Pages 402-403, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JOHN A. RICHESON—One of the unique characters, whose life was spent in Iola and whose original traits will remain fresh in the minds of his acquaintances and friends, is the late John A. Richeson. He passed twenty-four years in Allen County—the most of them around Iola—and he demonstrated that his chief quality was industry. He was born of humble parents and his child opportunities were those of the wage earner at whatever came in his way. He learned no trade and seemed to have no genius or special adaptation for mechanics. He drifted along through life from place to place—till he reached Iola—having little more of life's riches than would sustain life. His notions of industry were that it should always be practiced. It was the corner stone of comfort and riches and the promoter of good health. He loved to work at good pay, but if he could not get such a berth he took one with poor pay rather than none. When jobs around Iola were scarce he plied the trade of fisherman. This occupation no doubt, sustained his family and supplied his few personal wants many times in the absence of steady employment. Another, and a favorite, occupation of his was selling soda pop. His voice was heard at nearly every fair, picnic and show at Iola crying the sale of these goods. He possessed peculiar and successful qualities in the conduct of such a business and the profits he reaped always went to the support of his well-trained and honorable family.

Johnny Richeson was born at White Hall, Indiana, March 4, 1852. He was a son of William Richeson, an early settler in Indiana and an old soldier. His business was that of shoemaking and he died at Renssalaer, Indiana. William Richeson married Lizzie E. Jackson, who was Johnny's mother. The latter came to Kansas, and to Allen County, many years ago and it was her last sickness that brought her oldest child, our subject, to the State, August 4, 1875.

December 24, 1878, Mr. Richeson was married in Iola by Judge Boyd to Roena Wright, a daughter of Amos Wright. The Wrights came to Allen County from McLean County, Illinois, in 1869. The Richesons finally located on State street where Johnny purchased a small amount of property and erected a modest dwelling. His surplus earnings were devoted to the improvement of and betterment of his home and when he died,


February 16, 1900, his family was provided with the means to straighten up all his affairs and to secure them against the storms of adversity.

Mr. and Mrs. Richeson's children are: Louie, Charles A., Harry A., Lydia E., Warner A., Addie D., Oril L., William E. and Thelma Richeson.

When Johnny Richeson died he was a member of the Select Friends and of the Odd Fellows. It is the custom for the latter order to bury their dead, but, at his request, the order was not permitted to contribute more than its attendance at his obsequies. It was his disposition to be independent and to permit no one to put him under obligation to them. He desired to give full value for all he received and if he could not do this be declined assistance.

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