It gives us pleasure to recount the career of the industrious and substantial gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph, since he is a patriotic citizen, a good business man and an upright and reliable man in all his walk.

Caleb W. Richardson was born in Howard County, Indiana, on May 26, 1848, being the son of Caleb and Celia (Humphries) Richardson. The father was born in Virginia in 1799 and died in 1870. He was one of the earliest pioneers in Howard and Tipton counties, in Indiana, and served in the Blackhawk war. Farming was his occupation. The mother was born in South Carolina in 1802 and died in 1892. She made two trips across the plains after she was eighty-five.

Caleb W. remained at home until he was twenty-three assisting his father, and during the winters attending school. Then he started for himself. Fanning and sawmilling in his native place occupied him for some time, and in 1871 he went to Kansas. Two years there, and then a brief visit to Indiana, and our subject was then ready for the Pacific coast country. He settled in Linn County, Oregon, and farmed until 1876. when the inviting resources of Whitman County, Washington, attracted him, and in 1877 he took land, and tilling that, with buying and shipping grain, occupied him until 1896. but the hard times caused a financial loss to him, as well as to thousands of other, and in 1896. after coming to the reservation and purchasing the relinquishment of the man who held the land where Mr. Richardson now lives, adjoining Melrose on the west, he summed up his assets and found that he had twenty dollars in cash, and a year’s provisions. Right faithfully Mr. Richardson went to work with his hands, and the result is that he is one of the well to do farmers of this section.

On December 24, 1868, Mr. Richardson married Miss Ruth, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Light) Dick, natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively, but now deceased. Mrs. Richardson was born in Ohio, in 1848, and has three brothers and two sisters, – Morgan, Mahlon, J. Alonzo, Mary Dutton and Rebecca Barrett. Mr. Richardson has ten brothers and five sisters, and six of the brothers were soldiers in the Civil war. Our subject also served as a minute man to repel Morgan. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Richardson: Maude Maynard, in Melrose: L. Byron, at Colton, Washington; Pearl Standley, at Mohler; Winona Litch, in Colton, Washington: Georgia Denny, in Melrose; May, Dick and Zoe L., at home.

Mr. Richardson is past grand in the I. O. O. F., and past chancellor in the K. of P. Mrs. Richardson and her daughters are members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Richardson is one of the most active men and labors for the betterment of educational facilities, and when the Melrose school house was built he donated lumber and thirty-five days’ work. He is also an active Republican, and in 1900 he ran for the state legislature and was only beaten by sixty-two votes. He is a popular and highly respected man and is a genial and good neighbor.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903