1867 - 1941
David Richardson was born in Payson, Utah, 15th April, 1867, the youngest child of Shadrach and Sarah (Haskell) Richardson. When he was very young his mother passed away and his father became both father and mother to the family.
On August 20th, 1890 he married Eliza Jane Betts, who was born January 1, 1871 in Payson, Utah. She was the oldest child of Richard Samuel Betts and Sarah Jane Boulton. David and Eliza became the parents of eight daughters and one son. The six oldest children were born in Benjamin Utah; Sarah - born 4 May 1891, Luella - born 20 September 1892, David Samuel - born 16 February 1895, Leah - born 5 October 1897, Lorena - born 9 April 1899, and Ella Dean - born 18 January 1901.
Dave found work in one of the mines and some of the minerals he worked with were probably coal, copper, iron ore, and lead. It is believed that the dust from the mines was the start of his lung problems that was to haunt him the rest of his life.
He was a very ingenious person. It seems the area around Benjamin had natural springs, some that were hot and some that were cold. He put a tap on one spring that gave them cold, clean, drinking water, and a tap on another that gave them hot water. That was quite a rarity!
The family wasn't without sickness in their lives. One time when small pox was rampant, it went through the family. David Jr. was so covered from head to toe that he had to sit with his arms stretched out so they wouldn't touch the sides of his body. Another time scarlet fever went through the family. They were fortunate that they all survived these dreadful diseases that took so many lives.
In 1902, Eliza's father, Richard Samuel Betts, had moved to Canada and settled in the Raymond, Alberta area. In 1903 he talked David and Eliza to move their family to Canada and they arrived in Raymond on May 10, 1903. It was one of the worst blizzards on record and David said if they would have had the money they would have turned around and gone right back to Benjamin! But having inherited a true pioneer spirit, they decided to stay. While they lived in Raymond three more daughters were born; Verda Maizie - born 6 August 1902, Annie Laura - born 3 October 1906, and Eliza Jane - born 9 January 1912.
At one time David Sr. and David Jr. worked at the Knight Sugar Company. It was here that David taught his young son the meaning of work! During one campaign the men were having trouble on the flumes because they couldn't keep the beets coming in. David said that with the help of his young son they could do the work, just the two of them. It was pointed out that four men were having trouble handling the job, but David knew they could handle the job alone. It wasn't long before the men in the plant were calling for them to slow down.
Ten years after coming to Raymond the family moved to Pendant d'Oreille, to homestead a corner quarter of land in section 28 of 3 - 6. The Richardson corner is still a landmark in the community. It is the name given to the turn in the main road heading east through Pendant d'Oreille, and goes north to Manyberries in the Lost River Flats.
David and Eliza did not realize it at the time but this was a perfect place for them to bring their family of girls. Many settlers there had large families with boys old enough to take out homesteads of their own. Sure enough, the Flexhaug family of nine boys and five girls was just down the road, and the four oldest boys had just taken out homesteads. Leah married Melvin Flexhaug and Sarah married Helmer Flexhaug in a double wedding ceremony on 15 November 1915, at the home of David and Eliza, in Raymond. A year later on 15 November 1916, Lorena married Peter Flexhaug in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
David and Eliza stayed on the homestead for five years, until about 1918. They had gone into Orion to a parade one morning, and while they were gone a terrible hail storm went through their little farm. When they got home, grain that was more than waist high in the morning, was pounded into the ground, there were actually holes in the ground where the big hail stones had hit. No crops, and the lack of schooling for the younger children, made it necessary to return to Raymond. David Samuel married Ethel May White on 15 August 1918, in Lethbridge, Alberta. It wasn't until June 13 1921 that Ella Dean married Christ Flexhaug in Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA. This is a record at any time, four sisters marrying four brothers! Sarah's marriage didn't work out and at a later time she married Jim Ingram. Annie Laura married Arthur Eugene Atwood on 12 January 1925 in Lethbridge, Verda Mazie married Samuel Park Tynan on 6 August 1928, in Lethbridge, and the baby of the family, Eliza Jane, married Delbert Vernon Gourley, 12 September 1931, also in Lethbridge.
David worked in a local lumber yard, did carpentry work, and was truly a jack of all trades! He then went to work for a local farmer, doing the work that he loved, farming. But once again fate stepped in and he suffered a severely broken leg. There were places that wouldn't heal and this too added to his poor health. David was a hard worker and in the mid thirties his health failed fast. In those days a person rarely died from a disease, it was mostly chalked up too 'old age'. So it's only guess work as to the actual cause of death.
Eliza took in washing, sewing, did house cleaning, and was mid-wife for many women, to help supplement the family income. David's health continued to fail and on April 5, 1941 he passed away. Being only six years of age at the time of his passing, my memories of him were when he laid on a cot in the living room, and he always had round white peppermint candies. Eliza continued to live in Raymond and when she too became ill, she would take turns living with two of her daughters. She passed away on 11 July 1952, and they are both buried in Temple Hill Cemetery, Raymond, Alberta.
Of the nine children, the youngest, Eliza Jane Gourley, alone survives. She lives at Ridgeview Lodge in Raymond, and she just turned 91 years young on January 9, 2003.
A wonderful couple, so loving and kind. They have left a great posterity that is proud too have the Richardson - Betts blood running through their veins. When you are young you never think about these things, and then one day you realize just how blessed you really are.
MEMORIES OF GRANDPA
by Gwen George
I remember my Grandfather Richardson,
although I was very young.
He was kind and very loving,
and gave peppermints to everyone.
His shoulders were bent and weary,
from hard work of days gone by.
How I long to sit upon his knee
and ask him questions of who? or why?
He worked in the mines of Utah,
toiled from the break of dawn.
Planted grain fields in Alberta,
no wonder he was tired and drawn.
He tried to eke out a living,
to support eight daughters, one son,
but in April of 1941,
his work on this earth was done.
I wonder if he is watching,
from his heavenly home above?
And as he watches his great posterity,
does his heart overflow with love?
I wish I had known him longer,
have him tell his life's stories to me,
so I could recall with loving care
the DAVID RICHARDSON HISTORY.
Compiled from the memories of the children and
grandchildren of David and Eliza Betts Richardson.
Recorded by Gwen George.
Canada. T0K 2S0