Erastus Emery Richards

Company A, 15th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Erastus Emery Richards attended the common parish, and high schools of his neighborhood and read law for two years in the offices of M. C. Johnson and H. S. Hanschett . On June 10, 1852, he came to Woodstock, IL and since his arrival has taken an important part in its public life and development. When his country had need of him, he enlisted in Co. A , 15th Illinois Infantry, and served bravely and well during the Civil War, participating among other engagements, in the battle of Shiloh. After his honorable discharge, ( records show he was transferred to the HQ band June 18, 1861 and mustered out April 18, 1862) he returned to Woodstock and resumed his peaceful occupations. For one year he served as deputy circuit clerk and was deputy county clerk under E. M. Lamb, William H. Stewart, for four years, and M. D. Hoy for eight years. He was clerk of the circuit court and recorder of deeds for twelve successive years; he served as Mayor of Woodstock for three full terms and to fill a vacancy; was Alderman of Woodstock for one term; and was city and town clerk. For ten years he was president of the school board and for seventeen years was president of the board of directors of the Public Library. For over twenty-six years he was president of the State Bank of Woodstock, of which he is now a director, and was president of the Citizens State Bank of Nunda.
On July 19, 1864, Mr. Richards was married at Woodstock, ILL. To Frances A Wait, a daughter of Henry M. and Narina (King) Wait. Mrs Richards died December 13, 1920. Mr and Mrs. Richards had no children. Mr Richards is a Mason and belongs to St. Mark’s Lodge No. 63, A F and A M which he served as Master for one year; Woodstock Chapter No. 36, R A M, Calvary Commandery No 25 K T., of which he was eminent Commander for six successive years, and he is treasure of it at present.
A man of his standing naturally has weight in the community, and Mr. Richards has always exerted himself to bring about improvements, and to raise the standards in every possible way. While Mayor, he set in motion a number of movements which ultimately resulted in additional elaboration of the plans of those who had the best interests of the County seat at heart. His wide experience as a public official, and his knowledge of the law, especially as related to property rights, have made him an invaluable man in his firm, and in his banking connections. Mr. Richards has taken a considerable interest in music for years, being a talented musician himself; and he has himself written several operas and produced one.

History of McHenry County
Page 819

Submitted by William Baran

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