Glen Esh, the Wieland Dairy Inspector we learned about last week, was also a Richardson through his mother, Esther Richardson, one of 13 children of Robert and Eleanor Richardson.
Robert and Francis (Frank) Richardson were brothers who were born in Yorkshire, England. Robert was born in 1811 and Francis was born in 1813. They left their parents and nine siblings at a time when things were bad in England and came to America by way of Canada in 1834. They were brick masons by trade.
Robert came to the U.S. first and worked in Wisconsin. Frank stayed in Toronto and married Elizabeth Myass, (who was also from Yorkshire) and they joined Robert about 1835. In 1836 Robert was one of the first settlers here, homesteading a part of Burton Township where other Englishmen staked out their claims. They called the land they claimed English Prairie.
In 1842, Robert rented out his farm and he and Frank went to Milwaukee where they built the first brick building in that city (razed about 1939). The family lore says as Robert was busy bricklaying, a piece of mortar fell and hit Eleanor James, who soon became his wife!
Robert and Eleanor lived in Milwaukee for the next three years and then returned to English Prairie to make it their home. They built a log cabin "near the spring" first and then, in 1863 moved "toward the road" and Robert built their home out of Milwaukee brick that was hauled in by oxen from Kenosha. (It still stands today and is occupied by Richardson descendants.)
In 1874, with their family grown and their farm prospering, Robert and Eleanor went to England to visit family they hadn't seen in 40 years (Eleanor was also born in England). Four months after their visit, Robert's mother, Tamar Richardson died (she was in her 80s).
Robert only lived another four years and died in 1878. His funeral was "one of the largest ever seen in Burton...not less than 225 teams, by actual count, were in the procession. Mr. Richardson was one of the earliest settlers on English Prairie, and was a man widely honored and much respected."
Eleanor, known as "ever cheerful, always trying to do something to gladden other hearts" lived almost another 20 years, dying in 1894. They are both buried in English Prairie Cemetery, along with Frank, who we'll learn more about next week...