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Rees G. Richards

Rees Griffith Richards
circa 1912
16th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
In office
January 9, 1882 – January 14, 1884
Governor Charles Foster
Preceded by Andrew Hickenlooper
Succeeded by John G. Warwick
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 22nd district
In office
January 7, 1878 – January 1, 1882
Preceded by J. K. Rukenbrod
Succeeded by J. M. Dickinson
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the Jefferson County district
In office
January 5, 1874 – January 6, 1878
Preceded by Samuel H. Ford
Succeeded by Thomas B. Scott
Personal details
Born (1842-07-22)July 22, 1842
Swansea, Wales
Died February 10, 1917(1917-02-10) (aged 74)
Steubenville, Ohio
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Catherine C. Rees
Elizabeth Johnson
Children one
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1861-1865
Rank Captain
Unit 45th Pennsylvania Infantry

Rees Griffith Richards (July 22, 1842 – February 10, 1917) was an American Republican politician who served as the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio from 1882 to 1884.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Civil War 2
  • Political 3
  • Personal 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6

Early life

Rees G. Richards was born July 22, 1842 near Swansea, Wales, and lived there until age 10. His family then moved to Ontario, Canada before removing to Tioga County, Pennsylvania.[2]

Civil War

At the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, he enlisted as a first sergeant in Company G of the 45th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry September 18, 1861. He was promoted to second lieutenant July 31, 1862, to captain September 14, 1862. He re-enlisted as a veteran January 1, 1864,[3] and was captured at the Crater, July 30, 1864.[3] He was held prisoner at Asylum Prison Camp near Charleston, South Carolina until his escape February 16, 1865. He and two colleagues made it to Union lines at Chattanooga, Tennessee March 16, 1865.[4] He was appointed brigade inspector May 11, 1865, and mustered out July 17, 1865.[3]

March 17, 1865. Shown on right with two others who escaped from Confederate POW camp.


After the war, he moved to Youngstown, Ohio and engaged in mercantile business for two years,[2][5] then six years in Irondale, Ohio. In 1873, and again in 1875, he was elected to represent Jefferson County, Ohio in the Ohio House of Representatives at the 61st and 62nd General Assemblies[6] In 1876 he was admitted to the bar.[5] He represented the 22nd district in the Ohio Senate in the 63rd and 64th General Assemblies (1878–1881).[7] In 1881, he defeated Democrat Edgar M. Johnson for election as Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, and could have had the nomination in 1883, had he wanted it.[2]

He was elected to two terms as Common Pleas Judge of Jefferson County while living in Steubenville, Ohio, starting in 1902, and died February 10, 1917.[5]


Richards married Catherine C. Rees of Tioga County, Pennsylvania on November 22, 1865, and Elizabeth Johnson of Jefferson County, Ohio on September 25, 1894, who had one daughter. Richards was a Freemason and a Presbyterian by faith. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Smith 1898 : 451
  3. ^ a b c Albert 1912 : 484
  4. ^ Story of POW camp escape is told Albert 1912 : 360-375
  5. ^ a b c Neff 1921 : 153
  6. ^ Ohio 1917 : 293
  7. ^ Ohio 1917 : 244
  8. ^ Randall 1915 volume 6 : 605


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