THE RICHARDS STORY

My father's mother Dicie Stephen's mother, was Francis Richards. I know nothing of her other than her birth and death dates, but her father MILTON RICHARDS was born 20-Mar-1810 in Highland Co. Ohio, and died 03-Oct-1886 in Sidney, Ia. He married Jane Jackson 07-Apr-1835 in Sidney, Ohio, and they came to Fremont Co., Iowa from Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846 and settled on a farm three miles south of Sidney.

However at that time there was no Fremont Co. or town of Sidney. Milton Richards helped to survey and lay out Fremont County three years later, in 1849, and he also helped to survey and lay out the town of Sidney. His wife, Jane Richards named the town of Sidney in memory of Sidney, Ohio where she lived before coming to Iowa. She also helped to organize the first church in Fremont County. It was of the Christian denomination and was organized in a log cabin known as the "Grove School House."

Milton was the first clerk of the District Court in Fremont County. He issued the first marriage license. Several terms of court were held in his farm residence before the court house was built. He kept the county money in his home until they had a place for it's keeping. He was a justice of the peace for years, and was known as "Squire Richards" until he died.

If you go to the Fremont County Clerk's office in Sidney, Iowa, you can still ask to see the original ledgers from the 1850's when Milton was Clerk. They are hand-written and kind of neat to see.

When Milton and Jane came to Iowa the indians were still there. They were waiting for their final payment from the government before moving on west. The Pottawattamies and the Omaha's were on the east side of the Missouri river and were friendly with each other, but were hostile to the Sioux tribe which was on the west side of the river. They saw several real indian war dances as the ones on the east side of the river were preparing to cross and fight the Sioux.

When Milton came to where Fremont County is now, he had to go to Council Bluffs to mill and only passed three or four houses where white people lived, on the way. For a number of years after locating in Fremont Co., they spun the wool from their own sheep, and wove it into fabric of which they made the clothing for the family.