John Richardson, who is now living retired in Elliott is numbered among the large landowners of Ford county. He is also accounted one of the pioneer settlers of this section of the state, for in the last half century he has seen the county grow from a wild country with only a few white inhabitants, to a rich agricultural country, containing thousands of good homes and acres of growing towns, inhabited by an industrious and prosperous people, and he has not only been an interested witness but an active participant in the slow, persistent work of development which was necessary to produce this wonderful change.
Mr. Richardson was born in Liverpool, England, January 1, 1829, a son of John and Mary Ann (Kelly) Richardson, the former a farmer of England. The son acquired his education in the common schools of his native land and there remained until he had attained the age of fourteen years, when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to Quebec, the family home being established in Quebec. He was there found out to a mason and builder to learn the mason's trade. After completing his apprenticeship he went to Detroit, Michigan, where for a time he worked at his trade and then worked for a time in Flint, that state. In 1857 he made his way to Paxton, Ford county, but after residing there three years he removed to Ten Mile Grove and operated a rented farm for one year, subsequent to which time he removed to a farm which he had purchased in Wall township. This tract was originally in possession of the railroad company and after it came under control of our subject it was transformed into a fine tract which annually returned good crops as a reward for the care and labor he had bestowed upon it. As time passed and he prospered in his undertakings he increased the boundaries of his farm until he was in possession of five hundred acres of valuable land which he eventually traded for ten hundred and thirteen acres, situated near Paxton in Dix township. He continued to carry on general agricultural pursuits until 1871, when he retired from active business life and took up his abode in the village of Elliott, occupying the third house that was erected there. He still has extensive landed holdings, however, being the owner of eighteen hundred acres of valuable land, nearly all of which is used for general farming purposes and which returns to him a good annual income which enables him now to spend the evening of his life in honorable retirement.
Mr. Richardson established a home of his own by his marriage in 1856 to Miss Sarah Simons, a daughter of Nathan Simons, who served as the first county clerk of Ford county. Their marriage has been blessed with five children, one son and four daughters, namely: Nathan, who resides on his father's farm; Florence, the wife of A. W. Barrow, a resident of Gibson City, by whom she has one son; Pamelie, the wife of C. P. Wardell, a resident of Los Angeles, California, and the mother of two children; Maud, the wife of Albert Keith, a resident of Chicago, by whom she has two children; and Mary, the wife of O. S. Hopkins, of Oakland, California.
Mr. Richardson is a stalwart supporter of the democratic party and his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the United Brethren church. He is numbered among the honorable and honored pioneers of this section of the state and can relate in interesting manner incidents of the early days when deer and wolves were roaming over the prairies and when all kinds of wild game were plentiful. He takes great delight in the wonderful changes which have here occurred, transforming Ford county into a prosperous district and through the cultivation of the soil has acquired the competence that now enables him at the age of seventy-nine years to live in well earned ease in a comfortable home in Elliott.

Extracted 19 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 1, pages 396-398.

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