Cornelius Roscoe “C.R.” Richardson 1886 ~ 1964
Richardson, born in 1886 in Georgia, graduated in 1905 from the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School before attending Howard University. After graduating from Howard, he came to Richmond in 1912. He was among Indiana’s early black lawyers.
He served in World War I and afterward helped form the American Legion in Indiana.
He and his wife, Melva, met and married in 1920.
Richardson was an active Republican. He was a delegate at-large from Indiana to the 1924 Republican National Convention, where Calvin Coolidge was nominated for president. Under Coolidge’s presidency, Richardson was sent to the Virgin Islands as a commissioner and helped establish the U.S. territory’s government.
In 1956, he represented the 10th District as the first black elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Dwight Eisenhower was nominated for president at the convention.
Richardson also was a leader in the Elks and Masonic lodges. He practiced law in Richmond until his death at age 78 in 1964.
C.R. Richardson Elementary School and Richardson Court are named in his honor. A library at Townsend Community Center also was named for him because he was active in the center’s creation.
Melva Stewart Richardson 1889 ~ 2001
Melva Richardson, who was born Jan. 11, 1889, was one of nine children near Princeton, Ind. Richardson left Princeton to be with her sister in Danville, Ill., while her sister gave birth. When her sister didn’t need her help any longer, Richardson came to Richmond at the request of a friend.
In 1920, she met and married C.R. Richardson, who had come to Richmond in 1912 after graduation from Howard Law School.
Richardson helped her husband in his law firm serving as a typist and secretary. When her husband became involved in state and national politics, she was usually at his side.
She did all the family driving, relatives said, and the couple traveled extensively. She continued to travel after her husband’s death in 1964. (C.R. Richardson died in December, 1964. C.R. & Melva are buried at Earlham Cemetery, Richmond, Indiana)
She was a member of the Bethel AME Church, the Mary B. Talbert Club, the Indiana Federation of Colored Women’s Club and the Ada chapter of the Eastern Star. She continued to vote until 1996 and she often encouraged the students at C.R. Richardson Elementary School, which is named for her husband.
Richardson died March 31, 2001, at age 112, and is still known as the area’s longest-lived person.
Source; Palladium Item news 2-6-2010
Cornelius R. Richardson