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RG4481.AM:  Richardson Family

Papers:  1855-1869

Omaha, Douglas County, Neb.:  

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


Origen D. Richardson was born in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1796 (or 1795). After serving in the War of 1812 as a private, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1824. In about 1826 Richardson moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where he continued to practice law. He later served as a member in both branches of the legislature and as Lieutenant Governor from 1842 to 1846. He moved to Omaha, Nebraska Territory, in 1854 and was active in legal and political circles. He served in the 1st and 2nd Territorial Legislatures and was largely responsible for the revised statutes that were written in 1867. In 1860 he entered into legal partnership with B. E. B. Kennedy. Richardson and his wife, Sarah P. Hill, both died on October 29, 1876, in Omaha.

Lyman Richardson was born in Pontiac, Michigan, on June 4, 1834. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1854 and in the fall of that same year was employed on a surveying party on the lower Des Moines River. In 1855 he joined his father in Omaha and studied law under George B. Lake. He was admitted to the bar in 1858, but was never employed in legal work. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry at the start of the Civil War. After the war he resigned his captaincy and engaged in cotton planting and lumbering activities in Arkansas.

In 1868 Richardson returned to Omaha and joined the staff of the Omaha Herald, where he remained until 1887 when he devoted his interests to real estate. Richardson married Virginia Harrison Clark in September of 1860 and together they had four children. In 1904 he was living in Baltimore, Maryland.


This collection is arranged in two series: 1) Correspondence, 1855-1869; and 2) Miscellaneous. The material consists mainly of letters written to Sarah Richardson by her husband, Origen, and her son, Lyman, from 1855-1863. These letters relate to life in Nebraska Territory, political developments, family matters and to the Civil War. There is also a letter from Horace Greeley to an Omahan (name illegible) in December of 1869, thanking the person for a gift of tea.

Most of the collection consists only of photocopies; the original items are not in the Nebraska State Historical Society collections.

Note: See the Nebraska History index for references to the Richardson family.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1855-1869

Box 1


  1. Origen and Lyman Richardson to Sarah Richardson [photocopies only]

  2. Transcribed copies of Richardson letters [typescripts]

Series 2 – Miscellaneous

  1. Covers; sketch book drawing of a Pawnee Village near Fremont, Nebraska, 1856, by George Simons

  2. Clippings

  3. Certificates (see oversize)



Douglas County (Neb.) — History

Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872

Indians of North America

Law — Nebraska

Nebraska Territory — Legislative assembly

Omaha (Neb.) — History

Pawnee Indians

Richardson, Origen D., 1796?-1876

Richardson, Lyman, 1834-

Richardson family

United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Personal narratives

United States. Army — Nebraska Cavalry Regiment, 1st


DAB/ab   06-10-1967

Revised KFK   03-16-1999; 2003

Encoded TMM   06-10-2011