Friday, November 6, 2015

Richard Richards's Many Richards

Lillian Florence Callin's tree
Richard Richards was one of several brothers, born in Wales. He married there and reared three sons and one daughter. He came to the United States at the close of the Revolutionary War, and settled the family not far from Utica, New York. One son, David, died while crossing the ocean and was buried at sea.

Of Richard's remaining two sons, one was also named Richard. He married Nancy Newton and raised a family of fourteen children in Newport, Herkimer county, New York. They named their fifth child Richard upon his birth on 18 December 1819. At the age of eighteen he went to Joliet, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for almost two years before returning to New York. Then, in October 1839, he purchased ninety-nine acres of uncleared Ohio woodland, which he cleared and cultivated; later this acreage comprised almost the entire village of Chicago Junction.

On 22 February 1842 Richard married Mariah Felton (1820-1874), daughter of James and Eunice Felton, who came from Wayne county, New York. (Richard's father, the second Richard Richards, died later that year, December 1842, in Ohio.)

Richard and Mariah had three children who either died in infancy or immediately after birth, then in 1850, a daughter they named Avis. They had a son, John H. (b. 1853), who married Emma Fry, but he died on 9 July 1875 not long after they were wed. His younger brother, Charles (b. 1855), married the newly widowed Mrs Emma Richards. Frank (b. 1858) and Aaron (1860) were the youngest of the group.

Mariah Richards died 4 May 1874 of apoplexy. The Richards had been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Richmond township, and Mr Richards remained a member there until June 1878, when for convenience, he withdrew by letter and united with the United Brethren Church at Chicago Junction, which you will recall had been built largely on his acreage.

The Callin sisters (from left):
Lydia, Lillian, Anna, Grace (in back)
Aaron Newton Richards was born 25 August 1860, and he probably knew the Callin and Channing families well1. Joseph and Charlotte Channing were members of the United Brethren Church, and their farm was just southwest of Chicago Junction, not far from the farm of their daughter, Ellen Callin. And the eldest of Ellen's four daughters, Lillian Florence Callin, married Aaron on 17 November 1880.
Growing up, Lillian's parents seem to have called her by her second name - Florence. At least, that is how her name appears in the 1870 and 1880 Census records. But she seems to have preferred to be called Lillian, on her marriage record and after. And so, Florence married her farmer, Aaron, and became Lillian F. Richards.

They had six children over the following two decades, five of whom would survive to adulthood:

1. Edith Richards (1883 – 1951) married Edwin Hayes Ferris (1880 – 1959) in December 1908, and they lived for a while in Columbus before relocating to Cleveland around 1917, where they lived out their days. Edwin was in publishing, and served as the president of his company in 1930.

a. Marian Virginia Ferris (1908 – 1972) married John Pennington Knight (1905 – 1979) in 1936, and they lived in Springfield, Ohio, through the 1960s before relocating to North Carolina, where Marian died in 1972. John died in Naples, Florida, seven years later.

b. Richard Erwin Ferris (1910 – 1976) married Jean Bradley (1914 – 1976) in the 1940s; she had been married to Kenneth R English in the 1930s, but they divorced in 1940. Richard was still single when he enlisted in the Army on 2 October 1942, and likely married Jean after the war. They died in Ft. Myers, Florida, just a couple of weeks apart in May 1976.

2. Royden Richards (1885) died at one month.

3. Willard R Richards (1889 – 1952) was not intentionally name for the town where he was born. At the time of his birth, it was known as "Chicago", and was only renamed "Willard" in 1917. He grew up in New Haven, and married Lizzie Trimmer (1890 – 1988) on 17 November 1909, and lived with her parents for a short time. Willard worked in a grain elevator for the 1910s, then began working as a contractor building roads in the 1930s and 1940s.

a. Charles Aaron Richards (1910 – 1968) married Edna Mae Williams (1910 – 2001) on 17 May 1936, and they had five daughters, all of whom are still living. Charles and Edna divorced, and he remarried to Eloise, about whom I have found very little information.

4. Fay Richards (1892 – 1965) married Erven Hezakiah Harrigar (1893 – 1991). They had no children of their own, but they took in and raised Erven's niece. The couple spent the 1930s and 1940s in Garret, Indiana, and retired to Florida.

5. Grace C. Richards (1896 – 1970) married Charles K Conklin (1888 – 1944) on 24 January 1917, and they had one daughter. They lived in Fostoria, where Charles worked as a purchasing agent for the National Carbon Co. until he died in 1944.

a. Kathryn Jean Conklin (1919 – 2006) married Clarence LaVerne "Jakie" Jacob (1917 – 2002) on 13 July 1940 at St. Wendelin's Rectory in Fostoria, Ohio. They had three children who are still living: one son and two daughters, and eight grandchildren. Jean was a business teacher in the Fostoria City School System for more than 20 years; Jakie was U.S. Navy WWII veteran, and a city auditor for Fostoria, retired in 1986.

6. Virgil Aaron Richards (1899 – 1948) enlisted to be a soldier in World War I, serving from October to December of 1918, when he was honorably discharged. He married Marie Kathryn Miller (1897 – 1979) on 8 February 1921, and they had five children: three sons and two daughters, three of whom are still living. Virgil worked as a general contractor, and later as a superintendent.

Aaron and Lillian remained in New Haven, and saw all of their children married and on their own before Aaron's death 4 November 1923 at the age of 63. Lillian stayed in the house on Laurel Street another 13 years before she followed him in 1936.

1 - See the previous post, The Girl From England

Photos posted with permission of Ancestry user meganoneill10.

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