William L. Richards who for many years has ranked as one of the most energetic & respected citizens of York Township, Sandusky County, was born August 17, 1828 on the farm he now occupies. He is the son of Lester and Mary (Baker) Richards, both natives of Connecticut, who in the fall of 1826 migrated from that state, and in York Township purchased land, which had been entered in 1822 by Edmund Fuller, the original patent for the land being signed by Pres. James Monroe. The parents remained on the farm through life. Lester Richards died 1845 aged forty-five years. (Note: This is in error, his grave stone actually says forty three years.) His wife survived until 1872 when she passed away at the age of seventy-two years. In politics Lester Richards was a Whig. His grandfather was an emigrant from England. (Note: Actually, Lester’s Great- Great- Grandfather John Richards was the emigrant from England in about 1632.)

William L. Richards is one of eight children, six of whom grew to maturity, as follows: William L; Elizabeth, who died unmarried at the age of seventeen years (Note: this is in dispute, her grave marker would make her just short of eleven years old.); Celinda, who was born in 1832, married John B. Colvin, and died in 1894; Edward Born in 1835, now a resident of Ottawa County; Melissa, who died when a young woman and Almarema afterward Mrs. McClanahan, who died in Ohio. (Note: Census records refer to her as Almarine.)

William L, the eldest child, grew to manhood on his father’s farm and attended the neighboring schools. He was married Jan 1, 1861 to Miss Sarah Rife. She was born on the adjoining farm Sept 7, 1843 daughter of Michael and Mary (Longwell) Rife, the former of whom was born in Frederick County Md., Feb. 14, 1814 and in 1832 migrated to York Township with his parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (Zumbrin) Rife. Here Jan 1, 1839, he married Mary Longwell only daughter of Robert and Lucinda (Butler) Longwell, who were among the earliest settlers of the township and who died here soon after. Mrs. Rife is still living at the old homestead.

To Mr. & Mrs. Richards have been born six children, as follows: Emily, born Oct 30 1862 married Apr 7 1886 to George Bemis and is mother of one child Edna; Carrie born Oct 25, 1865 died Oct 10, 1891; Bertha born Jan 30, 1867, married Sept 19, 1894, to James A Lewis; Charles R., born Dec 13, 1868, married Helen Guile (Note: Edith Helen Guile), has one child, Karl; Mary L., born Dec 14, 1870 is at home; William H. born Sept. 18, 1872 was married Sept 24, 1895 to Dora Guinall. Emily and Mary are graduates of the Clyde High School and Bertha attended school at Clyde and Green Springs, Carrie attended school at Clyde & Green Springs, and also at Ada Normal School; Charles and William were students at Ada Normal School. There are few families in Sandusky County so thoroughly educated as that of Mr. Richards.

After his marriage, our subject settled on the farm and in addition to the farming operation, he did business at Clyde as partner in a grocery store. He was a member of Company B, One Hundred and sixty-nine O.V. I., which was called out during the summer of 1864 to do military duty at Washington and Fort Ethan Allen. In 1865 Mr. Richards began the manufacture of brick and tile and he has ever since been extensively engaged in that important industry. Last year he burned about 8000 tile; but in former years it was not unusual for him to turn out from 60,000 to 75,000 tile besides large quantities of brick. There was an active market for all he could make. During this time he has also tilled his excellent farm of 110 acres. In politics Mr. Richards usually votes the Republican ticket, but he is non-partisan, especially in local matters. Socially he is a Mason, also a member of the Grange. His son, William H. is a member of the Sons of Veterans. Mr. Richards is one of the peace-loving, industrious, and capable farmers of York Township and his friends are as numerous as his acquaintances.



Sandusky & Ottawa Counties of Ohio Commemorative Biographical Record, J.H. Beers & Co.: Chicago, 1896