HON. JOHN M. RICHARDSON was for many years prominent in Missouri state affairs, commencing at an early date,
as well as in the affairs of his home county of Jasper. He was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, September 8, 1820.
In the year 1837, with the others of his father's family, he came to Jasper county, Missouri. His parents were
Joseph and Susannah Richardson. At first, with his father, he settled on a farm, then in Barry county, two miles
east of Bowers' Mill, on Spring river. Having received a good education in Virginia aside from farm work his first
employment was teaching district school. He studied law at Sarcoxie and was admitted to the bar soon after the
organization of Jasper county, and was elected to the legislature as the representative of Jasper and Newton counties
in the fall of 1844, being the second representative that Jasper county had in that body. He secured an addition
of territory to Jasper county, taking the same from Newton county, which had the effect of placing the town of
Sarcoxie in Jasper county, and taking it from Newton. After some years he moved to Springfield, Missouri, and practiced
his profession, and while there, in the fall of 1852, he was elected to the office of secretary of state for the
state of Missouri, which office he held till the beginning of the year 1857, when he again took up his residence
in Springfield, and for a time edited a newspaper. Even in that early day, in Missouri, being in sympathy with
the antislavery movement, he supported and voted for Abraham Lincoln for president at the election of 1860. He
was a strong supporter of the Union cause in Missouri. After the breaking out of the war and when a federal force
came to Springfield he attached himself to General Sigel's command and participated with him in the battle of Carthage.
Afterwards obtaining a cormmission as colonel from the Union governor, Gamble, he raised a regiment of the Missouri
state militia in the southwestern part of the state, and saw further service during the war as its commander, his
regiment taking part in several battles, and also in suppressing the bushwhacking bands that were devastating the
country. Colonel Richardson was one of the purchasers of the large body of swamp lands from Jasper county in the
year 1858. Selling his interest in most of these lands in 1866 to William Frazier, continuing to own, however,
four sections of land in one body, and having other landed interests in this county. In 1873 he moved back to Jasper
county, locating at Carthage, where he made his home up to the date of his death, which occurred on the 1st day
of May, 1889.
On the 2d day of November, 1843, Colonel Richardson married Malinda Stewart, of Jasper county, who died a few years
previous to his death. Their children were Mrs. Kenyon L. Wilber, deceased; Mrs. Dolly Wyeth, a resident of Chicago,
Illinois ; and John M. Richardson, Jr., who continues to reside in Jasper county. His grandchildren, Mrs. Sella
(Wilber) Blackeney and Mrs. Ruby (Wilber) Sloan, are residents of Carthage.
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Jasper County, MO
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