Robert H. Richardson was born in Tiltonsville, Jefferson County, Ohio on July 23, 1923. It was from his great-aunt Lorena Roth, which he learned much about the early Tiltons and Jefferson County history. Robert’s parents were Harry Benjamin Richardson (who was a Marine and fought in WWI), and Elsie Margaret Roth. Elsie’s parents were Harman Roth and Mary Ann Hughs. Harman’s father was John Roth, who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1851 and migrated to Tiltonsville in 1867. In fact, where Robert now lives, John owned two lots, which Robert bought in 1951.
In 1962 Mr. Richardson’s research interest began with a statement he made at a local historical society meeting in Warren Twp that, “someone should write a book!” Well, that was the start of Robert’s publishing career and should I say journey! He published his first historical narrative titled, “Tilton Territory, Warren Township, Jefferson County, Ohio” in 1977 and spent many years researching and then followed that book by publishing a second in 1983 titled, “A Time and Place in Ohio.” His ability to “take us back in time” is almost uncanny!
While interviewing Robert, I can’t say that I have met a nicer person in all my life! He was so generous with his records, photo’s, and information, that our chapter executive board members decided to present him with a life time membership and a framed “certificate of excellence” award. Flora L. VerStraten presented Mr. Richardson with the award and gave him a framed certificate and an honorary lifetime membership, due to his contributions to our county history, included in his printed publications.
Robert had a great childhood growing up in Tiltonsville and spend a lot of time fishing on the trails down by the river, hiking in Glen Robbins, swimming on the Ohio River back in the days when the river had a beachfront. He was also a Boy Scout! Robert had one sister and two brothers, one brother is still living in Yorkville. He spent his childhood with the neighborhood children who included; Walter Graham, Billy Graham (cousins- not brothers), Ed Donley, Jimmy and Glen Jones (brothers), Peter Briggs and Kenneth Rees (Robert noted that Kenneth was Welsh). They all played and loved baseball and watched the big “local game” between Yorkville (Highland) and Tiltonsville every year.
As of January 2006 - Whenever Flora goes to visit Mr. Richardson, he always has some good stories to share. He has allowed her to take photo's of his collections and has even been generous in sharing documents and facts that he has gathered over the years. The chapter cherishes the friendship we have made with him.
Note - Mr. Richardson also donated his hard of indexing the earliest deeds for Jefferson County as well as his work indexing the Pathfinders Series, from volumes vi and viii, of which he cross-referenced all references to Jefferson County early pioneers. These indexes are also available from our homepage, under services, click on publications for sale.
(Mary Ann Brand Henry General Store 1900)
(Main & Market St., Tiltonsville, Ohio)
As a child Robert never remembers going hungry because his father had a good job in the mill as a “rougher.” The grocery store on the corner had plenty of dry goods and was owned by George Briggs. Robert reflects on his days as a paperboy and said that he had a large route that consisted of 72 people. He would get paid 50 cents a week for his paper route. Robert remembers the Sunday Matinee Palace Theatre, Showboats arriving at the Briggs Landing at which time a large brass band would come through town and play. He even remembers that Red Skelton was on several of the boats and quite the comedian in his day! John Fritz owned the confection store where Robert would buy an ice cream cone at the parlor and penny candy. John’s nickname was “heavy thumb.” Some thought when he weighed items, he would push the scale with his thumb! And then there was Joe Vandine who owned a small novelty shop.
Robert upon graduating from High School attended Ohio State for four years in 1942. One of his earliest jobs was with Blaw-Knox Company making ship guns and in 1946 he began working for Wheeling Steel Corporation (before they merged with Pittsburgh in 1968), which he retired from as an industrial engineer.
Robert married Ethel Semelveis of Martins Ferry. They have two daughters, Betty and Vicki, and one son, James. His posterity now includes five grandchildren.
RICHARDSON, Robert "Bob," 87, of Main Street, Tiltonsville, Ohio, passed away Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at his home.
He was born July 23, 1923 in Tiltonsville, son of the late Harry and Elsie Roth Richardson.
He was an active member of St. Joseph Church, Tiltonsville, Honorary member of Tiltonsville Volunteer Fire Dept and an author of two books on Ohio History and Geneology.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Homer Richardson.
Surviving are his loving wife of 66 years, Ethel Semelveis Richardson; a son, James (Lisa) Richardson; two daughters, Betty (Ron) Duchon and Vicki Vannest; a brother, Norman Richardson; a sister, Edna (Bill) Roberts; a special friend, Tammy Milan; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received to pay tribute to Bob and celebrate his life on Thursday from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. at Borkoski Funeral Home, Tiltonsville.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday morning at 9 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with Msgr. George Coyne officiating.
Burial in Holly Memorial Gardens, Pleasant Grove, Ohio. Vigil service on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
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