RICHARDSON: 'TRUE BLUE' GENTLEMAN ESTABLISHES VILLAGE IN 1866

(02/12/2017)

By Bob Weaver

The smoke from the Civil War had barely settled in 1866 when a 25-year-old Charles H. Richardson of Watertown, Massachusetts took a quantum leap with his worldly belongings and $7,000 and settling on the lower West Fork of the Little Kanawha.

There were few scattered settlers in a place that was called Wilson's Mill, but in rather short order the place would be named Richardsonville by Charles Richardson, and one of the early post offices in the county established there, he being the postmaster.

Later the village name would be shortened to Richardson, a place built by the "sweat of thy brow," with little assistance from the outside world.

Richardson, after clearing 400 acres of forested land, introduced the celebrated Holstein breed of cattle to the valley, and was the shaker and mover behind the erection of a dam across the West Fork of the Little Kanawha, whose water power would drive the Richardson Mill, which not only ground grist but sawed lumber.

He was elected to the WV House of Delegates in 1885 and was also appointed to a committee to find the best route for the Little Kanawha Railroad through Calhoun and regional counties. The railroad was never built.

Early on the village had a population greater than Grantsville, about 100 citizens, and by the turn of the 19th century not only had the illustrious mill, but a church, general stores, a hotel, a barbershop, a shoemaker, a blacksmith shop, a doctor's office and drug store, a lumber dealer, and numerous livestock producers.

After the oil and gas boom came to the area in the early 1900s, drilling was followed by the construction of a large gas compressor station with company houses, a 20th century rejuvenation of the village.

Now, in the 21st Century, nothing remains of its' glory days, except the cemetery on the hill and a beautiful grassy field along the river.

Richardson was born in 1841, a son of Thomas and Lydia (Teale) Richardson of Massachusetts. In 1867 he married Margaret S. McCubbins in Spencer, daughter of Joseph L. and Nancy (Hacker) McCubbin.

They had six children: Thomas J., born 1868; Lydia A., born 1869, who left Richardson to attend school in Boston; Frances, born 1871; Charles H. Jr., born 1873; Mary H., born 1877; George M., born 1880.

In 1914, the Calhoun Chronicle reported Richardson's death. "It occurred at his home near Elizabeth Sunday due to heart disease. He was apparently in the best of health up until the day before he died. He was 72 years of age."

"Mr. Richardson was at one time a citizen of this county, being a prominent resident of Richardson, a few years ago he moved to Elizabeth."

"Mr. Richardson was an honorable, true-blue gentleman and his many friends in this county will be grieved to hear of his sudden demise."

RICHARDSON WAS WIDE-AWAKE CALHOUN VILLAGE - Busy Place With A Few Worthless Wags

RICHARDSON - Photos Of What Once Was

A FLAG NOW FLIES OVER LONG-GONE RICHARDSON

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ELVA DUSKEY WILSON DEAD AT 96 - Last Surviving Grandchild Of Moccasin Ranger Daniel Duskey

OLD NEWS: The Village Of Richardson: Child Killed By Rats, Knifin's And A Worthless Wag

DUSKEY'S 1975 DEATH AMONG CALHOUN'S MOST GRUESOME MURDERS - Convicted Murderers Themselves Shot To Death Years Later


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