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Civil War impacted Richardson family

At the top of a hill, in Mt. Olivet Cemetery’s Section 6, a monument pays tribute to Robert Richardson and his son William Richardson. They resettled in Hannibal from Conococheague Creek, Md., soon after the end of the Civil War. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY


Just 29 miles south of Conococheague Creek, Md., exists the site of what is known as the Bloodiest One Day Battle in American History. The date was Sept. 17, 1862, and the place was Sharpsburg, Md. The site is now known as the Antietam National Battlefield, where 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after a dozen hours of combat.

In 1860, Robert Richardson and his son, William Richardson were living together with their families at Conococheague Creek. Both father and son were wagon makers. This nearby battle was likely a catalyst for the extended family’s move westward at mid-decade. Robert’s wife, Nancy Anna Zellers Ridnour Richardson, died at the home of her brother in Mt. Morris, Ogle, Ill., in 1863. Sometime after the war’s end, the father and son, along with William’s wife, Mary (Hellenberger) and their children, settled in Hannibal, Mo., where the Richardson men would live out their lives.

Their combined monument in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, perched atop a westward-facing hill, catches the evening sun, and serves as a lasting reminder of the Maryland men who resettled in Hannibal, changing forever the path for the generations that would follow.

Robert Richardson

The earliest episodes of Robert Richardson’s life are unclear; the 1850 census records him as a 45-year-old wagon maker, newly married to Nancy Anna Zellers. Robert and Nancy each brought children into the family when they wed in 1849, including William, who was 15 and learning his father’s craft.

Ten years later, on the brink of the war between the states, William had taken a wife, Mary, and they had two children, Charles, born in 1855; and Margaret, born in 1857. They would be joined by Joseph Richardson, born in 1862, B. Franklin Richardson, 1863; and Samuel Richardson, 1864. After the family’s arrival in Missouri, John W. Richardson joined the family in 1869.

Hannibal wagon maker

Once relocating in Hannibal, Robert – the family’s patriarch - worked as a wagon maker, operating a shop at 618 Broadway in 1871. He had remarried after moving to Marion County, Mo., taking as his wife Lucretia Bryant Shelton, a Civil War widow 20 years his junior.

Robert and Lucretia Richardson had two sons together: Andrew Jackson Richardson, born in 1867, and John Richardson, born circa 1870.

Lucretia Bryant

Shelton Richardson

Lucretia was born in 1833 Kentucky, moving to Iowa with her parents while still a child. Family records show that she married her first husband, Wiley J. Shelton, on July 8, 1847, and they lived in Wapello Iowa, before resettling in Palmyra, Mo., prior to the start of the Civil War. He died on June 18, 1862 while serving with the Confederate Army in Tennessee. He was a prisoner of war at Alton, Ill., captured at Butler County, Mo. Pension records list his role as a pro-Confederate guerrilla, a term referring to prevailing neighbor-to-neighbor style fighting that took place within the state. He served with the 11th Regiment Missouri Cavalry, Confederates.

The Shelton children, as garnered from various census and family tree sites, include: Gillian A. Shelton, 1848; Julia Shelton; Newton Shelton, 1850; Mary Shelton 1853; Emma Shelton 1855; Ellen Shelton, 1857; Elsie Shelton, 1859; and Winfred Scott Shelton 1861.

In addition to her role as wife and mother, Mrs. Lucretia Shelton Richardson had her own vocation: She was a dressmaker in the early 1870s, her address was Broadway near Seventh Street, located at or near her husband’s wagon business.

Robert Richardson died Sept. 10, 1873, at the age of 62. Despite the presence in Hannibal of his widow, Lucretia, their 6-year-old son, Andrew Jackson Richardson, and their 3-year-old son John Richardson, Robert’s tombstone at Mt. Olivet Cemetery is inscribed: “Robert - Father of Wm Richardson. Died Sept. 10, 1873, Aged 62 years.”

Lucretia remarries

In November 1884 – about a dozen years after the death of her second husband - Lucretia Bryant Shelton Richardson married for a third time.

Her new husband was a shoemaker: Edward M. Porter. Five years younger than his new wife, Edward – coincidently (like many members of the Richardson family) - was born in Maryland (circa 1837). Edward was counted in the 1860 census as a resident of Hannibal, age 23, living with Samuel and Mary Grigsby. He was the son of Mitchel and Sarah Pennewell Porter.

Edward and Lucretia Porter lived together at 210 Chestnut throughout their marriage. (The house has been torn down.) It was a double house, on the north side of the street, the fourth house east of Locust. Also living there in 1885 was Miss Mary Porter, presumably a daughter from Edward’s previous marriage.

In 1901, Edward Porter was in business with Julius D. DeLaPorte, the two operating at second hand store featuring tinware, boot and shoe repair, at 231 Market.

Porter’s wife Lucretia died Sept. 14, 1902, in Hannibal. His daughter, Mary C. Porter, died on April 22, 1904; and Edward died on April 24, 1912, at the Marion County Infirmary at Palmyra. The three are buried together in unmarked graves in Section 4, Lot 143, Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hannibal.

Lucretia’s son, Andrew Jackson Richardson, spent his life in Hannibal, primarily working as a contractor. Married to Grace Leona Zinn Richardson (1871-1945) they had three children: Willie Irvin Richardson (1890-1959); May Bell Richardson Watts (1892-1991); and Scott Jackson Richardson (1893-1962). Andrew Jackson Richardson died April 11, 1944, and his wife died the following year. They are buried at Grand View Cemetery.

NEXT WEEK: Robert Richardson’s son, William Richardson, and his family’s contribution to Marion County, Mo.

Note: Thanks to Bruce and Jeanne Brosi, and Donna Loy Brown for their help in locating the unmarked Porter graves.

Lucretia Bryant Shelton Richardson Porter is a Boone family descendant, and is included in the online version of “North America, Family Histories, Samuel Moody Grubbs.”

To the west of the Richardsons’ graves, in Section 4, is the final resting place for Lucretia Bryant Shelton Richardson Porter, a Civil War widow who married Robert Richardson prior to 1867. Lucretia’s grave site is unmarked. Robert died in 1873, leaving Lucretia a widow for the second time. Lucretia died Sept. 14, 1902. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY

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