|Death: ||Feb. 27, 1903|
RICHMOND, GEORGE B., a former New Bedford Mayor (1870,1871, 1872, 1874, 1878), was born in New Bedford, November 9, 1821. His parents were Gideon Richmond, of Dighton, and Rebecca Barstow, of Scituate. He was educated at the Friends' Academy, New Bedford ; Pierce Academy, Middleboro;
and at Brown University, There he remained only two years on account of ill-health. He returned to New Bedford and entered upon a business life. His natural
inclinations led him at the very beginning of his career to participate in public affairs, and he has occupied a leading position among the public spirited men of his native town.
Mr. Richmond took an active and leading part in the noted contest of the People against the New Bedford Bridge Corporation, which was waged in the courts and Legislature
from 1845 to the summer of 1855, and terminated in securing what had become an imperative necessity, the widening of the draw in the bridge from thirty-two feet to sixty feet to accommodate the then increasing commerce of New Bedford, whose large whaling fleets were then sailing upon every ocean.
In 1851 he was elected on the Whig ticket as a member of the State Legislature of 1852.
In 1861, May 1. Mr. Richmond was appointed inspector, weigher, gauger and measurer in the New Bedford Custom House, which office he held till he resigned in January,
1874. In 1867 he was nominated by the temperance prohibitory party for mayor of New Bedford, and also in 1868, and was defeated both years, but was elected in 1869.
Mr. Richmond was mayor in the years 1870, 1871, 1872, 1874 and 1878. During his occupancy of the mayoralty the city gained a high reputation throughout the neighboring
Commonwealths for good government, and in the enforcement of the liquor laws of the Commonwealth, and was cited everywhere by temperance advocates as illustrative
of the efficiency of prohibitory liquor laws when well enforced.
During his administration as mayor, the city was visited by President Ulysses S. Grant, and King Kalakua, of the Sandwich Islands. A public reception given to each of these distinguished visitor in 1874 which was was gracefully conducted by His Honor, to the satisfaction of the citizens and evident enjoyment of the guests.
Mr. Richmond's efforts in the prosecution of the liquor laws in New Bedford were cordially sustained and supported by boards of aldermen composed of citizens of high character, and who were in thorough sympathy with the mayor in all of his work. Aside from this, Mr. Richmond's mayoralty was highly successful. His administration was
signalized by a new era in the extension of streets, in the rebuilding of the New Bedford and Fairhaven bridge, and his enterprise in other public improvements contributed in a marked degree to the prosperity of the city'. December 31, 1873, just previous to his inauguration as mayor, in 1874, Governor Washburn appointed Mr. Richmond one of the police commissioners of the Commonwealth, and he held the same until the commission was abolished. Our beautiful High School building was planned and all contracted for during the administration of Mayor Richmond in 1874, and the work was commenced in laying its foundation during the latter part of that year.
In 1880 and '81 he was a member of the State Senate, representing the Third Bristol District. The last named year he was chairman of the Committees on Public Charitable
Institutions, and the Liquor Law. A vacancy occurring in the office of register of
deeds for the Southern Bristol District in 1883, Mr. Richmond was appointed to the vacancy, a position that he still occupies with great satisfaction to the public. In 1886 he was appointed by Governor Robinson a trustee of the Westborough Insane Hospital, and in 1887 was reappointed by Governor Ames for five years, and in 1892 was reappointed
by Governor Russell.
Mr. Richmond was always an ardent Republican, and also an earnest advocate of prohibitory measures for suppressing the liquor traffic. For years he was chairman of the Republican City Committee. In 1888 he was a member of the Republican State Central Committee. In the same year he was chairman of the Bristol County Committee, of the First Congressional District Committee and also of the Third Bristol District Senatorial Committee. In the fall of 1888 he declined re-election on all these, desiring to devote his entire attention to the duties of his office.
In 1889 Mr. Richmond was elected a director in the Bristol County Mutual Insurance Company. He was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the First Baptist Society, and for five years was superintendent of its Sabbath-school. He was for years one of the board of the New Bedford Port Society, and was one of the trustees of the
New Bedford Five Cent Savings Bank. For seven years he was president of the Young Men's Christian Association. He has been closely identified with many movements for promoting the moral and material welfare of the city, and is one of
New Bedford's most esteemed citizens.
Mr. Richmond was married in Middleborough, November 5, 1844, to Rebecca R. C, daughter of Rev. Ebenezer and Rebecca Childs Nelson, of Middleborough, by whom he
had seven children, five of whom are living. Mrs. Richmond died July 31, 1863. His second marriage was at New Bedford, December 15, 1864, to Abby S., daughter of Deacon Nathaniel and Hannah Smith Nelson, who died July 30, 1868. His third marriage was at New Bedford, November 2, 1871, to Elizabeth E., daughter of Capt. Charles D. and Mary H. Swift, of New Bedford.
Gideon Richmond (1790 - 1871)
Rebecca B. Barstow Richmond (1790 - 1861)
Abby S. Nelson Richmond (1820 - 1868)*
Rebecca R. C. Nelson Richmond (1823 - 1863)*
William T. Richmond (1845 - 1931)*
Charles N. Richmond (1853 - 1929)*
George B. Richmond (1856 - 1910)*
Emma C. Richmond (1857 - 1937)*
Marianna N. Richmond (1858 - 1954)*
Plot: Section I Lot 4
Created by: Jim Grasela
Record added: Dec 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102430378