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Tuolumne County








            William J. Richards, who is now serving as the treasurer of Tuolumne County, was born in the same county which is still his home, his birth having occurred in Springfield, in 1860.  The family is of English lineage.  His father, John Richards, was born in Camborne, Cornwall, England, and was there reared and educated and learned the blacksmith’s trade.  In 1847 he came to America, locating in Chicago, and in 1851 he made his way direct to Sonora, California, where for a time he was in the shops of Major Ball.  Subsequently he removed to Springfield and erected a shop of his own, carrying on business there with success until 1871, when he took up his abode in Columbia, carrying on blacksmithing until his retirement from active business life.  In August, 1858, he married in San Francisco, Miss Jane Polk, a native of Devonshire, England.  They had known each other from childhood in the native country, and now their destinies were united by ceremony.  Four children were born unto them in Tuolumne County, namely:  W. J., Frederick O., Jessie A. (the wife of Dr. W. W. Eastman) and Albert A.  The father was a good mechanic and an industrious man.  He and his family are highly respected in the county in which they have so long resided and in which their children were all born and educated.

            William J. Richards was the eldest child and in the public schools of Springfield and Columbia he acquired his education.  He afterward mastered the blacksmith’s trade, working with his father.  Subsequently he was deputy postmaster for eight years in Sonora, filling the office with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of all concerned.  He has always been a Republican in his political affiliations and in 1898 was nominated by his party for the important office of county treasurer.  Notwithstanding that Tuolumne County is Democratic, he was elected to the office by an encouraging majority, showing that he is popular in his native county.  His fellow townsmen recognize his ability and give their support, and as in the post office, he is proving an obliging, efficient and capable officer.

            In February, 1896, Mr. Richards was united in marriage to Miss May Wight, also a native of Springfield.  They were friends from childhood and on the date mentioned their destinies were united by the marriage ceremony.  One bright little daughter has come to bless their union, whom they have named Ada Mae.  They have a beautiful cottage in Sonora and are among the most highly respected people there, enjoying the warm regard of a large circle of friends, many of whom have known them from their early childhood days.  Mr. Richards is a citizen of sterling worth.  No trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree, and his fidelity to the public trust is never questioned.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 572-573. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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