Richland History 1933
Richland History Written in 1933
Richland. The trail which ran from Corsicana to Old Franklin, by way of Springfield, also went by the settlement around Asa Chambers' Store. Ownership, as well as location, of this store changed a number of times but the mail was always distributed from there. For many years it was the nucleus of a large settlement on Pisgah Ridge, a long, high ridge about 15 miles from Corsicana and separated from it by Richland Creek. Since the earliest settlements in Navarro, its scenic beauty has attracted attention, largely because of its outcroppings of limestone and rich historic interest. In this settlement were some of Navarro's best citizens, and for many years, some very rough citizens. There were many wild horses and many kinds of wild game. Many citizens drove their cattle here during dry summers, coming from other parts of the county, to leave their herds for weeks on the open range near water.
The Bowmans, Tramels, Nashes, Picketts, Carrolls, Andersons, Meadors, Garlicks, Roberts, Ross and Tankersley were some of the early families.
If Spanish fever cost newcomers some of their cows these pioneers gave them others. Horses were there for the taking.
Eleazar Nash moved to Pisgah Ridge from Massachusetts, in 1844. With one of his two step-sons, Clinton Fouty, he joined the rush to California during the gold excitement. The other step-son remained and took over the head-right to hold it. Mr. Nash later returned to Navarro and remained until his death. Dr. S. A. Ross moved there in 1847 where he reared a large family. The Nash family was also large. Many descendants of both families are still citizens of Navarro County.
When the H. & T. C. Railroad came through, a station was built and the present town of Richland had its beginning, the designation being taken from the nearby creek of that name. After that, at certain times of the year, the railroad was the one way of reaching the county seat because of the overflow of Richland Creek. For many years the country around Richland was engaged principally in stock raising but with the influx of citizens, pastures and ranges were cut up into farms. This was not done without some friction. The loss of free grazing aroused the ire of many. However, this section always has had a sufficient number of law-abiding citizens to keep balance and the "undesirables" gradually drifted out or passed out. Dr. A. N. Brown, who has lived there for fifty years, loves to tell of the change since that time, from a malaria-ridden district to a community of rich farms, healthful homes and good schools with their attendant developments of various kinds.
A lime kiln near Pisgah furnished lime to many of the early settlers. In fact there were many such kilns over the county. Many burned their own brick although it was not thought that the clay was good for brick in many places.
Run-away negroes often went to Richland Creek and Chambers Creek bottoms. Patrols and owners often experienced difficulty in recovering them.
With the oil boom of Navarro County Richland received a share, and now being on Highways 75 and 14, with gins, dairies, the rock quarry and other developments, Richland has a bright future.
Some of the present citizens are Mayor H. W. Steppe, superintendent of schools E. P. Gaines, Drs. Edgar and Brown and the families of Swinks, Richards, Hilburns, Elkins, Patricks, Madewells, Healer, Harmand, Lafland, Fluker, Tucker, Middlebrooks and pastors Poteet and Bohanan.
After the Civil War William H. Pursley moved to and settled a place a few miles north of Pisgah Ridge. He owned about twelve hundred acres of land, built a store and secured a post office in Pursley. He was a citizen of prominence. The store is still operated by his son. William Ward and son, John, also lived near there. John Ward's wife was a sister of Harvey Bee-man's wife. Later Mr. Pursley moved to Corsicana and built a house which was afterward owned by S.G. Mullins who reared his family there. Reverend E. W. Mullins, his son, became a brilliant minister and educator in the Baptist Church.
History of Navarro County, 1933, by Annie Carpenter Love