Glendale, California Biographies

Elkanah W. Richardson


        Elkanah W. Richardson, son of William C. B. and Sarah (Everett) Richardson, was born at Cleveland, Ohio, November 6, 1849. He was fitted for a business career by having his public schooling supplemented with a business education, after which he creditably filled a position as bookkeeper for a time, before being sent to California, via Cape Horn, to look after matters pertaining to the Santa Eulalia Ranch, which was purchased by his father in 1868. He worked his passage as a sailor from New York City to San Francisco, and went directly to the ranch, arriving there early in the fall of 1871. After fulfilling his mission at the ranch, by a stay of a few weeks, he returned to Cleveland, stopping over at Chicago, where he saw the devastation caused by the big fire of that year. He remained in Cleveland, assisting his father with surveying in that city and vicnity until June, 1873, when he came to California, and on December first, assumed charge of the Santa Eulalia Ranch. This was wholly under his supervision until 1880, when his father and mother came to make it their home. Then followed many years of successful operation of the property, with the father and son working and planning together.

        Mr. Richardson was one of the organizers and incorporators of the City of Tropico, and was one of its first Board of Trustees. He was also one of the organizers of the Glendale Union High School, and was one of its first Board of Trustees; a member of the Glendale Valley Club and the Pioneer Society of Los Angeles County. Fraternally he was an Odd Fellow, and a Past Grand of the subordinate lodge, also a member of the Encampment and the Rebekahs. Mr. Richardson died April 22, 1911, after having been a resident of the valley for nearly thirty-eight years. The Americans living in the valley in 1873 were few, and it can be safely said that he was the first American to come to the valley and make it his permanent home. Although other had lived in the valley, their residence was only transitory.

        At Los Angeles, California, November 2, 1887, Mr. Richardson married Ella Weekly, fifth child of Labon and Mary Jane (Dunn) Weekly. Her parents were natives of Ohio, and of old Yankee ancestry. Her father was a teacher of music and voice culture and her mother had been a schoolteacher. To benefit Mr. Weekly’s health, the family came to Los Angeles to live. Mr. and Mrs. Weekly passed away soon after coming to Los Angeles, and Ella Weekly was left an orphan at the age of six years. She was reared in the homes of Mrs. John Blossner and Mrs. Charles Woodhead, of Los Angeles, and later made her home with W. C. B. Richardson. Mr. and Mrs. Richardson became the parents of five children: Eulalia R. (now Mrs. Shives Mitchell), of King City, California. She is a graduate of Stanford University. In 1913 she took a trip around the world on the steamship Cleveland, sailing from San Francisco and landing at New York City nine months later. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell are the parents of two boys: Billy R. and Ferguson. E. Will is a graduate of the University of Maine. He is a veteran of the World War, and was with the army of occupation on the Rhine at Coblenz, Germany, after the armistice was signed. He is now a rancher and insurance agent at Lankershim. In February 1922, he married Helen Fletcher of Hollywood. Omar Burt is a contractor and builder of Los Angeles, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. Paul Eddy, a junior at Stanford University, recently returned from a trip around the world as a part of his curriculum at the university. The voyage was made on the Admiral Line steamer Kasson, on which he was assistant engineer during the latter part of the trip. John Henry graduated from Glendale Union High School with the class of 1922, and is now attending Virginia University, Richmond, Virginia.

        Mrs. Richardson is one of Glendale’s leading women. Besides attending to her various business interests, she finds time to take an active interest in politics, civic affairs and club life. She is a member of the Republican County Central Committee, was the first President of the Child’s Student Club, a charter member of the Colorado Street School, Parent-Teacher Association, a member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club, an official of the Glen Eyrie Chapter, Order Eastern Star, a charter member of the Lester Meyers Chapter of War Mothers, a member of the Women’s Relief Corps and of the Chamber of Commerce. She is a Christian Scientist, and a member of the Mother Church, the First Church of Christ Scientist, Boston, Massachusetts. She was one of the organizers of the First Church of Christ Scientist, Glendale. She has traveled in many states, and for nearly a year was a resident of Brookline, Massachusetts, while her sons were attending the Universities of the East. Philanthropic and benevolent, she is always ready to help any just cause but greater than her generosity in worldly goods is her wealth of kindness and sympathy. She resides at 317 North Brand Boulevard.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 391-392. Photos of E. W. Richardson and Ella W. Richardson appear on pages 388-389.