Biography of Reese James Richards

Mr. Richards’ long experience in the jewelry business has culminated in one of the most popular and well-equipped jewelry establishments at Northampton, and in this part of the State; and to bring about its gradual and substantial development he has added the results of investigation and training that have been lifelong. His interest in the broadening of civic affairs has always been a most active feature of his Northampton citizenship; and he has held office that has been productive of progressive results to the community.

Mr. Richards is the son of William T. Richards, who who was born in England and died in Fairhaven, Vermont, in 1923, fifty-seven years of age. Coming to the United States about 1875, he went to Arizona, and on account of the then prevailing conditions of travel, his journey to that territory occupied three months. After engaging in gold mining there for seven years, he returned East and located at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he gave his attention to coal mining, and as a contractor in mining he drove rock tunnels, and he was also a mining superintendent. Removing to Fairhaven, Vermont, in 1902, he was active in the farming line to the time of his death. He had served as a member of the Wilkes-Barre School Committee six years, and he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows there. He married Elizabeth Williams, who was born in Wales, and now resides in Fairhaven, Vermont, daughter of Rev. John Williams, his wife, who was a McDonald, and who came to the United States with her parents when she was three months old. Mr. and Mrs. Richards were the parents of: Reese J., of whom further; John; Arthur; Irvin Wendell; Esther Mae, who married William Clipts ; Margaret.

Reese James Richards was born January 1, 1885, in Fairhaven, Vermont. He attended the schools of WilkesBarre, Pennsylvania, and went to Fairhaven, Vermont and worked on his father’s farm until he was nineteen years of age, when he became employed in the jewelry Store of W. F. Parker & Son, at Fairhaven, and he continued there seven years, while he learned thoroughly the watchmaking and engraving business. He then removed to Granville, New York, where he entered the employ of H. E. Hemenway, jeweler, where he remained six months, when he went to Palmer, Massachusetts, where he continued with E. S. Brooks, jeweler, a year. Coming to Northampton in 1913 he established himself in the jewelry business at No. 243 Main Street, where he remained ten years, and then removed to his present headquarters at No. 207 Main Street, which he has brought into general notice as one of the finest jewelry concerns in Western Massachusetts. He has served efficiently on the Board of Aldermen, and he is chairman of the Republican City Committee. Mr. Richards’ fraternal affiliations are with Jerusalem Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Northampton Commandery, Knights Templar, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, of the thirty-second degree, and Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in Melba Temple, at Springfield; Nonatuck Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of Mt. Holyoke Encampment, and he is a Past Exalted Ruler in Northampton Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a member of the Northampton Club, and the Edwards Congregational Church.

Reese James Richards married, June 3, 1912, Leona Bond, of Bondville, daughter of Rufus L. and Nellie M. (Sherbrook) Bond; one child, Reese James Richards, Jr., born July 24, 1918.


Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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