Will Frank Richardson 1862 – 1941

Family tradition, and his daughter Olive’s birth record, state that Will Richardson was born in 1862 in Deering NH.  That birth record has yet to be found.  In the 1860s, Deering had several stores, many water mills, three post offices, two hotels and many successful farms. I have not yet located his family in 1870, but in 1880, he lived in Mont Vernon NH with his parents. He married Anna G Wheeler, February 4, 1892 in Hollis NH.  In 1900, he was still in Mont Vernon, with his parents and wife Anna.  She died March 7, 1901. 

Will moved to California and was working for a lumber company building houses.  He had already met Mary-Grace.  She followed him west, and they were married April 24, 1904, in California (probably in Chico, but History of Antrim lists place of marriage as Sacramento CA.) He built his home at 1705 Laurel, in Chico CA.  Their first child Lillian was born there.  Mary-Grace did not like the California heat, and moved back to NH.  Will followed soon after, and the other four children were born in the east.  The 1907 Milford directory lists a William Richardson residing at 54 Amherst.  The 1910 census lists Will and family in Milford, with his occupation listed as carpenter.  The 1911 Milford directory lists his address as 32 Amherst, the 1913 directory lists 34 Amherst.  When I visited Milford, the house pointed out as being his is now listed as 62 Amherst.  They rented out the addition on the end of the house to a doctor, until the family grew to the point that they needed all the space.  

In 1920, the family with five children, lived in Milford, at what is now 108 Amherst.  At this home was a “stone chair” that Will brought home from the quarry. This “stone chair” was purchased at an auction by family friend Chick Ethridge, who moved it to his house at 190 Union Street, Milford.  The Ethridges were long-time friends of the Hodges family, although he was not originally aware of the stone’s connection to the Hodges/Richardson family.  

In 1930, Will was the head of the household that now included his daughter Lillian (and her husband and two daughters), and his younger daughters Olive and Ruth.  They lived on the old Mont Vernon road. Lillian remembered Will as a hard worker.  He turned to farming after cataracts caused blindness.  Will lived at Fruit Crest Farm on North River Road in Milford.   They lived on the upper floor of a large house that is still there.  Evelyn remembers leading him from the house to the orchard where he would work, then bringing him back to the house. 

Will died in 1941 after a long illness.  Pall bearers were his three son-in-law Albert Hodges, Willard O’Neal, and Nelson Brown, and family friend Charles Ethridge.  He was buried at the family lot in Riverside Cemetery, with his two wives.  His sister Hattie’s family is nearby. 

 (Alternate birth date 1864, death date 2 Oct 1941).  His name shows up as Will, Willy, Willie, and William.) 

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1 Comment

  1. Evelyn Laber said,

    November 6, 2010 at 22:33

    Will (grandpa Richardson) went out to the orchards to clean the brush out along the stone walls to keep it from invading into the fields/orchards. The mowers could not get real close to the stonewalls. He repaired the walls as he went along too.


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