Historic marker to honor Congressman James Richardson

The Murfreesboro Post, August 31, 2008

James Daniel Richardson

James Daniel Richardson

A new Tennessee Historic Commission Marker will be placed in remembrance and honor of the unique life of a Rutherford County leader and statesman, James Daniel Richardson, 1843-1914.

A ceremony dedicating the marker will occur at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept.14 at the corner of Academy and East Main streets in Murfreesboro at the former site where James Daniel and his wife, Rebecca Alabama Pippen Richardson, built their home and raised their children.

Richardson is remembered as a Confederate veteran, prominent turn of the century Democratic leader, U.S. Congressman, Mason and nationally recognized historian. Until recently, he held the record for being the longest U. S. congressional office holder in Rutherford County.

On one side of the marker will read: “From 1868 to 1914, the residence of James Daniel Richardson stood on this corner. He served as an officer in the 45th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, CSA, and was wounded at Resaca, Georgia. At age 22 he returned to Murfreesboro, became an attorney, and later won election to the Tennessee General Assembly, where he served from 1870 to 1876. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1885 to 1905.”

On the opposite side, the marker will state: “In 1901 Richardson attained the rank of Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite Masonry, Southern Jurisdiction, and served until his death on July 25, 1914. A rare midnight Knights Kadosh funeral service was held for him at the Central Christian Church in Murfreesboro.”

The Tennessee Historic Commission approved this new marker in February. Jim Richardson Roberts, a great-grandson and the namesake of James Daniel Richardson researched and prepared the information.

Over the years, the commission has placed approximately 1,600 markers across the state. Markers are researched through surveys conducted by staff, Tennessee Department of Highway Marking, county historians and information provided by citizens.

In 2003, the last marker placed in Rutherford County was for the Middle Tennessee State Teachers College Training School. Across Rutherford County, including Richardson, a total of 56 markers commemorate significant people or histories. Recently it was discovered seven of those markers are missing. Replacement will cost $1,500 each.

Any organization or person interested in submitting or sponsoring a marker should contact Linda T. Wynn at the Tennessee Historic Commission, 2941 Lebanon Rd., Nashville, Tennessee, 37243 or call 615-532-1550. The Tennessee Historic Commission is housed in the restored Clover Bottom Mansion.

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