Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WALTER D. RICHARDS, president
and manager of the Richards Lumber Company, was born in Minnesota, August
22, 1869. His father, Richard W. Richards, a native of Utica, New
York, was a Minnesota pioneer, going to that state in 1866. Throughout
his life he was prominent in educational work, holding the office of state
superintendent of schools two terms. Previous to leaving New York
he was principal of Fairfield Seminary, and while in Wisconsin, was in
the adjutant general's office. During the latter part of the Civil
war he enlisted, but was taken ill before he was mustered into the service.
Until recently he was auditor of Faribault county, Minnesota, and previously
was, for twelve years, county superintendent of schools. By profession
he is an attorney, and was a student in the office of Roscoe Conklin, New
York. His parents were natives of Wales. His wife, Winnefred
(Morris) Richards, was a native of the Empire state, her parents having
been of an old Georgia family.
At the age of fifteen years our subject was
graduated from high school, in Minnesota, and subsequently from the Curtis
Business College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Drew College of Pharmacy.
In 1885 he went to Fort Asinaboine, Montana, and assumed charge of the
drug department of the Broadwater-McCulloh Company, post sutlers, having
successfully passed an examination for a hospital stewardship in the regular
army, in order to hold his position. He remained there six years,
returning to Minnesota, and engaging in the drug business at Winnebago,
City. In March, 1902, he came to Chelan county, where he organized
the company of which he is the principal stockholder.
July 12, 1894, at Blue Earth City, Minnesota,
our subject was married to Miss Nellie B. Baker, a native of Minnesota,
the daughter of Joshua F. and Mary (Bowen) Baker. Her father, a Canadian,
died at Chelan, in December, 1902. For many years he had been a prominent
business man in Minnesota, coming to the lake country in search of health.
The mother, a native of Canada, still lives at Chelan. Mrs. Richards
has four sisters, Hattie, wife of John A. Van Slyke; Belle, single, assistant
cashier in the Miners & Merchants' Bank, Chelan; Myrtle and Frances.
The fraternal affiliations of Mr. Richards
are with Blue Earth Valley Lodge, No. 27, A. F. & A. M., Winnebago
City, Minnesota; R. A. M., of the same place, and Mankato Lodge B. P. 0.
E., Mankato, Minnesota. He is a Republican and has been active, more
or less, previous to his arrival in this county.