The George Richardson Family
BY MARY E. COLBY
George Richardson, an older brother of Solomon, was a native of Kentucky and was born about 1811 near Burksville, Cumberland county. He was married to Martha Williamson about the year 1839.
In the spring of 1847 he set out in company with his brother Solomon on that long and dangerous journey across the plains to Oregon. At that time he had a wife and a family of three small children, Mary Elizabeth, Shadrach and William. A son Solomon had died in Iowa.
Solomon and Elisha Williamson, brothers of Mrs. Richardson, also accompanied them on the journey. The trip across the plains was about the same as the experiences of Solomon Richardson. They spent the first winter at Lynn City, across the river from Oregon City. Later George took up a donation land claim in Washington county. This was adjacent to the present town of Tigard. The first school house was built on land donated by him, and the present Tigard Union High school is located on this tract. His children received their early education in the first school house.
Mrs. Richardson died in 1854, leaving five motherless children. Two girls had died in infancy and one boy had died before leaving Iowa. The surviving children were Mary Elizabeth or Lizzie, Shadrach, William, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, the two latter being twins. A short time after her mother's death Lizzie was married to J. T. Jacob, who had come across the plains in the same wagon train, acting as stock driver for Solomon Richardson. At the time of his mother's death Shadrach went to Oakland in the Umpqua valley near Roseburg, where he made his home with his uncle, Sol Williamson. Elisha Williamson had also settled in that locality. The twins, George and Ben, were only three years old at the time of their mother's death. They were born June 25, 1850.
In the winter of 1854 George Richardson remarried. The wife was Sarah A. Lambert, a widow whose husband had been killed by the Indians the previous year while crossing the plains. She had two daughters, Sydney and Ellenora, aged about twelve and seven respectively, at the time of the wedding. Shadrach returned home after his father's marriage. On July 2, 1856, Catherine, the only child of the second marriage, was born.
In August, 1858, Sydney Lambert was married to J. N. Skidmore. In 1862 George Richardson sold his farm and moved his family to Portland and went to Eastern Oregon. The second step-daughter, Ellenora, was married to F. C. Congdon in the summer of 1863. In the winter of 1864 Benjamin died of diphtheria and was buried beside his mother on the old home place. Some years later the ashes of Martha Richardson and her three children were removed to Crescent Grove cemetery near Tigard.
In 1865 George Richardson moved his family to a claim which he had located in the Grande Ronde valley in Eastern Oregon. Shade went with them but remained only one summer. He then returned to the old neighborhood and for several years made his home with Adam Shaver. Several years later he drifted over on the Willamette near Butteville. It was there that he made the acquaintance of Charity Olds, a school teacher from Yamhill county. They were married in 1880.
After some years spent in the Grande Ronde valley, George Richardson, who had always moved toward the frontier, went with his two
sons, William and George, and his son-in-law, John Hawk, Catherine's husband, to the Wallowa country, which was just opening up. In the summer of 1877 there was a serious uprising of the Nez Perce Indians, who resented the action of the government in removing them from their Wallowa hunting grounds to a reservation in Idaho. The Richardson family fled back to the Grande Ronde valley for safety. George had suffered from heart trouble and the excitement incident to this move proved too much for him. He died and was buried in the cemetery at Summerville in the lower end of the Grande Ronde valley.
At the time of his death his three sons, Shade, William and George, two daughters, Lizzie Jacob and Catherine Hawk, and the two step-daughters, Sydney Skidmore and Ellenora Congden, were still living. Lizzie Jacob Essig, the oldest member of the family, died in 1904 and William passed away in 1905. Shade, who had lived only a brief time in eastern Oregon, had spent the time after his marriage in the vicinity of McMinnville. He was associated with his cousin, Milt Richardson, in a shingle mill in the mountains west of McMinnville for a time and later lived on a farm in the Booth Bend neighborhood south of McMinnville. Around 1900 he settled on an acreage just west of McMinnville. He died there April 7, 1913, and was followed in January, 1916, by his wife. They had had no children.
George had always lived in eastern Oregon and Washington. He married twice but there were no children from either marriage. He was still living at the time the first family booklet was published in 1929 with a niece, Susan Schmaus, at Four Lakes, near Spokane, Wash., but passed away September 29, 1931, having reached an age of slightly more than 80 years. Catherine Hawk, whose last home was at Falls City, passed away in 1926.
Sydney Skidmore, the step-daughter, died in 1931 at South Bend, Wash. The town of that name is located on the Skidmore place. Ellenora Congdon Tout passed away at Portland on July 20, 1928.
There is not a grandson to carry the name. Of the three sons, William never married and Shade and George had no children. The two daughters had large families. Lizzie Jacob was the mother of 12 children and Catherine Hawk was the mother of 15. I believe that seven in each family lived to maturity. Susan Schmaus, Four Lakes, Wn., Annie Masterson, Hillsboro, Oregon, and Thomas Jacobs alone survive of the Jacobs children.
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