Lee County Biography

Andrew Richey
Paw Paw

Andrew Richey is a prosperous farmer of this county, Owning and Occupying a fine farm that is located partly in the village of Paw Paw. He comes of an old pioneer family of Stark County, Ohio, where he was born near the town of Fulton, March 14, 1830. His father, John Richey, was a native of County Donegal, Ireland, and was a son of James Richey, who is supposed to have been born in the same county, as he was there reared and married. He came to this country with his family in 1797, and was one of the first settlers of Wayne County, Ohio. He secured a quarter-section of land in the midst of the primeval forests, and there hewed out a home, in which he lived in peace and contentment the remainder of his life. He was a stanch member of the Presbyterian Church, and reared his children in that faith.

The father of our subject was a lad of fourteen years when he came to America with his parents. He went to Pennsylvania after he attained manhood, and was a resident of Beaver County until after his marriage, he subsequently returned to Ohio, and entered a tract of Government land in Stark County, near the town of Fulton, and in the log cabin which he erected on the spot, his son of whom we write was born. After he had built this shelter, the father returned to Beaver County, Pa., and in the following spring, accompanied by his wife and the two children that had been born to them there, he went back to Ohio with a team. At that time and for some years after, deer and other wild game were abundant, while Indians still lingered in the forests that had so long been their home. There were no railways or canals for a time, and Cleveland, forty miles away, was the nearest market to which the pioneers could take their produce to sell. Busy years of downright hard labor followed his settlement in that region, but when he folded his hands in death Mr. Richey left as the result of his toil a well-cleared and finely improved farm. In his work, he had the active assistance of his wife, who survived him many years. After his death, she came to Illinois, and in June, 1890, passed away at the hoane of our subject at the venerable age of ninety-three years. Her maiden name was Ellen Nixon. She was born in Lancaster County, Pa., and was reared in Beaver County. She was the mother of eleven children, eight of whom are still living. Robert, Thomas and James served with honor in the late war, and Thomas died in battle while bravely fighting for his country. John is a physician in Crawford County, Ohio.

The subject of this brief biographical review passed his early years amid the pioneer scenes of his birthplace, and was educated in the early schools of his native State. The first that he attended was taught in a log house, furnished with slab benches, and a slab against the wall served as the only desk in the room. Just as soon as large enough, he began to help on the farm, and in due time acquired a thorough practical understanding of agriculture in all its branches. He was never separated from his parents until their death, being their mainstay and comfort in their declining years. He lived on the old homestead in Ohio until 1865, when he came to Lee County and purchased a farm in Brooklyn Township. In 1874 he sold that place and bought the farm that he now occupies, a part of which lies in the village of Paw Paw. Its improvements are of a substantial order, and he is continually adding to them, and increasing the value of his property from year to year.

During his residence of a quarter of a century or more in this section of Illinois, Mr. Richey has acquired an assured position among the most reliable and respected men of his calling, who are diligently upholding and extending the great agricultural interests that are so important in maintaining the prosperity of the county. He is a man of sound and sensible views on all subjects with which he is conversant, and in his political opinions is an unswerving Republican, and has been ever since he cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Fremont, the first candidate of the party.

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