Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
One family of Richards, particularly numerous and prominent in Maine, is descended from John Richards, second, who was doubtless the brother of Humphrey Richards, of Boston.
(I) John Richards appears first at Newbury, Mass. in 1694, when he is said to have been located on Plumb Island. He did not remain many years at Newbury, but after 1703 probably followed the others from that place to the Piscataqua river country, and finally settled about nine miles west of Dover, New Hampshire, on the present road to Rocheste. There he or his sons erected a substantial garrison house, which stood until about 1800. The trace of it may be ascertained about one mile east of the village of Rochester, and marks a spot rendered classical, not only by the tragedy enacted there, but from its being the cradle of a numerous race. There he and his second wife are supposed to have died, but no record or headstone informs us how or when.
He married (first) March 22, 1694, Hannah Goodridge, who died Jan. 29, 1695. He married (second) July 16, 1696, Sarah Cheney.
Children, all by 2d wife:
Sarah (died young), Mehitable, Benjamin, Sarah, Joseph, James, John, and a son.
(II) James, third son of John and Sarah (Cheney) Richards, was probably born at Piscataqua, N. H. about 1709, and died at Camden, Maine, in 1789. He lived in Dover until about 1774, when he removed to Camden, where his son James, as the first settler in the place, had located in 1769.
He married, in Dover, Sarah Foss.
Sarah, James, Dodipher and Joseph.
(III) Dodipher, second son of James and Sarah (Foss) Richards, was born Piscataqua, New Hampshire, died Lincolnville, Maine, aged eighty years. In 1769 Dodipher and Joseph joined their brother James in the wilderness at Camden, which was still the resort of Indians, and there they built themselves log houses. These three Richards brothers were the progenitors of nearly all the numerous population of that name in Knox and Waldo counties. They possessed the sturdy qualities which make men successful pioneers and transmitted those qualities to their descendants. The three Richards brothers owned lands adjoining and those of Joseph and Dodipher covered what is now the business center of Camden Village. In 1771 Major William Minot, of Boston, purchased land and water power at Goose Harbor and soon afterward erected a grist mill on sawmill near the mouth of Megunticook river. Before that time the settlers had to carry their corn upon their backs to Warren through the woods, guided in their path by spotted trees. At this time, says the History of Camden, Dodipher Richards started for Warren to carry some corn to grind, accompanied by his little dog only. As night approached he arrived at a house or cabin, and requested the privilege of lodging there until morning. The mistress of the house being alone, her husband being absent, felt distrustful of the stranger, and refused his request; so, pursuing his path, he plodded on until nine o'clock, when he heard in the distance the howling of wolves. Seeking out a large tree, he selected a club, and, placing his back against the tree, awaited their approach. They were soon on the scent of his track, and as they came nearer their howls became louder and louder, until the pack of about thirty approached the spot where he stood. As they jumped toward him, he struct at them with his club, when they would retreat, and his dog would spring out at them and back, when they would rush at him in return. The hideous howls of others approaching, responding to those near them, could be heard as they came bouding through the woods, while their cry would be heard and returned by other packs in the distance, which were following the sound of those in advance. By midnight as many as one hundred of these furious but cowardly beats surrounded him, snapping at him with their teeth; but fearful to get within reach of the blows of the stalwart pioneer, they kept at a safe distance. Mr. Richards at one time being hard pressed, thinking it might pacify them, threw his dog toward them, but they shrank from it, and the little animal ran back and crouched at its master's feet. Not having the heart to repeat the experiment, the stalwart settler fought the wolves with his club till dawn, when one by one they slunk away and left him to continue his journey in safety. After getting his meal he returned to his cabin none the worse for his disagreeable experience, but in relating the incident afterward to his friends he said: "I should rather have been at home in my log hut than out in the woods fighting them cussed varmints."
(IV) Dodipher (2), son of Dodipher (1) Richards, was born in 1782, at Camden, and died at Searsmont in 1868, aged eighty-six. He was a farmer and served in the war of 1812. He married ____ _____.
Oliver, John, Thomas, Dodipher, George W., Rufus and Mary Ann.
(V) Thomas, son of Dodipher (2) Richards, born Waldo county, about 1804, died 1884, aged eighty years. He was a farmer. He married Charlotte House, born Boston, 1806, died Searsmont, 1893, aged eighty-seven.
William Learmond, Charles D., Thomas J., George W., Mary, Abner H. and John F.
(VI) Charles Dodipher, second son of Thomas and Charlotte (House) Richards, was born in Searsmont Aug. 2, 1832. He was a farmer, then a merchant at Searsmont until 1867, and finally became a contractor and builder and followed that business at Portland until 1890.
In politics he was a Democrat.
He married, 1853, Mary Jane Cook, born St. George, 1838, only child of Enoch Cook, of St. George, Maine, a sea captain and his wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Andrews.
Enoch C., Ida (married Thomas Egan); Samuel (married Winifred Richards); Charles (married Susan Richards); Edward; and Ellla, wife of William Davis.
(VII) Enoch Cook, eldest child of Charles D. and Mary J. (Cook) Richards, was born in Searsmont Jan. 15, 1854. He was educated in the public schools of Searsmont and Lincolnville. From 1871 to 1874 he served an apprenticeship at the trade of machinist in the employ of Davis & Furber, of North Andover, Mass.; worked at the carpenter trade from 1875 to 1878; was on the road selling goods for himself part of the years 1878-79; was engaged at carpenter work in Portland and Rockland until 1885, when he engaged in business as a general contractor in Milford, Mass., remaining until Sept., 1887, when he removed to Portland, where he has since resided, and where he has engaged in building good residences which he sold after completing them. He built for himself a beautiful home of the Eastern Prominade overlooking the sea, which he occupied until 1908. In that year he finished the "Los Angeles," a structure at 419 Cumberland Avenue, containing thirty apartments of from two to four rooms each, and supplied with every convenience, making it in many ways one of the most desirable places of residence in Portland. Since completing the "Los Angeles" he has entered upon the construction of another building of twelve four-room flats, situated at 23 to 29 Grant street.
In politics he is an Independent. He was made a Mason in Kilwinning Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Boston, and since that time has become a member of the following divisions of that order: Royal Arch Chapter; Council, Royal and Select Masters; Commandery, Knights Templar; and Massachusetts Consistory, Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree.
Enoch C. Richards married, in Montreal, Canada, May 20, 1879, Kate M. Reardon, of Ottawa, Canad, who was born in Ottawa, June 13, 1856, fourth child of John and Mary (Hayes) Reardon.
1. Edward Homma, born May 22, 1880, died Dec. 20, 1900.
2. Blanche Louise, born Oct. 10, 1883, married Fred W. Hinckley.
3. Grover Cleveland, born Feb. 14, 1886.
4. Mildred Grace, born Dec. 19, 1888.
5. Harold Scott, born Jan. 1, 1891.
In the early years of the colonies various men named Nash appeared in the scattered settlements. Gregory Nash was in Charlestown, Mass. in 1630; Samuel was of Plymouth, perhaps in 1630, certainly in 1632; William was of Charlestown in 1634; Thomas was a resident of New Haven colony in 1643, or earlier. Others came not many years later. From these mentioned and others have sprung many families of Nash who trace themselves to no common ancestor. One hundred and seventy enlistments in the revolution are credited to the men of this name in the Mass. Rolls.
Nash is derived from atten Ash, that is, "At the Ash," denoting the place of residence of a person, as in the case with Atwood, Atwater, and the like.
(I) Elijah Nash, born March 2, 1766, died July 28, 1849, in Raymond, where he was a farmer, and resided many years. He married Mary Small, b. Oct. 3, 1770, d. Dec. 2, 1849.
Thankful, Elizabeth, John, Simon S., Elijah, Daniel, Eleanor, Mary, George S., Sarah, Samuel (died young), and Samuel.
(II) John, eldest son of Elijah and Mary (Small) Nash, was born at East Raymond, March 22, 1796, died Feb. 27, 1873. Like his ancestors, he was an honest and successful tiller of the soil.
He married, Aug. 29, 1820, Hannah Moses, born Aug. 11, 1788, died Aug. 6, 1840.
1. Josephus, born Oct. 20, 1821, died Feb. 11, 1864; married, Sept. 3, 1849, Nancy Clapp, born June 18, 1821; children: i. Emma C., died young; ii. William A., died young; iii. Mary A., born March 4, 1860, married Oct. 10, 1878, Frank D. Munroe, b. July 10, 1856 (child: Freedom Nash Munroe, b. Nov. 21, 1880).
2. Elizabeth M., born July 24, 1823, died June 21, 1866; married (first) Mark Brown, two children, i. Irving J. Brown, b. Feb. 3, 1848, d. June 22, 1894; married May 24, 1870, Fannie E. Mitchell, b. Aug. 15, 1845; (children): Mamie, b. Oct. 11, 1873, married May 29, 1895, Fred Haynes Pitman, b. March 28, 1870, and had three children: Donald Irving, b. Dec. 4, 1896; Philip Brown, b. Nov. 5, 1899, and Robert Williams Pitman, b. Oct .10, 1901); Charles D. N. Brown, b. Sept. 10, 1878; ii. Hannah N. Brown, b. Dec. 3, 1849, d. Nov. 15, 1870. Elizabeth M. Nash married (second) Dec. 30, 1851, William Thurlow, b. Aug. 10, 1808, d. July 20, 1857, by whom she had two children: i. J. Howard Thurlow; b. July 16, 1852, d. Sept. 29, 1907; married Oct. 15, 1884, Mary L. Emerson, b. Nov. 14, 1856; no children. ii. Emma C. Thurlow, b. May 9, 1857, m. Dec. 26, 1904, George Y. Fraser, b. Sept. 28, 1844, d. Oct. 10, 1905; no children.
3. Oliver M., born Oct. 15, 1825, died Nov. 5, 1891; married (first) July 9, 1848, Harriet J. Guilford, b. Feb. 14, 1829, d. Nov. 28, 1878; two children: i. Hannah Lizzie Nash, b. Jan. 4, 1853; ii. Jennie E. Nash, b. May 15, 1860, died young. Oliver M. married (second) June 17, 1879, Lucy F. Low, two children: iii. Frank L. Nash, died May 9, 1808; iv. William T. Nash.
4. Daniel W., see forward.
5. Freedom, born March 16, 1830, died Jan. 25, 1890; married Sept. 27, 1851, Annie Chipman, b. Jan. 26, 1830; no children.
6. Esther Cornelia, born Nov. 12, 1832, died June 23, 1882; married Feb. 2, 1859, Captain George L. Ulrick, b. March 6, 1823, and was lost at sea Dec. 10, 1881; two children: i. Sarah L. Ulrick, b. May 24, 1862, d. May 29, 1883, married Dec. 6, 1882, J. Perley Milliken, b. Oct. 27, 1861; ii. Freedom N. Ulrick, b. May 6, 1869, married June 17, 1902, Emma G. Cross, b. May 20 1875.
7. Charles B., born May 27, 1835, died Dec. 31, 1893; married (first) Aug. 2, 1855, Elizabeth B. Coxwell, who d. Nov. 16, 1856, no children; married (second) Oct. 28, 1858, Julia M. Stewart, b. July 2, 1842, d. May 25, 1872; married (third) March 31, 1874, Maria J. Illsley, b. Nov. 13, 1838. Three children by 2d wife: i. Charles Edward Nash, b. April 11, 1860, d. young; ii. John Henry Nash, b. June 3, 1862, died young; iii. Lizzie Maria Nash, b. Aug. 6, 1863, married June 25, 1890, Ernest A. Wheeler. One child by 3d wife: iv. Edward Henry Nash, b. June 7, 1875, m. Feb. 4, 1907, Katherine C. Bradford, b. July 2, 1876.
8. Mary, born Oct. 7, 1838, died Sept. 16, 1899; married Frederick K. Thorpe, b. Feb. 16, 1833; two children: i. Charles K. Thorpe, b. Jan. 8, 1868, m. March 18, 1896, Mary W. Gowell, b. March 20, 1866; one child, Merle Edwin, b. Feb. 17, 1897; ii. John H. Thorpe, b. Oct. 28, 1871, died April 14, 1903, m. June 10, 1894, Alice M. Goodwin, b. May 22, 1876, (two children: Harold Everett, b. July 22, 1895, and Clyde Francis, b. June 12, 1901.)
(III) Daniel W., third son of John and Hannah (Moses) Nash, was born at East Raymond, Dec. 12, 1827, died June 21, 1883. He was educated in the public schools, and when but a boy came to Portland and became a clerk in the retail grocery house in Portland. At the age of twenty-two years he formed a partnership with his bother, Oliver M., in the stove and tinware business, which he continued until his death.
He was a prominent member in the order of Odd Fellows.
He married Mary E. Smith, of Portland, b. Aug. 28, 1833, d. June 18, 1882, daughter of Freeman and Lucy N. (Libby) Smith, of Portland.
1. Ella Frances, born May 22, 1853, married Dec. 25, 1878, Peter S. Nickerson, who was born Sept. 15, 1856, died Feb. 19, 1908; no children.
2. Carrie Adelaide, born April 17, 1856, married Oct. 10, 1883, Frank M. Strout, born March 9, 1858.
3. Daniel Freeman, see forward.
(IV) Daniel Freeman, only son of Daniel W. and Mary E. (Smith) Nash, was born in Portland Oct. 19, 1858. He was educated in the public schools and graduated from the high school in 1878. Following this he took a year's course at Gray's Business College, and then went to work as bookkeeper for O. M. & D. W. Nash, stove dealers, heating and plumbing contractors. After the death of his father, in 1883, he purchased his interest and became a member of the firm, to the success of which he has now devoted the best years of his life; after the death of his uncle, O. M. Nash, in 1891, he purchased his interest and became sole proprietor, continuing the same firm name.
He takes an interest in the general welfare of the city and is a member of the Board of Trade. He is a Republican in politics, was elected a member of the city government in 1894 from ward 7, and re-elected the following year. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the following bodies of that order: Portland Lodge, No. 1; Greenleaf Royal Arch Chapter, No. 13; Portland Council, Royal and Select Masters, No. 4; St. Albans Commandery, No. 8, Knights Templar, Maine Consistory, and Kora Temple, N. M. S. He is also a member of Harmoney Lodge, No. 19, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is a part grand; a charter member of Woodbine Lodge, Daughters of Rebekah, and a member of the Grand Lodge of Maine; a member of Samoset Tribe, No. 32, Improved Order of Red Men; a charter member of Pine Tree Lodge, No. 11, Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor, and a member of the Grand Lodge of Maine; a charter member of Iona Chapter, No. 21, Order of the Eastern Star, and is also a past patron and a member of the Grand Chapter of Maine; past chief patriarch of Eastern Star Encampment, No. 2, I.O.O.F., and a mbmer of the Grand Encampment of Maine; a charter member of Forest City Castle, Knight so the Golden Eagles, and also a past chief and member of the Grand Castle of Maine.
Mr. Nash married Dec. 19, 1883, Flora R., born in Putney, Vermont, April 24, 1865, daughter of Henry M. and Laura A. (Keyes) Parker, of Putney, Vermont.
1. Edith Marian, born Oct. 22, 1884.
2. Mabel Frances, born Feb. 16, 1888.
3. Arthur Freeman, born Jan. 19, 1995.
From the Genealogical Register of the Richards family, by Rev. Abner Morse, A. M., we obtain the greater part of this article.
Richards is a Welch patronymic, answering exactly to Richardson in English. It evidently originated in the principality of Wales, and early spread in noble families, for books of Heraldry give no less than seventeen distinct coats-of-arms by the name of Richards, enough of which point back to Wales to justify the belief that here was an original line from which issued founders of illustrious families of the name in different counties in England. Its locality has not been ascertained. At Caerynwick, Marioneth county, Wales, the late Lord Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer, often president of the House of Lords, Sir Richard Richards, inherited a manor of which his ancestors, about 1550, were spoken of as "the ancient possessors." Now the lordship of Dinwiddick, embracing no doubt the present county of Marionette, the ancient stronghold of North Wales, must have been assigned by Edward I, after the conquest of 1277, to his son-in-law of high Norman extraction. His descendants continued to possess it, and to marry princes, and are not found to have ever lost it. May not then the manor of Sir Richard Richards be a part of it, and have descended from the original assignee, and he and his race have sprung from princely stock? Of any connection between the inheritors of this manor and any of the early emigrants to New England, nothing has been discovered beyond the common use of the names Edward and Richard, and their emigration from a part of England, where probably an offshoot of the Welsh stock had previously taken root.
(I) Edward Richards is presumed to have been a nephew of Thomas Sr., and the brother of Nathaniel and Thomas Jr., and the cousin or brother of William and John of Plymouth. He probably came with Nathaniel in the "Lyon," in 1632, and resided with him at Cambridge until 1636. He became one of the proprietors of Dedham, 1636-37, and was the sixty-second signer of its social compact. "On ye 17 dd of ye 5 mo 1640 he was received into ye Church, giving good satisfaction," and his wife Susan was received 19 (11) 1644. With this church they walked blameless through life. In 1641 he took the freeman's oath; and in 1646 was chosen selectman, and by annual elections served nine years.
Edward Richards began life with more means than most of the planters of Dedham, and left his descendants good estates. The proprietors having adopted the rule of dividing their lands generally according to estate, he drew an uncommon amount, in no less than fourteen lots. In 1648 his county rate was above the average; and in 1651 his house was valued at 18 pounds, when only twelve in Dedham were valued higher.
In 1657-58, a previous cedar swamp was apportioned to seventy-nine proprietors, and the size of forty-three of the lots is given. Of these Edward Richard received the largest next to Rev. Mr. Allin, the minister. But of these grants he must have made no great account. For, according to tradition, he bore the sobriquet of "Gent. Richards," and obviously aspired to a manor, and was the only planter of Dedham who did so. Farms, as they were called, this is, extensive tracts, were early granted by the general court to the high men of the colony, and to no others. These were expected to be manors. One, prior to the incorporation of Dedham, had been granted within its subsequent limits, to Mr. Cook, probably of Watertown. This Gentleman Richards evidently purchased, preparatory to settling in Dedham, and proceeded independently, receiving no house or home lot in the town, as did all the others. Upon this estate he commenced his improvements. Here he read his Bible, communed with his Redeemer, interceded for his race, and ended his pilgrimage.
In May, 1684, being advanced in age, he walked to a neighbor's, and before witnesses dictated a will, left it to be copied, and died before he had an opportunity to sign it. In this he gave his wife room in his house, and selection of the "household stuff" to the value of 40 pounds, an annuity of 12 pounds to be paid her by his sons Nathaniel and John. His homestead, two miles west of the present (1908) court house, he gave to his son Nathaniel, with lots in Fowl Meadow, and on Pond, Poseset, Birch, and Great Plains. "The remainder of Mr. Cook's farm" he gave to Nathaniel adn John. He made various bequests of money. One of these was to his son Nathaniel, to whom, "if he brought up a son to learning," he bequeathed "60 pounds more out of his estate toward it." This will was proved Sept. 25, 1684. The reason of his making his second son his principal heir instead of his elder son is explained as follows: The ambition of the testator looked ahead. The privations of a new country had affected his family. He wanted his name and place transmitted, and his race to maintain rank. John, the elder, had only one son, and he the first born, whose birth had been followed by that of four daughters. By this time the patriarch must have concluded that if the last had been named Waitstill, which, in other families had so often brought a boy, it would not insure him another grandson by John, and certainly not a houseful to bear up his name and furnish graduates, ministers and judges. But at the date of the will, Nathaniel, the junior brother, had nothing but sons, three already born, another near his arrival, and more in prospect. These were a pledge of the certain transmission of the name and homestead in the line of Nathaniel, and of the birth of many sons to be brought up "to learning," an stand foremost in church and state. He therefore made him his chief legatee; and a comparison of the record of the number of male descendants of these two sons shows how correctly the old Puritan reasoned, and how wisely he acted. John had enough, and Nathaniel none too much; for the old homestead continued in his family longer than the Crown of Great Britain has remained in one House, or entrailments, on an average in one name.
Edward Richards was born about 1610-15, and died 25 (6) 1684.
He married, Sept. 10, 1638, Susan Hunting, who was doubtless the sister of Elder John Hunting, of Watertown. She died 9 (7) 1684.
Children, b. at Dedham:
Mary, John, Dorcas, Nathaniel and Sary.
(II) Nathaniel, second son of Edward and Susan (Hunting) Richards, was born 25 (11) 1648, baptized 26 (11) 1648, and died Feb. 15, 1727. He inherited the homestead and about a double share of his fathers lands. He was a man of character and standing, and bore the title of Mr. He took the freeman's oath 1690, and made his will Jan. 26, 1721. This was exhibited in court March 11, 1727, by his son Edward, who declined to act as one of the executors. It was again presented Dec. 10, 1731, by Edward Richardson, and proved. In this he gave to his wife Mary all his silver money, the use and improvements of all his housing and lands and moveables during her life; mentions having previously given Nathaniel and James lands to a considerable amount, and to Jeremih 60 pounds in silver, and loande him 30 pounds. He gave Nathaniel twenty acres at Strawberry Hill, and one-third of his cedar swamp, near Easy Plain. To James, forty acres at Strawberry Hill, one-third of his cedar swamp, and one-half of his cow commons; and to Jeremiah the 30 pounds which he had loaned him, and one-third of his cedar swamp. To his daughters, Mary Tolman, to whom he had given 57 pounds, an additional sum of 43 pounds; and to Elizabeth 100 pounds, that is, 50 at her marriae and 50 in four years after the death of his wife, or 100 pounds if unmarried at the death of his wife. To his son Edward he bequeathed his homestead, and all his lands on both sides of the road leading from the town into the woods, the Allen meadow, six acres of wood land near that of Ephraim Wilson Sr., all his land at Cole Hearth Plain, two acres of Cedar Swamp near Wigwam Plain, one-half of his cow commons, and all his moveables. After the death of his wife, Edward was required to run out the lots given to his brothers, and in four years to pay all the legacies. He cut off all of the legatees who should attempt to break his will, and gave their portion to be equally divided among the rest; and appointed his wife Mary and son Edward executors.
He died very suddenly while sitting in his chair, Feb. 15, 1727, in his seventy-ninth year.
He married 28 (12) 1678, Mary Aldis, of Dedham, who survived him. She was the daughter of Deacon John and Sarah (Elliott) Aldis.
Nathaniel, Jeremiah, James, Edward, William, Mary, Dorcas and Elizabeth.
(III) Captain Jeremiah, second son of Nathaniel and Mary (Aldis) Richards, was born in Dedham, 30 (3) 1681, and was living in 1752, aged seventy-one years. He settled in West Roxbury, and became the progenitor of a numerous race of the name, who long made his homestead their geographical center. No record of his death or the settlement of his estate is presumed to exist. He seems to have been the proprietor of much land, and is supposed to have established the famous Peacock tavern.
He marrie Hannah Fisher.
Jeremiah, William, Daniel, Nathaniel, Joseph, Hannah, Ebenezer and John.
(IV) Ensign William, second son of Capt. Jeremiah and Hannah (Fisher) Richards, was born Dec. 20, 1707, and died June 19, 1797, in the nintieth year of his age. He settled on land given him by his father, at Pigeon Swamp, in the northern part of Sharon, then Stoughton, and died there.
He married, May 30, 1733, Elizabeth, born Feb. 15, 1707, died March 5, 1786, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Pike) Baker, of Roxbury.
William, Thomas, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Jeremiah and Ebenezer.
(V) Benjamin, third son of Ensign William and Elizabeth (Baker) Richards, born March 20, 1738, died Jan., 1816. He married, Oct. 1, 1763, Mary Belcher, of Stoughton.
Children, b. at Sharon:
Mary, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Hannah, Luke, Lucy, Barna, Pruda, Thomas Pownal and Nancy.
(VI) Benjamin (2), eldest son of Benjamin (1) and Mary (Belcher) Richards, was born March 6, 1768, died in 1850. He married (first) Jan. 19, 1797, Ruth Billings, of Sharon, who died Sept. 15, 1824, in her forty-fourth year; (second) Widow Betsey (Tolman) Harlow.
Children, all by 1st wife:
Polly, Charles, Billings, Caroline, James Madison, Lewis, George, Alfred and Spencer.
(VII) Charles, eldsest son of Benjamin (2) and Ruth (Billings) Richards, born Jan. 16, 1800, died in Rockport, Jan., 1881, aged eighty-one years. He settled in Lincolnville in 1825, and in Rockport, Maine, 1856, and was there engaged in operating wood lands. In politics he was a Democrat up to the formation of the Republican party in 1856, when he joined that party.
He married, in 1822, Elizabeth Pierce, of Canton, Mass., born in Stoughton, Mass., 1799, died Rockport, June, 1877, daughter of James Smith.
Charles Francis, Henry Augustus, Benjamin Franklin, Caroline E., Mary M., Fred E (whose sketch follows).
Charles Francis, born Jan. 6, 1826, died Feb. 7, 1906. He was educated at the Maine Wesleyan Seminary and Waterville, now Colby College, where he took the degree of A. B. in 1855. He married, May 11, 1857, Lucinda, daughter of Capt. Lewis Morse, of Stoughton.
Henry Augustus, b. Oct. 15, 1827, died Feb. 20, 1858.
Caroline Elizabeth, born Oct. 25, 1832, married Andrew McCobb Jr., and moved to Charlestown, South Carolina, where she now (1908) resides.
(VIII) Fred Edgecomb, sixth and youngest child of Charles and Elizabeth P. (Smith) Richards, was born in Lincolnville, Maine, Aug. 28, 1841. He spent his boyhood days in Rockport, at school and as a clerk in the stores of that place. When seventeen years old, on account of ill health and by advice of his physician, he went to California by way of Panama, and spent three years in different parts of that state. On his return to Maine he engaged in the manufacture of lime at Rockmport, and continued in that business until 1876.
Mr. Richards has been a Republican from the time he became a voter, and being a natural leader of men soon became a leader in politics, and was sent to the Maine legislature as representative of Camden in 1872, and served by re-election the following year. In 1875 he was chosen by the legislature a member of the executive council of Governor Dingley, representing the district compose of Waldo, Knox and Lincoln counties. The next year he was re-elected and served in the same capacity whle Selden Connor was governor. In 1877 he was appointed state land agent to fill a vacancy, which position he held but a portion of that year. In the same yar he was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Maine Insane Hospital, and served two years. In 1880 he was appointed state bank examiner by Governor Davis, and at the expiration of that time was reappointed by Governor Robie, and again reappointed by him, so that he served in that capacity three terms or nine years.
In 1888, he resigned his position and retired from official life. In the same year he removed to Portland and established the banking house of Fred E. Richards at 89 Exchange street, and was fiscal agent of the Maine Central railroad, and later of the Portland & Rumford Falls railroad. While acting for the Maine Central he refunded the Androscoggin & Kennebec loan of a million and a half dollars of six per cent bonds, substituting therefor Maine Central at four and a half. In like manner he refunded the European & North American loan of a million; purchased the Knox & Lincoln railroad for the Maine Cenral, paying for the same $1,500,000, and placing and disposing of bonds secured by mortgage upon this for $1,300,000 at four per cent. He also sold the Mountain Division of the Maine Central, amounting to nearly a million dollars. He served as fiscal agent of the Portland & Rumford Falls railroad in 1890 and later during the time of its extension to Rumford Falls from Mechanic Falls to Rumford Junction. Mr. Richards was instrumental in directing the financial policy of the road to its successful issue of prosperity of after years.
In Oct., 1893, he was elected president of the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company of Portland to succeed John E. De Witt, which position he still holds. As president of that great company he has carried out a shrewd and aggressive policy which has developed its business in a remarkable degree, and his well-known financial ability has strengthened it in every possible direction. The Portland National Bank was organized in 1889, and Mr. Richards was chosen president of that successful institution. In 1894 the Union Safe Deposit & Trust Company was organized, and he was made president of that also. He resigned both of these positions in August, 1907.
Mr. Richards is an unquestioned leader among the business men of Portland. He is a great power in the business of that city, and has been and still is very closely identified with its largest financial institutions. He is not only one of their directors, but one of their managers also, because he believes that a director should direct, and that if a director fails to know about the business and standing of every compnay with which he is connected, he ought to resign.
He is more than a business man. He is interested in political matters as keenly as ever, and is one of the great politicians of southwest Maine, in the sense that when he desires the nomination of a man, he is generally nominated. He works quietly and seldom finds it necessary to appear personally in politics, but his patent and often dominating influence is there, and is likely still to be. He is a pleasant man to meet, is a good conversationalist, and remarkably well informed concerning all matters in which his fellow citizens are interested. He has seen much of the world, and his own place in business is secure.
He married, in Rockport, Nov. 23, 1866, Caroline S., born June 20, 1849, died May 13, 1903, daughter of Capt. John D. and Caroline (Gardiner) Piper.
They had no children.
Mrs. Richards "was a woman of a strong nature, of excellent judgment, of great executive ability and practical force. She had unusual insight into character and no little capacity both in social and political matters. She was a wise counselor and a natural leader. Not easily satisfied with ordinary achievements in those whom she loved, she seldom failed to stir and stimulate their ambition to the utmost."