ANDREW RAMSEY RICHARDSON. It is our purpose to portray, in this article, the chief incidents in a life wholly devoted to the domain of industry and to present a brief genealogical outline of a family which has borne a modest share in the work of home-building in Montague county. Its recognized head, the subject of this sketch, dates his advent to the county in the year 1881 and his career here has been a living exemplification of the trite old adage—”strike while the iron is hot.”
Andrew R. Richardson learned to work and to recognize the value of labor when a boy below his teens and it would be a mystery indeed if this important part of his education had not, in a quarter of a century, brought him direct and substantial returns. He secured only a peep into the house of knowledge and the vocation of his fathers was accepted as his own. His parents died when he was a child and his uncles looked after his welfare and, after a fashion, shaped his destiny until he was eighteen years old. At that age he came to Texas and stopped first near Centreville, in Leon county, from which point he drifted into Freestone county and remained about there ten years. As he states it, “he managed to keep even with the world” until his majority was attained, when he went back to Alabama after his legacy. As so frequently occurs with the management of estates of minor heirs, his was so well managed that it showed a shrinkage of about two-thirds and he brought back to Texas a little over a thousand dollars as his portion of his father’s estate.
Unaccustomed to the handling of a large sum, Mr. Richardson’s start on an independent career proved to be a backward one, instead of forward, and in a short while he found himself without means of proceed. By the time he had learned how to win in the battle of life he had found “bed rock” and then the climb up hill began slowly to take place. When he came to Montague county he had been drifting a little and he continued it for some years afterward. He located first at Queen’s Peak, where as he expresses it, “he lived on the wind for six years” and, in 1887, he located three miles east of Bowie and rented land for four years. Having had some substantial success and being now nerved up to the point, he bargained for one hundred and fifty acres of his present farm, succeeded in paying it out and has added fifty-five acres to his original domain. Only a mere hint of what the family passed through in its journey from indigency to independence is herein possible, but the misfortunes and disappointments were theirs without number, but everything was endured but the pangs of hunger, and with the wolf lying in sight of the cabin door for months matters along the road to independence often had a desperate look.
Andrew R. Richardson was born in Sumter county, Alabama, March 12, 1853. The state of North Carolina gave birth to his father, Fernie Richardson, who died at some forty years of age. Fernie Richardson married Margaret Ramsey, whose death occurred prior to that of her husband, leaving a family of orphan children, as follows: Bryant, who was killed in the Confederate army; Alexander, who died in Leon county, Texas, leaving a family; Andrew R., of this notice; William C., of Salona, Texas, and Margaret, who died in Freestone county as the wife of John Gale.
January 12, 1880, Andrew R. Richardson was married, in Freestone county, Texas, to Miss Alabama Presswood, a daughter of Mrs. Mary Presswood, an Alabama lady, in Sumter county of which state Mrs. Richardson was born in the month of February, 1861. The children of this union are: Maggie, wife of James Jackson, of near Denver, Texas, with children, Luella, Lala, and Clifton; Sudie, William, Bryant, Alvin, Samuel, Fenton and Eddie. Adda Lee and John are deceased.
Mr. Richardson’s life has been active and upright and his face has been always toward the world. That he has had a fair measure of success has been shown and that he is a representative citizen his neighbors amply testify.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 6-7.