contained 160 acres of land, for
which he paid $1,000. The improvements at the time of
his purchase consisted of a log cabin and twenty acres
of plowed land. From the day of his arrival on his
farm to the present, he has devoted his time and
energies to the further development of the resources
of his property, until he now owns one of the finest
improved farms in the precinct. His large and elegant
residence, roomy and well designed, is furnished
handsomely, and is well equipped with all of the
conveniences necessary to make the task of the wife
one of pleasure and satisfaction. The grounds
surrounding his home are elegantly arranged and
beautified with fine ornamental trees, shrubbery and
The large and conveniently arranged
barns are models of their kind, designed as they are
with a view to accommodate his large herds of stock,
and to storing and handling the grain products of the
farm economically and to the best advantage. A large
orchard of thrifty trees of the choicest varieties of
fruit best adapted to the climate, and a number of
groves, both natural and planted, add value and beauty
to the homestead. He has at different times made
additions to his original purchase, until he is now
the owner of 320 acres of land.
When the first husband of Mrs.
Richardson (Mr. Kennedy) came to Mt. Pleasant Precinct
in 1857, there was not a house between their home and
Plattsmouth, and no land had been plowed within that
distance. This lady during the life of her first
husband, and also since her marriage with our subject,
has borne many of the privations of pioneer life with
great bravery, and she deserves a proud place in the
roll of honor containing the names of