AUGUSTUS RICHARDS, Danville Mounted Riflemen

Photo courtesy of San Jacinto Lodge #106


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

Augustus Richards was born in Massachusetts on October 2, 1816. His parents' names are not known. It is likely he apprenticed there as a blacksmith, or that smithing was a family occupation that was taught to him by his father.

In about 1847, Augustus immigrated to Texas and settled in Montgomery County. He paid a poll tax in 1848, but rendered no personal or real property.

On July 19, 1849, Augustus married Mary Scanlan in Montgomery County. Mary was born in about 1825 in Ireland. There were no Scanlans in Texas in 1850, but there were dozens of people by the name of Scanlan and Scanlon in Massachusetts, many of them born in Ireland. It is probable that Mary traveled to Montgomery County expressly for the purpose of marrying Augustus. Texas was considered to be the wild West at this time.

In 1850, Augustus was living in Harris County with wife, Mary. He was enumerated as A Richards, age thirty-five. He was occupied as a blacksmith. His birthplace was given as Massachusetts. Mary was aged twenty-four, born in Ireland, and could not read or write. They had no children, but in the household were four male boarders.

By 1860, he was enumerated in Montgomery County with a wife "M," age 32, born in Ireland. They had two sons under ten by this time. He was again occupied as a blacksmith.

The winds of war began blowing toward Texas, and all able-bodied men were ordered to form themselves into militias. In May of 1861, Augustus joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen as Orderly Sergeant.

When Captain Samuel D. Wooldridge took forty-five of the Riflemen to join Carter's Brigade in May, 1862, Augustus was one of those who stayed behind. At age forty-five, he was over age. Even so, he continued serving in the Texas State Troops and was elected Major of the Seventeenth Brigade, serving under Lt. Col. Israel Worsham.

This is an image of the Regimental Return for the Third Regiment, Seventeenth Brigade, Texas State Troops, 1863, showing Augustus Richards as Major. Note the names of officers who were elected after Capt. Wooldridge left with his men.
They are listed in columns to the right of Company B.

Augustus was elected Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 in 1852 and 1874-1875 and also in 1880, 1882, and 1884. He was a county commissioner in 1858, 1862, 1864, and 1866. He served as mayor of Willis in 1878.

Augustus was a member of San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 106 and is a Pastmaster, serving sixteen terms between 1858 and 1889.

His name was on the tax lists of Montgomery County in 1866 through 1869, and he rendered town lots in Danville, apparently selling one per year between 1866 and 1869. His name does not appear in the 1870 Texas census, and indeed, cannot be located in any index. At some point between 1860 and 1880, Mary died. It is possible that Augustus sold all his property and left the county for a few years.

In the Montgomery County census of 1880, he was a widower living in Willis with his son, Augustus. He was occupied as a Justice of the Peace, born in Massachusetts, and Augustus, Jr., was a lawyer. His other son, Charles, was a druggist and was single, also living in Willis.

On 26 October 1880 when he was sixty-four, he married Minerva A. Tabor, whose first husband was Peter B. Irvine, who had served wih him in the Danville Mounted Riflemen. Minerva was born October 29, 1829, in Holmesville, Pike Co., Mississippi.

The couple was married for thirty-three years, appearing together in the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

Augustus died November 18, 1913 at the age of ninety-seven and is buried in Shepard Hill Cemetery with his wife, Minerva (1829-1915).

For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at or by contacting Frank at [email protected]

Photo courtesy of Anna Shepeard, January 2004

The above information was compiled from county and census records, from information in the Montgomery County History book, from records of Karen Lawless, from records of the San Jacinto Lodge #106 at Willis, Texas, and from the muster rolls of the Danville Mounted Riflemen. The Regimental Return is from the Seventeenth Brigade Correspondence files located at the Texas State Archives in the Adjutant General's Records. Please e-mail me if you have further records.

E-mail me at
Karen McCann Hett

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