Seward Ruel Richardson

June 8, 1915 - June 18, 2001
Role: Chauffeur
Nicknames: Suey

Seward "Suey" Richardson was born and raised in Refugio County, Texas. His maternal grandmother, Minnie Baxley Spriggs, came to Texas from Louisiana and, like so many others, was brought in as a slave and freed. His father’s side came from Alabama through Indianola. Part of his family went to the Heards in Rockport while others went to a Thompson family who ended up in Kansas. His grandfather, Dave Spriggs, farmed for the O’Connors. Seward was a chauffeur, driving for the Fox family, the Rookes, and the O’Briens. Driving John J. O’Brien put him right in the midst of the cowhands. “I miss all that good fun. I used to go on the ranches chauffeurin’ Mr. O’Brien. I seen all that happen just like they said. They was tough, happy men that loved their work and had fun doin’ it." Intelligent and perceptive, Seward’s stories of his life driving ranchers in the earlier, wilder days were not only humorous but illustrative to a way of life that is gone. Seward's contributions to his beloved Refugio were numerous. He was instrumental in peaceably bringing the Civil Rights movement to Refugio. As an artist and a master carpenter he created over sixty miniature models of 1920s Refugio now housed at the Refugio Museum. And in his later years Seward became an author, writing “Frisco”: Eighty-One Years in Small-Town Refugio, He had such fun at the many book signings where he always outsold the rest of the authors.

Introduction to Suey Richardson

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Suey Richardson
SR – I tell you what, I used to go out on the ranch there with Mr. O'Brien. We'd go out there and I tell you what, they have a lot of fun, just like these fellas talkin'. I seen all that happen. They were just a bunch of happy men. And they were rough men. And they do things and you know he was hurt, but he wouldn't be hurt. And there was big laughin'. You remember Old Man Will Elliot.

L.V. Terrell – Oh yeah.

SR – He worked down there for the O'Connor's. Of course you know Will could really tell them yarns, you know. Old Man Will said he had this horse down there at the ranch and nobody could ride him. And said Mr. O'Connor told him, said, he told him "Will, you reckon you can ride 'em?" "Yeah, I can ride 'em." "So show these boys what you can do." He saddled that horse up and til he got set and he told the boys to turn him loose. So, they turned him loose, and he rode him from Mocha Mill to the Bear Tree Bend. So, I said it was about ten miles from the Mocha Mill to the Bear Tree Bend. And the horses name was Possum. And he said every time old Possum would hit the ground, he said, "Possum, what have I done to you that you want to treat me so mean?"

L.V. Terrell – That sounds like Will.

SR – And so every time he come up, said he was right there in front of him. In front of his nose to the tip end of his tail.