The Richburgs, prominent Pike County residents

Published 8:28 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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The Richburg’s were prominent residents of Pike County and in 1957, the Troy Messenger published a story of their lives.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Mr. and Mrs. William Robert Richburg, who live about 2 miles from Henderson in the Hopewell community are among the oldest, best known and prominent citizens in the rural sections of Pike County.  They have been successful tillers of the soil during their lifetime, and their operations have covered large acreage.

     Richburg, a jolly happy man, who is known throughout the county as “Uncle Bob,” was born near where he now lives 2 years after the Civil War closed, and is now nearing his 92nd birthday.  His wife, who was the former Mary Courson, is 9 years younger and will soon celebrate her 83rd birthday.

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     Richburg was born Jan. 18, 1866, and has spent most of his life in Pike County, and Mrs. Richburg was born Feb. 10, 1875, and has spent her entire life in the county.

     Richburg’s fist wife, whom he married in 1892, was Lille Rose, connected with one of the county’ most prominent families.  In 1901 they moved to Coffee County, where they spent 8 years, and moved back to their present location in 1909.  She died in 1918.

Three children were born to the Richburg’s through their first marriage one of whom is dead, but two are living in the community where they were reared.  They are Mrs. Mary Furlow, and Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson.  All members of the families get their mail on Rt. 1, Glenwood.

Richburg recalls that he attended school at Henderson for a few months during idle times on the farm.  The school house was a one-room building, typical of schools at that time, with one teacher who let the pupils study any book of their choosing.  There were no classes, and the pupils were taught individually on a “come next” program.  His teacher was the late Hansford McLeod, who lived near Henderson at the time, and he was a brother of Herbert McLeod, who for many years was a prominent druggist in Troy.

Richburg says the book he studied most was the old Blue Back speller from which he learned to spell most of the words in common use.  He still has the book in his home and it is prized as one of his most valuable possessions.

Richburg and his wife are mentally alert, and talk with remarkable clarity about past experiences.  “Uncle Bob” gets about the house with the use of a walker which he has used since he suffered a partial stroke a few years ago.  His hearing is not as good as it was in former years, but he can hear ordinary conversation, and both enjoy talking with friends.

Mrs. Richburg is a sister of the former Fate Courson, who also farmed extensively in the Hopewell community.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.