James Richards

Among those whose activities over a long period of years contributed to the development of the mining industry in the western and southwestern states, none was more highly regarded than was the late James Richards. His death, which occurred at Placerville, El Dorado county, June 1, 1930, when he was seventy-nine years of age, was greatly deplored, for he was widely known and had a host of personal friends, who admired him for his technical knowledge and accomplishments and his sterling personal qualities. Mr. Richards was born in Cornwall, England, in 1851, and was reared there to the age of fourteen years. In 1865 he came to the United States and immediately made his way to the mines of the west, where he spent seven years, the greater part of the time at Virginia City, Nevada. He then returned to his native land, where, on March 27, 1873, he married Miss Mary Louise Barnett, a schoolmate of his earlier years, to whom he had plighted his troth before starting for the new world. In 1874 Mr. and Mrs. Richards came to the coast and located at Colfax, Placer county, where they resided for nine years. During that period Mr. Richards was actively engaged in mining, which work took him to Lordsburg, New Mexico, and Tombstone, Arizona. In 1883 he became superintendent of the California Iron and Steel Works at Hotaling, where he remained three years. In 1886 he was made superintendent of the Church mine, about nine miles south of Placerville, to which place they moved and where they resided until 1897, when they came to Placerville. During the subsequent years Mr. Richards served as superintendent of various mines in this vicinity, and was later employed in a like capacity in northern Oregon and Washington. In 1904 he quit mining and purchased a grocery store in Placerville, to the management of which he gave his attention until 1918, when he sold out, living retired, save for the management of his personal property.

In 1923 Mr. and Mrs. Richards celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding, on which occasion they were greeted by many relatives and friends from all parts of El Dorado county. Mrs. Richards still resides in Placerville and is beloved by all who know her, for she is a woman of kindly and gracious manner, interested in the comfort and welfare of those about her. There are three sons and a daughter living, namely: Charles and Frank B., both of Placerville, F. Arthur of San Francisco, and Mrs. Edith F. Smith, of Placerville. Mr. Richards was a man of high ideals in both business and private life, was consistent in his actions and to a marked degree commanded the respect and confidence of his fellowmen. In his death, the community lost a worthy citizen, for he gave his wholehearted support to those things which were calculated to promote the public welfare, and his memory will long be revered by all who knew him.

History of the Sacramento Valley, California. Volume III, Biographical. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co, 1931, page 59

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