JAMES ALLEN RICHARDS.
The student of history cannot carry his investigations far into the pioneer records of this county without learning
that the Richards family has been prominently identified with the work of development and upbuilding here for many
years. Like others of the name, James Allen Richards was long closely associated with agricultural interests but
since 1907 has made his home in Pleasantville, enjoying a well earned rest. He still derives a substantial income,
however, from his farm property in Pleasant Grove and Swan townships, where he has three hundred and twenty acres
of rich and productive land which is cultivated partly by his children. His birth occurred in Coshocton county,
Ohio, October 4, 1847, his father being William Richards, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume. He
was reared under the parental roof with the usual experiences of the farm boy who spends his early life upon the
frontier. He attended the country schools and assisted in the arduous task of cultivating and developing new land.
To his father he gave the benefit of his services until his marriage, when he secured a farm of his own and settled
thereon, making it his place of residence until 1907.
It was on the 11th of August, 1892, that Mr. Richards wedded Miss Mary A. Fleck, who was born in Prairie City,
Iowa, May 29, 1873, a daughter of James E. and Margaret (McCleary) Fleck and a granddaughter of Ephraim and Rachel
(Colliard) McCleary, who were Irish people, while the Flecks were of German descent. The paternal grandfather,
David Fleck, was born in Germany and became the founder of the family in the new world, his son, James E. Fleck,
being born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, whence he removed to Indiana. He was married in that state, at Warsaw, and
afterward came to Iowa, settling near Prairie City, Jasper county. His wife died in 1879, at the age of thirty
nine years, when on a visit at Warsaw, Indiana. James E. Fleck went to California in the spring of 1891 and remained
in that state for a year, subsequent to which time he located at Crow, Oregon, where he passed away in April, 1899,
at the age of sixty seven years, his birth having occurred March 1, 1832. Throughout the period of his residence
in Iowa he followed farming, and while living in this state he also enlisted and served for one hundred days in
the Civil war. Mrs. Richards was the seventh in a family of nine children, of whom the two eldest died in infancy.
The others are yet living, namely: Alfred, who is a resident of Rockwell City, Iowa; David, living in Pleasantville,
Iowa; J. Edward, who makes his home in South Dakota; Joseph, residing in Crow, Oregon; Mrs. Mary A. Richards; Anna,
who is the wife of Joseph Power; and William, living in Canada. Mrs. Richards was reared in Jasper county, Iowa,
and acquired a common school education. By her marriage she has become the mother of five children, namely: Jessie
Hazel, Ray D., Ralph A., Esta Geraldine and James Albert, all at home.
The family occupy an attractive residence in Pleasantville. It is commodious and tastefully furnished, while its
chief charm is its generous and warm hearted hospitality. Mrs. Richards is a member of the Christian church. Politically
Mr. Richards is a republican and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day but does not seek nor
desire office. He has always manifested a public spirited devotion to the general good and has cooperated in many
plans and movements for the upbuilding and benefit of the county.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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