Biography of Alonzo L. Richardson

Thirty-eight years have passed since Alonzo L. Richardson came to Idaho, then a sparsely populated territory of the extreme northwest, its splendid resources undeveloped, its advancement a development of the future. For many years he has been closely identified with the work of progress, and is now filling the position of clerk of the United States court in Boise.

A native of Missouri, Mr. Richardson was born in Franklin County that state, on The 19th of December 1841, and is a representative of one of the old families of Virginia. His ancestors located there in 1750, and there occurred the birth of Daniel Richardson, the great grand father of our subject. He removed from the Old Dominion to Kentucky and subsequently to Missouri, being a pioneer of those states. The father of our subject also bore the name of Daniel Richardson and was a native of Kentucky. He married Dorcas Caldwell, a native of Missouri, and in 1843 started with his family to cross the plains to Oregon, being in the second emigration to that far distant territory. Gold had not then been discovered in California, and the tide of emigration had not set toward the Pacific coast. The hardships and dangers of such an undertaking were many, and to add to the difficulties the father was taken ill and died at Fort Hall, Idaho, then a Hudson Bay station, when only thirty years of age. Mrs. Richardson continued on her way to her destination, and some time after her arrival in Oregon City she married Sidney W. Moss, now one of the oldest living pioneers of that place.

Alonzo L. Richardson was only two years of age at the time of the removal to the Pacific coast. He was reared and educated in Oregon City, and in 1861 removed to Pierce, Idaho. The following year he went to Florence, this state, during the mining excitement there, and in 1863 went to Idaho City. For a number of years he was engaged in placer mining and owned a number of good claims, but the money easily won is soon spent and he did not save much from those investments. In 1863 he went to Montana on a prospecting tour, but returned the same winter, traveling through the snow by way of Fort Lemlin to Boise, where he arrived at the Christmas season. Continuing his journey to Idaho City, he was there employed in a lumberyard for three years, and in 1866 was made manager of a sawmill. The following year he located in Boise and entered the employ of a lumber company, acting as bookkeeper during a part of the time he was connected with that firm. In 1872 he was appointed clerk of the supreme court of the territory, and the same year received the appointment of clerk of the district court, holding both positions for fifteen years, or until the state was admitted to the Union, in 1890. He was then appointed clerk of the United States circuit court by Judge Sawyer and clerk of the district court by Judge Beatty, and has since ably and efficiently filled both these offices: His long connection with such position has given him a thorough knowledge of the requirements thereof, and his faithfulness and thoroughness have won him the fullest confidence and good will of the bench and bar of the state of Idaho. He is also interested in various mines.

In 1872 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Richardson and Mrs. Caroline A. Yarington, a native of Pennsylvania. They have two children, May and Harvey L. and by her former marriage Mrs. Richardson had one daughter, Estella B. Yarington.

The family hold a membership in the Episcopal church, of which Mr. Richardson has served as vestryman for a number of years. In politics he is a stalwart Republican and gives an un-wavering support to the men and measures of that party. Widely known in Masonic circles throughout the state, he has taken the degrees of the blue lodge, chapter and Commandery of Boise, has held a number of offices in these organizations, was secretary of the Commandery for a number of years, and is past junior warden of the grand lodge of the state. He has a wide acquaintance among the prominent men of Idaho, and his genuine worth has made him popular in all circles. He has watched the entire development of the state since the days when its mountainous regions and beautiful valleys were the haunts of red men, and has borne no unimportant part in the development of the rich re-sources of the state a work that has placed Idaho among the foremost of the commonwealths of this great western district.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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