The Richardson Family
BY MRS. SARAH E. R. BURGIN
Little is known of the very early history of this branch of the Richardson family, but the story has come down through the generations of their connection with the history of this country before the Revolutionary War and that originally they came from England.
In the year 1781 in the beautiful Cumberland county of the State of Kentucky, near the border of civilization, there resided a Richardson family, Father Shadrach, Mother Comfort and seven children, Shadrach, Messach, Obednigo, George, Morgan, Delilah and Peggy.
In a typical southern home this family played its part in the community life of the early pioneer settlers, working hard, enduring hardships and privations, having their joys and their sorrows, all of which molded them into men and women of sturdy character.
In the year 1809 their oldest son, Shadrach, was married to a beautiful young girl by the name of Elizabeth Garrett, more commonly known as Betsy Garrett. To Shadrach and Betsy were born twelve children, seven boys and five girls: Solomon, Montillion, Shadrach, Thomas, Lorenzo, George, John, Zannastacia, Delilah, Comfort, Polly and Betsy. In the year 1833 they decided to try their fortunes in a new country and moved with their family of twelve children to Illinois.
They settled in a little place known as Beardstown in Morgan county. It is always interesting to be one of a large family as all we Richardsons can affirm and this was especially so on the frontier when pioneering a new country, where everyone is expected to share in the responsibilities of the home and work incident to establishing themselves in a new country. They learn so many useful lessons in unselfishness, self denial, generosity, industry and respecting the rights of others and thereby develop traits of character that can be brought out in no other way.
In this new country the children of Shadrach and Betsy grew up and developed strong healthy bodies and sturdy characters. In this same county lived a gallant little widow by the name of Sarah Scott Stewart. She had a large family of boys and girls. The two families were very friendly and the children grew up to maturity together. They worked and played and took an important part in the civic and social life of the community. Benjamin Franklin Stewart courted and married Polly Richardson in 1837. That same year the two families, Richardson and Stewart, moved to Iowa. The Stewart family settled in Fox River, Van Buren county, and the Richardsons in Keg Creek, Mills county. They did not lose track of one another, however, and in 1839 Shadrach Richardson married Lavina Stewart.
They made their home on Keg Creek where seven children were born to them, five of whom died in infancy. In the year 1849 like a tidal wave the gold rush to California spread over the country causing people to leave everything and go westward. By the year 1851 this gold fever had struck the little settlement of Keg Creek, Iowa. Shadrach and Lavina Richardson felt the urge to try their fortune in this new land and so they made the necessary arrangements to start this long and dangerous journey.
Taking what belongings they could carry in a prairie schooner and their two little boys, Shadrach Montgomery and William Wilshire, they join-
ed the Truman Tryon company and started the long and hard journey across the great unknown country to the dream land of the west.
After suffering many hardships they arrived in Payson, Utah, in the fall of 1852, weary and foot-sore, but hoping to go on to California. They rested while visiting their brother and sister, Benjamin Franklin and Polly Richardson Stewart. But the trials and hardships incident to their journey across the plains proved too much for Lavina and she passed away in December, 1852, leaving her two little boys and their father to the mercy and kindness of relatives and the good people of Payson. Lavina was one of the first to be buried in the Payson cemetery.
After the death of his wife Shadrach had no more desire to go on to California so decided to make his home in Utah. In 1857 he was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In the year 1860 he married Sarah Haskell Ames, who had returned from San Bernardino, California with her children when her husband Ellis Ames joined the Reorganized LDS Church. Four children were born to Sarah and Shadrach, three boys and one girl, Thomas, David, Lavina and Richard. In 1868 he was again left alone with a little family to take care of. He was both father and mother to them, always patient and kind and understanding.
In 1869 he homesteaded a piece of ground in Benjamin on which he built a log cabin near a bubbling spring of very warm water. When the home was completed he moved his little family in. This was a home for them until they were all old enough to go out and establish homes for themselves. Grandfather had the ability to make and hold friends among the young people and old and his home was the gathering place for all the young people of the community.
He died at the home of his oldest son Shadrach Montgomery Richardson, June 18, 1890, at the age of 74 years.
"The fort at Payson, Utah, 1853, showing location of pioneer homes 1853 and/or later (from Aurora N. Wilson papers). Fort corners indicated o by markers placed 1950 by Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Location of homes of others not known." Shadrack Richardson's homesite is on the right side of the map.
--from Madoline C. Dixon, Peteetneet Town, a History of Payson, Utah, 1974, p. 8
Richardson, Shadrach (son of Shadrach and Elizabeth Richardson of Cumberland county, Ky.). Born Nov. 21, 1816, in Cumberland county, Ky. Came to Utah 1852, Truman Tryon company.
Married Lavina Stewart about 1841 (daughter of Philander B. Stewart and Sarah Scott, former died in Ohio, latter a pioneer 1850). She was born June 8, 1824. Came to Utah 1852, Truman Tryon company. Their children: Shadrach M. b. March 11, 1848, m. Keturah Hand June 14, 1875; William W. b. Nov. 9, 1851, m. Sarah J. Hone Oct. 1879. Family home Payson, Utah.
Married Sarah Haskell in 1860, at Payson, Utah (daughter of James Niles and Sarah Haskell, former came to Utah with a contingent of Mormon Battalion). Their children: Thomas b. Feb. 2, 1861, m. Eunice L. Hickman 1884; Richard b. Aug. 18, 1862; Lavina b. Aug. 16, 1864, m. Isaac Hansen 1882; David b. April 1866, m. Eliza J. Betts 1899.
Member 47th quorum seventies.
--Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1913, p.1131.
History of Shadrack Richardson
Born in Kentucky November 21, 1816. Came to Utah as Pioneers in about 18--. Was married to Lavina Stewart. Date not known. Had two sons Shadrach, Wilshiere Richardson. Left a widower. Date not known, but later years married Sarah Haskell (should be said Ames). She was a widow [actually, she was divorced, click here to learn more] with 4 children, Adolph, Lulia, Angaline, Mont Ames, when she married grandpa Richardson, they had 5 children, Thomas, Lavina, David, Richard, one died (guess he didn’t stop long enough to get a name). 1813 just guessing on date of your grandpa’s age. He said he was 9 when his mother died, his father Shadrach Richardson cared for the family till grown. I guess he didn’t have it so pleasant, hard times and a big family and very poor as all were in those days. He did very good with them with not much income. When we went to live on our farm he came and lived with us awhile, then lived with another son, Shadrack until his death. One son went to Canada and raised a large family, that was David. He died there. Lavina married Isaac Hansen 1884, not sure, may have been ’83. Died in Benjamin and left 8 children Isaac, James, Edward, Frank, Sarah, Thorval, Lester and Mary. So that is all I can tell of grandpa’s family. They are still multiplying in the 4 generations. They will come out in next edition. Your grandfather Thomas was born in Payson 1861, lived there till they moved to Benjamin when about 9 or 10. He helped to support the family on meager wages. He would work for $45 a month. When they could they would go to Park City with their teams and wagons and get out timber from mines for those wages. They never went to picture shows in those days. I just remember him telling this, it was before I got in the family. They were married April 24, 1884, in Salt Lake Endowment House. (Lived happy ever after.) We cleared the land we now own, of greasewood and made a home for a family of 9 children, not the best, but the best we had. Made a home for our children to enjoy in their lives. It wasn’t smooth sailing all the time, but kept our sails flying in until we reached our goal of 9 children. Six living, names: Leslie, Milton, Othello, Sterling, Genevieve, Lucy, Weslie, Alton, Eunice. Grandpa died Oct 21, 1923, since then things just come and go with the boys help kept it going. And now is the time to quit; you know the rest, not much left to tell.
--Probably dictated by Eunice Hickman Richardson to her daughter Eunice McKenzie about 1925.
To learn more about Shadrach's children by Lavina Stewart, select below:
To learn more about Shadrach's children by Sarah Haskell, select below:
To read a brief history of Payson, Utah, click here. To return to the Richardson Family index page, click here.