Biography - Bayless A. Richhart

BAYLESS A. RICHHART. The Richhart family have for years been prominent in this country. The oldest progenitor known to our subject was his grandfather, Henry Richhart, who was born and reared in Pennsylvania, coming of Pennsylvania Dutch stock and parentage. He was a farmer by occupation, in Pennsylvania. He moved to Ohio and there died at the age of sixty-eight years. While a young man he married Susanna Lawyer, who was also of Dutch ancestry; she, like her husband, passed her life in her native State, and there passed away at the age of about forty years. The aged couple were sturdy, stanch, true-hearted representatives of the Quaker State. To them were born fourteen children, three of whom are yet living, namely: Henry, Mrs. Barbara Johnson and Catherine Brainer. Henry is a farmer and dairyman at Nickerson, Kan. Mrs. Brainer is now living in Morgan County, this State.

The father of our subject was William Richhart and was one of the large family above mentioned, He was born December 13, 1816, in Boss County, Ohio. There he was reared and early learned the science of farming. When he reached manhood he was married in Pickaway County, Ohio, to Miss Elenore Nichols, a native of the county wherein her marriage was celebrated. The lady was a daughter of Bayless Nichols, and was born December 31, 1784, in Virginia, and died in Ohio, May 3, 1842. Her father was twice married, his first wife being Melinda Rutledge. She died leaving five offspring. The second wife of Bayless Nichols, was Sarah Griffith. After their marriage they spent the remainder of their lives in Ohio, being old settlers there. Their parents came respectively from England and Virginia, the father of Bayless Nichols being a native of the British Isles. He came to America when a young man and was early married to Elizabeth Glover, their nuptials being celebrated, strange to say, during the strife of the Revolution, and although the groom was not long from the mother country, he did not demur that his bride's wedding outfit was homespun and the work of her own hands, as on principle, she would not pay any duty on foreign goods. They were married in Virginia, where their fifteen children were born. They moved to Ohio where they spent the remainder of their lives. They were Methodists in religious belief, and Whigs in political following.

After marriage, William Richhart, the father of our subject, began life with his bride in Boss County, Ohio, and some years after the birth of their first child, came to Illinois during the '40s, journeying hither with their household goods overland, by means of teams. They settled in a new part of Morgan County, near Arcadia, where they entered a farm which in later years was improved to a high degree. It was at this place that our subject opened his eyes to the light of this mundane sphere, his natal day being September 24, 1850. He was the second child and the first born to his parents in Illinois. There were five sons and four daughters in all. Only three of the sons are now living. They are our subject, John and William. The latter is a farmer in this county, and John is a farmer at Strawn, Coffey County, Kan. Both have taken to themselves wives who are good and noble women. The father died in Morgan County on his farm, March 18, 1856. He was a good man and had a large circle of friends where he lived, who mourned his loss. Politically he was an old-line Whig, and in his religious views, a Methodist. He was a quiet, unpretentious man, but genial and kindly in his disposition. His wife, who survived him, married Lewis Dean. One child was the outcome of this union. Mrs. Dean, who is now sixty-five years of age is yet active and ambitious. She lives in Moweaqua, and is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of that place.

The original of our sketch was reared to manhood in Morgan County and when about twenty years of age moved to Logan County, Ill., and after two years spent there, he removed to Macon County in 1872 and six years thereafter came to this county. He was first married in Logan County, to Miss Maggie B. Stein, who was a native of Pennsylvania, and who, when very young, came with her parents to Illinois, settling first in Flat Branch Township, Shelby County, and after some years, the parents, Samuel and Elizabeth (Macklin) Stein, moved to Moweaqua and there died at an advanced age. Mrs. Richhart, the wife of our subject, died in Flat Branch Township, on the farm on which she was reared, October 8, 1883, being then only twenty-seven years of age. She was the mother of five children, one of whom died in infancy. Those living are Bertha A., Nellie E., Russell E. and Mabel.

Mr. Richhart was a second time married in Pickaway Township, to Miss Ida B. Stump. Their marriage was celebrated April 5, 1885. The lady is a native of Pickaway Township, where she was born January 31, 1864. She was brought up in the county in which she was married and is a daughter of Jacob and Sarah Stump, who are natives of Ohio, being married in Pickaway County, Ohio, and later coming to Illinois, where they settled in Pickaway Township. There they purchased and improved a tract of land and there Mr. Stump died in the spring of 1876, while yet in the prime of life. Mrs. Stump is yet living on the old homestead, having attained sixty-three years of age. She, as was her husband, is a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Richhart is the mother of two children whose names are Rollin F. and Bessie A.

Mr. and Mrs. Richhart are members of the United Brethren Church. The gentleman has been honored by several positions in the township gift, having been Road Commissioner, Supervisor and Assessor, besides holdings minor offices. He is a prominent Republican in his locality. There is a saying that "He who shoots at a midday sun, though he may not hit, shoots higher than he who aims at a bush," and this has ever been the mode of procedure of our subject. He can truly say that he is a self-made man, ever having worked to reach the mark which he had set high for himself. He has thus far overcome every difficulty that he has encountered in his career and has already won a flattering degree of success. He owns a beautiful home which is on three hundred and forty acres, located on section 1, of Flat Branch Township. Here he has a fine residence recently built on the site of one that he lost by fire.

Extracted 27 Sep 2020 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 709-711.

Templates in Time