Sullivan Richardson stories
  1. History of Sully
  2. Indians
  3. Geronimo
  4. Nixy the Apache
  5. Massacre
  6. Jacob Hamblin
  7. Incidents
  8. Curley Bear
  9. 1880 Census
  10. Emigrant Train
  11. Indian Origins
  12. For Young Folks
  13. Visit to Pres Diaz

Sullivan Calvin "Sully" Richardson

Sullivan was born 26 January 1861 in Manti, Sanpete County, Utah. His parents were among the early pioneers of Utah. He was orphaned at the age of twelve. His mother died when he was ten, but her loving tender care & the sweet, wise guidance had so molded his character, that for days after her leaving, this heart-broken child would kneel at her grave begging for her comfort. In his diary he says she never whipped nor scolded her children, but her demonstrative stories of right & wrong made lasting impressions for good, & her desires guided his course of action.

A great blessing left to him was his elder brother, Edmund Charles, who was the comfort, guide, protector, & close companion the rest of his life.

At fourteen he began to shift for himself, working with friends & neighbors. He drove horses on a buggy that took children to school. He mixed & baked bread for the bakery & for families for two years. Later, he peddled fruit & worked at the molasses mill of Res Durfee.

Some people talked of going to Arizona. The Whiting boys, who were Sullivan's & Edmund's dearest friends, & their mother, who had been a mother to these two orphan boys, were among those who decided to go. Sullivan's diary says, "This trip appealed to us, so we decided to go with them. I was seventeen years of age, when we turned our backs on all that had been so dear to us in childhood. We started for a new country & a new phase of life, & I believe the feelings guiding my life at that time, meant to me what the spirit of gathering meant to the Saints of the world. In Manti we made one stop. Walter Cox said to us, 'I am glad you are going to work in the United Order, for even if you do not work long, it will give you new feelings toward your fellow men that you get in no other way.'"

"We took with us drawing paper & colored pencils & had fun using them to paint our comic situations, which were indelibly pictured in glowing colors on our minds." The boys composed songs & music to go with them as they went along.

They drew a picture of Lee's Backbone after crossing the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry, as they traveled south over that big mountain. One said, "Now that road was not that steep, you couldn't get a wagon over that." From his diary, "At times we had to chain the back wheels of the front wagon to the front wheels of the back wagon, sometimes fastening to the cliffs as we very slowly moved them along. When we got near the brink of the Grand Canyon, we went along & feasted our eyes on the grandeur that the view can never fail to give."

"The trip was tedious, hard & long. At a snowstorm at Salt Creek, I took cold & it settled in my lungs & in my throat. My throat became so sore, & my breathing so affected, as they steadily grew worse. Several times Edwin Whiting woke me in the night greatly alarmed & fearful that I was dying.

"It was so serious that at Lee's Ferry, when we camped near Timp Freeman, he came up, looked at me a while, & said: 'Bye, young feller, I'm sure sorry for you' & freely expressed his opinion that I would never reach the settlement."

"But how different was the expression of Brother Jacob Bigler, a German convert, who lived at Willow Springs. He was out hunting cows just before we drove up to the Springs, & for sometime he walked with Edwin by the side of the wagon, talking of the road & work of our people in Arizona. Seeing me ride through the sand, he asked, 'What is the matter with the young man?' When told of my condition, he said, "I feel like I would be glad to administer to him. May I?' When we unhitched by the little stream, he brought some oil from his little rock house. His words were in German & I did not know what he said in the administration. But he added, 'You will get well. I know you will. I feel the strength go out of my arms to you.'"

"The next afternoon all soreness was gone, but I could hardly believe a sore throat could have made me so weak as I felt for some time. I have never been seriously troubled with my throat since."

"At the Moabby wash, we came upon Brother Foster, who had lost a horse. I hitched my little mare in & drove the outfit to Brigham City. We arrived there December 15, 1878." (Verona's comment: We remember that my great grandparents, Francis Morley Cox & his wife Elizabeth Ann Johnson Cox were called to help colonize this area in Arizona in 1876 & were also at Brigham City. They had returned to Manti for supplies about October 1878, & were released in 1879 after his father Frederick Walter Cox's death--also the biological father of Charles Edmund & Sullivan Calvin Richardson.)

"The success of the United Order opened the way for the permanent settling of that desolate country. Its very presence was a wonderful blessing to those on their way to the upper valleys. The fact that so often they gave aid in awful circumstances to these travelers cannot fail to be a testimony to anyone of the inspiration prompting the call. It was plainly shown that in no way except working together, as in that Order, could it possibly have been accomplished."

"It was in 1881 that I started on a wedding trip with Martha Irene Curtis to St. George. The second day out we began having chills & fever. My sweetheart lay shaking in my wagon driven by Roe Whiting. And I would lie in my brother Edmund's wagon shaking it day after day. Before reaching St. George, the mules stampeded, & I had a good run before I finally caught them. I rode back & got into the wagon for my usual shake, but it failed to come, & I never had another. We were married on the 28th of September 1881, after which we went back to our Arizona home."

In 1884 he made another trip to Utah & enjoyed several days in the St. George Temple. The 11th of December 1884 was especially a lasting pleasure. Some wonderful promises were given to Sullie & Amy Tresa Leavitt by her mother, & they were married in the Temple that day.

Soon after returning to Arizona, the call came to go to Old Mexico. They reached Casas Grandes River in Chihuahua, Mexico the 17th of March, then went on to Colonia Diaz. George Teasdale was the apostle who lived with & helped the Saints in Old Mexico. He chose S.C. Richardson for his interpreter. In this appointment he had many inspirational & faith promoting experiences, & he often saw the hand of the Lord guide their dealings with the Mexican people in securing a degree of peace for the saints.

S.C. Richardson was a carpenter of no mean ability. With his hands he built homes & furnished them for his & many other families. He was an excellent cabinetmaker, & in later years, he did mostly technical carpenter work.

Of his work as a schoolteacher, he wrote the following, "I think the greatest thing of my life's work was Brother Mills getting me started in the school room. That, through the blessing & inspiration of the Lord, has given me the power of getting into the hearts of some of these rattle headed boys that I believe has been a blessing to many."

He took care of the mail service for many years. He was also book agent & gave each of his children a book for each birthday & Christmas, until each had a nice library. He wrote seven small books & many poems & articles.

The twenty-eight & one half years Sullivan C. Richardson spent in the schoolroom were lived in Old Mexico. There has never been a teacher who more quickly or easily understood his pupils or who tried harder to teach them, not only that which was to be found in textbooks, but the truths that were engraven upon his heart.

He has been a noble & considerate husband, as must be any man who can successfully live polygamy. Each of his children will testify that he has been the best father in the world. Three of his boys enlisted in the Army at the time of the World War. Seven would have gone, had not the Armistice been signed at the time it was. Two of his daughters & five of his sons have filled missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All of his children, regardless of their occupation, are honored & respected as fine men & women, & as good citizens.

After having to leave Mexico, & virtually all of their earthly belongings in the exodus of 1912, the family moved to the Gila Valley in Arizona. In 1928, they moved to Mesa to work in the Temple. He was an Ordinance Worker at the temple for as along as he lived, along with twelve of his family. The workers of the Mesa Temple & thousands of his kindred dead owe him a debt of gratitude for his years of service there.

Sullivan Calvin Richardson spent the day of the 17th of February 1940 very happily with his wife, Irena, & two of their sons in Los Angeles. In the evening of that day, a blood clot lodged in the artery near his heart, & after a few hours he passed away. His funeral services were held there the 21st & his body was sent to Springville, Utah, where many relatives & friends held graveside services & laid his body to rest February 25, 1940. A heavenly place is brightened & bettered because his presence is there, & his exemplary life & teachings make it easier for us to try for a place there.

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