Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
RICHARD ASHTON HUTCHINSON, a pioneer of 1879, farmer, miner and dealer in realestate, 514 South Arthur street, is a native of Mississippi, born at Grand Gulf, February 14, 1853. His father was a cousin of Andrew Jackson, a veteran of the Mexican war and a strong anti-slavery man. He came north to assist John Brown and located in Kansas. Then resided in Colorado and again in Kansas. In 1863 Richard, before his tenth birthday, made his start in the world by being elected as page of the territorial house the last time the legislature met in the Golden City. After the legislature adjourned, George Lane, the director of the United States mint, appointed him a messenger in the Denver mint, which position he resigned to accept a place with W. H. Loveland, a merchant. He later went to Topeka, Kansas, and spent a year in school there. Leaving school, he proceeded to his father's place on the plains at Hays City. Here he entered the office of the Hays City Advance, a lively sheet. The editor being compelled to leave the town in a hurry, the paper suspended. Mr. Hutchinson then entered the service of th United States government as courier against the Cheyenne Indians and spent four years in that service and in hunting buffalo and in driving Texas cattle. In 1872, the family located in Seattle where Richard A. was engaged in coal mining and attended night school. On May 20, 1879, he arrived in Spokane, accompanied by his brother, William H., and on June 3, he and his brother located homesteads near Mondovi, Lincoln county, upon which they lived for seventeen years. When Spokane county was cut off from Stevens county he and Colonel L. B. Nash, of Spokane, and C. S. Toby of Spangle, met at Marshall's mill (now Marshall Junction) and organized the Democratic party by appointing a central committee, of which Hon. J. J. Browne was elected chairman and Mr. Hutchinson secretary. Mr. Hutchinson assisted in founding the town of Cheney. He was elected the first county assessor of Spokane county, running six hundred ahead of his ticket, but before his term of office expired Lincoln county was created from a portion of Spokane and his residence fell in Lincoln county, so he resigned the assessor's office in preference to leaving his homestead. He was then appointed first assessor of Lincoln county. In 1884, he was elected sheriff on the Republican ticket by a large majority, but on account of a hot county seat fight he was illegally counted out. In 1886 he was appointed by the general government to take charge of the mills and general stores at Nespelem and manage Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perces, then prisoners of war. He made an efficient official, remaining there until July 1, 1889. In 1886, he with others grubstaked the prospectors that discovered and located the first quartz mines in Okanogan county and he has since been interested in mining. He had charge of the United States census in Lincoln county in 1890, and was elected on the Republican ticket that year a member of the house in the state legislature, running six hundred ahead of his ticket. While a member of the legislature, he took an active part in working for the reduction of freight rates, he being a member of the railroad committee. In 1892, he was elected to the state senate on the Republican ticket, running one thousand ahead of his ticket and winning the distinction of being the only member of the preceding house promoted to the senate. He held the office until 1896, when he moved to Spokane. He is now engaged as a mining and real estate broker. Mr. Hutchinson has a wife and six children; Bessie, Ida, Marita, Dean, Rachel and Richard A., Jr. They are members of the Episcopal church. Mr. Hutchinson is a member of the K. of P., being first past chancellor of the oldest lodge in the state. He is also a member of the A. O. U. W. and W. of W.