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

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle

The Village of Richardson along the lower West Fork once had a population greater than Grantsville and was a bustling center of commerce, even before oil and gas development came shortly after 1900.

Today, it is a grassy meadow.

12/9/1915 Charles H. Richardson Dead - Word was here Monday of the sudden death of Charles H. Richardson, which occurred at his home near Elizabeth Sunday morning 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, the town being named in his honor. He moved to this county in 1866 from Watertown, Mass. 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.

6/8/1897 Richardson Infant Killed by Rats - Word reached us Wednesday of last week of the horrible death of an infant in this county. Our informant gives the following details:

A Mrs. Tanner, of near Richardson, went to bed taking with her her twin babies, aged about two weeks. Being in rather delicate health and having lost considerable sleep she slept very soundly.

On awaking she found one of the babies dead, having been killed by rats during the night. The rats had eaten the nose and one cheek off and one eye out, besides otherwise horribly mutilating the child.

2/24/1921 Dr. Connolly Loses Leg - Dr. Commodore Connolly, of Richardson, one of the county's best known physicians and best liked men, underwent an operation in St. Joseph's hospital last week in which his right leg was amputated at the knee.

It will be remembered that Dr. Connolly was stricken with rheumatism several months ago and his condition soon became serious. He suffered greatly with the disease, his right leg being terribly drawn out of shape.

For some time he has been in the hospital above mentioned and it was hoped that the injured member could be saved. This was found impossible and the operation was performed.

The doctor is getting along very well now and will be able to return home in due time. His many friends in all sections of the county will regret to hear of his misfortune, but will be thankful that his life is spared.

6/5/1894 Sherman Bee and His Brother Get Badly if Not Fatally Cut - Just before going to press word reached us that on last Saturday night, a few miles below Richardson, at or near the residence of "Prophet" Greathouse in the edge of Roane county, at a dance Sherman Bee got into a quarrel with two men by the name of Greathouse said to be sons of the "Prophet."

A fight ensued which resulted in Sherman Bee being, the report goes, "literally cut to pieces." The supposition is that both men had used knives on him, as a number of bad gashes were cut about his face and head, and one in the abdomen which is thought to be fatal.

Mr. Bee's younger brother was present and interfered and was also badly but not fatally cut. Dr. Connolly, of Richardson, was summoned and was upon the scene, and at the time our reporter left, a messenger had been sent to Burning Springs for Dr. Mitchell.

We understand the parties to the affray are under arrest and will be held by the Roane county authorities to await developments.

Rafter Drowns in West Fork in 1897 (06/02/2001) 2/9/1897. Jim Price Drowned At Richardson - Jim, Price was drowned in the West Fork at Richardson last Tuesday, and the manner of his drowning was substantially as follows:

He with two other men were running a raft of square timber out of the creek and passed over the Richardson dam all right, and as is usual in running timber in that stream the raft went bow formost against the bank below in what is known as a whirl pool, to get out of which is generally necessary to swing the raft.

This, it seemed, Mr. Price attempted to do, but the raft being too long for the width of the creek the upper end caught the shore on the opposite side of the creek and it then began to sink in the middle and the waves lash across it.

It seems that he had his coat laying on the raft and he ran to pick up but about the time he reached the coat his foot slipped and he fell almost down and the waves caught him in the face and swept him off below the raft.

He not being able to swim only struggled with the water a distance of about 100 yards, once getting near enough the shore to reach a willow twig which broke and he sank.

Several men were on the opposite side of the creek, but were powerless to render any assistance. It is said that one man was on the bank near him and could have saved his life by handing him a pole or anything, but made no effort to do so.

At the present writing his body has not been found. Mr. Price was an honest, hard working man, and his sudden and untimely death casts a sudden gloom over his family and the community in which he lived.

5/15/2001 30 Days in the Cooler for Melon Stealing in 1895 - Tom and Sarah Towsan were brought to town by special constables Lynch and Greathouse last Thursday evening and lodged in jail on a commitment from I.B. Starcher of Richardson.

Tom was committed for thirty days with a provisio that if the fine and costs were not paid by that time he should have ten additional days to linger in the cooler and think on his ways, and by that time there will be but few melons or vines left for him to steal or destroy.

Our information is that melon stealing and vine destroying, coupled with his general reputation for being a worthless wag, is what he was sent up for.

And Sarah got ten days for adultery. We are informed by Jailor Blackshere that the girl claims she is innocent of the charge, and complains because the man with whom she was caught was not sent up also. In short it sounds like this: "I'm not gilty of nothin and tha node the man as well as tha node me."

79/28/1909 Knifing at Rocksdale Results in Death in 1909 - The first of last week at a rowdy dance at the home of one Dick Church near Rocksdale, Job Ward sometimes known as Job Starcher, was stabbed and fatally wounded, death resulting from the wound Friday.

There are several versions of the affair, one of the most credited being as follows: A drunken fight started while the dance was in progress several parties taking part in it. When the fight was over Ward was left lying at the roadside with a severe knife wound in his abdomen, the crowd participating in it, not taking the trouble to ascertain the extended his injuries, cursed him and left him alone in the night, wounded unto death.

He regained consciousness after a while and crawled a long ways to the home of Al Stump, where medical aid was summoned and everything possible was done for him but it was already too late, and death relieved him Friday.

Some five or six of the participants were arrested and tried before Squire Gough at Richardson and fined $5 for disorderly conduct and discharged.

The man who did the cutting, Howard Lang, by name, has departed for parts unknown. A very bad state of affairs exist in that neighborhood and it is hoped that sufficient punishment may be meted out to the guilty parties to teach them a lesson.

5/15/1919 Charlie Duskey Writes Home from WW I - From Brest, France, April 26th, 1919.

My Dear Mother - I received your letter of March 31st, and I will say that I was awfully glad to hear from you all. You don't write so often but I got several letters from Amy and Elva.

I am well and feel mighty fine to be in France. You ask me what division I belonged to. I don't belong to any but only wish I did for I might get to come home pretty soon. It looks like the way I am situated up here in this camp that I will be here several months yet, and I do not look to get home before fall.

I will tell you something about this city. It has a population of about ninety thousand and is an important port where so many of our boys come to sail for home.

There are about ninety thousand soldiers in this camp. So you can see that the Americans are as many in number as the French.

You were wanting to know what my work was like. Well, it can be compared with storekeeping, only on a much larger scale. I work in the warehouse.

Some days I am pretty busy and some days I do nothing. You know the Quarter Master Corps furnishes the army with all its equipment, but there is lots of us and we will not kill ourselves working.

I got a letter from George last week. He was well at that time and did not say how soon he expected to sail for the states. I surely do think he is mistaken about having to stay over here. I think he will get home soon.

Tell all around there to write, as I surely would be glad to get a letter from anybody over there. You say most of the boys are back from the army from Richardson.

I am mighty glad of that. If I can't be there now my time is coming I suppose. It sure will be a happy time with me when I am sailing for the good old U.S.A.

They call this "Sunny France" but I have another name for it and have had all the good times I want over here.

With lots of love to all, I remain your son,

Charles Duskey

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