Biography of G. W. Richardson

G.W. RICHARDSON. – Elder G.W. Richardson, born in Green county, Illinois, September 26, 1824, was ordained to the ministry and began preaching at the age of eighteen. He crossed the plains to Oregon, in company with his brother, Doctor J.A. Richardson, and other relatives in 1851, taking immediately on his arrival, a Donation land claim near where afterwards was located the town of Scio, and organizing, a few months subsequently, the first church of the Christian Brotherhood in Linn county. He devoted much of his time to the ministry, with this church and elsewhere, including invariably two days in each week, which, during four years, was wholly without remuneration, receiving, however, for his first year’s labors the present of a nine-dollar coat. He accomplished extensive and important evangelical work throughout the state, but especially in the counties of Linn, Marion, Polk, Yamhill and Washington; wherein he organized many of the churches that still survive him, who yet hold him in pleasing remembrance. Both he and his more intimate friends, however, always deemed him stronger in local or pastoral labors, where he became better known and therefore more fully appreciated, as in several churches he was annually re-employed for several successive years.

In educational work he was zealous, untiring and efficient. Moving from Scio to Polk county, in 1857, he was chief among the leaders who established and organized Bethel Collegiate Institute, which in early days was for years one of the most popular institutions in this new country, receiving a large patronage from all parts of the state and Washington Territory. It was successfully accomplishing academic and collegiate work with him as president of the board of trustees, until the interruption of the Civil war broke up its classes.

In politics he was liberal in his views, but always loyal to his convictions. He was a member of the state legislature from 1862 to 1864; and while in the discharge of his legislative duties he was noted for frankness, industry and prudence.

His widow and seven children still survive him.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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