Jefferson County Historical Society

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Skelton Richardson, farmer, was born near the Gen. Grant farm, in St.
Louis County, Mo., February 8, 1820, and is the sixth of thirteen
children born to Booker and Nancy (Cheatham) Richardson, natives of
Franklin and Halifax Counties, Va.  The father was born in 1775, was
married in Virginia, and just prior to 1811 removed to near Nashville,
Tenn.  He soon after removed to St. Louis County, where he remained
until 1833, when he came to Jefferson County, settling on Black Water,
and here died, as did also his wife, in 1841.  He was of Welsh-Scotch
descent, and was a farmer by occupation.  He was a soldier in the 
Seminole War, and was in the battle of Horseshoe Bend.  His father was
a major in the War for Independence.  The mother of Skelton was an 
aunt of the celebrated and daring Confederate Gen. Cheatham, of Tennessee, 
and also a near relative of Gen. Jubal A. Early, of Confederate fame.  
Skelton remained at home until seventeen years of age, and received very 
limited educational advantages.  He then went to the lead mines of 
Southwest Wisconsin, where he spent four or five years. He then returned 
to Missouri, followed farming in Jefferson County until 1852, when he 
crossed the plains to California, and here spent about ten months mining.  
In 1854 he returned to Missouri and purchased about 160 head of cattle, 
after which he returned to California, and here remained until 1859, this 
time engaged in mining, farming and dealing in stock, at which he was 
quite successful.  At the latter date he returned to Jefferson County, 
with the intention of soon returning to the coast, but February 23, 1860, 
he married Miss Mary B. Woodson, whose father was a native of Virginia, 
but an early settler of Jefferson County, where he practiced law. His name, 
Samuel Woodson, is well known in the county.  One child was born to our 
subject's marriage: Woodson Booker Richardson.  Soon after marriage Mr. 
Richardson settled near Herculaneum, where he remained until 1867, when 
he located one-half mile southwest of Kimmswick, where he has forty-one 
acres, and a small farm in another tract near by.  Politically a life 
long Democrat, his first presidential vote was cast for James K. Polk, in 
1844.  Mr. Richardson is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and his wife 
is a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church.