Lewis T. Richardson biography

The advent of the subject of this biographical article to Jack county dates from February 27, 1877, at which time he stopped at Ranger Springs, where he held a bunch of cattle for S. J. Woodward, of Denton, Texas. The situation, as cowboy, which he held then marks the beginning of a life of activity in Jack county which has resulted in placing its participant in a position of financial independence when just past the meridian and in showing that persistent and intelligent effort is always properly rewarded.

From the youthful age of thirteen years Mr. Richardson has been a vigorous actor within his sphere on the soil of the Lone Star state. It was at this age that he made his first trip from home, accompanying Hill brothers to San Antonio with twelve wagon loads of apples out of which he saw them make almost a small fortune. Returning, he drove beef cattle for a McKinney butcher from Elm Flats, and when the family moved to Denton he was handy boy around his father’s livery stable for a time. From this work he became a freighter, once accompanying his father with goods for the post at Fort Richardson. Abandoning the business of hauling goods, he passed a period as deputy sheriff of Denton county and also tended bar for a saloon man in Denton. Arranging with Mr. Woodward to accompany his cattle west he deserted his old haunts and started a new era for himself. He worked for this employer eleven years, invested his wages in cattle and in this way drifted into the cow business himself. When the open range disappeared he leased lands for his stock and finally bought land, also, and while he owns but twelve hundred acres he has seven thousand under lease and his “jug” brand marks the several hundred head of cattle in his herd.

Lewis Tilford Richardson was born at Calhoun, Henry county, Missouri, February 29, 1856. His father, Amos Richardson, was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, about 1830 and moved out to Missouri with his father, Jesse Richardson, who passed away there as a farmer. Among the latter’s large family were Lewis, Daniel and Amos, the last named passing away in Denton county in 1875.

Amos Richardson brought his family to Texas overland, passing down through a portion of the Indian Territory and reaching the Lone Star state in the year 1869. He devoted himself to trading and freighting in the early years and, as already intimated, kept a livery in Denton town. He married Melissa Jennings, a daughter of Jesse Jennings, who moved from Tennessee to Bates county, Missouri, very early and there died. Mrs. Richardson makes her home with our subject and was born in Tennessee, and came to Texas in 1869. Of her two children, Thomas died in 1875, and left one child, Jesse, now at Colorado City, Texas, and Lewis T. still remains.

A good education seemed to be beyond the reach of Lewis T. Richardson as a youth, and for more than a third of a century now he has been arrayed against idleness in the real battle of life. For a short time he was associated with H. B. Bowen as a dealer in cattle, but for the most part, he has engineered his own success.

September 19, 1886, he married Betty Saffell, a daughter of Hale Saffell from Blount county, Tennessee, where Mrs. Richardson was born May 11, 1859. Guy, Grace, Alma, Dot and Walter and Warren, twins, constitute their family of children and they are pupils in the Jacksboro schools.

Mr. Richardson has allied himself with pure Democracy in all political contests in which he has found an interest, but the success of his own interests overtower every other consideration and he has kept politics under a ban.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 213-214.