Deeds are thoughts crystallized, and according to their brilliancy is judged the worth of a man to the community, as in his work is found a true index of his character. The study of the life of the representative American never fails to afford much pleasing and valuable instruction, for in the career of every man is to be found the embodiment of great ideas as well as the power rightly applied to reduce these ideas to concrete form for the good of the individual and the world. The present auditor of Hancock county, whose name initiates this review, is a worthy representative of that type of American character and progressive spirit which promotes public good in advancing individual prosperity and conserving popular interests.
Charles G. Richman is a native of the county of Hancock and a son of Anton F. G. and Mary K. (Meier) Richman, the father a prominent citizen of New Palestine engaged in farming and banking (see sketch elsewhere in these pages). He was born November 10, 1869, and had the good fortune to be reared on a farm, the fruitful soil from which have spring the majority of our great men, together with the very bone and sinew of the country known as the "common people." When a youth he attended the common schools and the training thus secured was afterwards supplemented by a course at the Central Normal College at Danville, Indiana, where he prepared himself for the profession of teaching. For a period of three years he was engaged in educational work in the common schools of Hancock county, but, not caring to devote his life to a calling which promised only meager financial returns, abandoned teaching and in 1889 became associated with John W. Waltz in general merchandising at New Palestine. Under the firm name of Waltz & Richman they did a lucrative business and within a short time after organization enjoyed a full share of public patronage. Subsequently Mr. Waltz disposed of his interest to the subjects father, when the style of the firm was changed to Richman & Son, by which it continued to be known until Joseph W. Kitley purchased the elder Richmans share, the firm of Richman & Kitley continuing until 1899, at which time Mr. Richman removed to Greenfield to assume his duties as county auditor, to which office he was elected in the fall of the preceding year. While always interested in public and political matters, Mr. Richman had never been an active partisan and up to the time of his nomination for auditor has not been known as a party worker. Strong in his adherency to the Democratic party and an earnest supporter of its principles, he found little that was attractive in the domain of modern politics-in fact, the methods to which the ordinary politician resorted for the accomplishment of his purpose were decidedly repellant to him. For a number of years his well-defined business policy and sterling honesty had been duly recognized by his many friends throughout the county, and it was by reason of these, and other qualifications, that his name was placed before the convention in the spring of 1898. Fully cognizant of Mr. Richmans strong personality, the opposition put into the field a formidable candidate in the person of Colonel Thayer, a popular young man who had but recently returned from active participation in the Spanish-American war. While free from vituperation and personal abuse, the contest was hotly waged and nothing was left undone by the friends of the two gentlemen to further their respective interests. When the votes were counted Mr. Richman was found to have won by a handsome majority, and when he entered upon the discharge of his duties the people, irrespective of party, predicted that his course as a public servant would fully justify the wisdom of his selection. So far he has fully met every expectation and has proven himself capable and obliging and in every way worthy the esteem and confidence in which he is held by the public in general.
Since assuming office Mr. Richman has been more active in the party than heretofore and, as chairman of the county central committee, did effective service in conducting the campaign of 1900. He was successful as a business man and during the time thus engaged acquired a handsome property in New Palestine, Indiana, and now has a comfortable home in Greenfield.
Mr. Richman was married in the year 1890 to Miss Maggie K. Waltz, daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Bardonner) Waltz, the father a successful farmer of Hamilton county, Indiana, where Mrs. Richmans birth occurred on the 26th day of November, 1867. This union has been blessed with four children, namely: Ralph E., Carl L.., Luther A. and Mary M.
The life of Mr. Richman has been one of business, unmarked by excitement or thrilling incidents, and has been passed in the performance of the duties that have come to him. Perseverance, diligence, good management and honesty of purpose in every relation with his fellow men have brought him due recognition in business, social and political circles. His career has been eminently honorable and his influence, always wholesome and potent, has made him one of the leading citizens of the community where the greater part of his life has been spent. His elevation to one of the most important official positions within the gift of the county attests his high standing with the people, in view of the fact that he never aspired to public station nor in any way put himself forward as a seeker after the honors or emoluments of office. He is well known as a substantial and intelligent citizen, liberal in his views and belonging to the large and enterprising class who, by deeds rather than words, do so much to build up the country and promote the moral as well as the material interests of the people. His wife is a worthy helpmeet, deserving much credit for her faithfulness and sympathy in the management of the household and the execution of its duties and responsibilities.
Mr. and Mrs. Richman are worthy members of the Lutheran church and since taking up their residence in Greenfield have become popular by reason of their activity in behalf of all moral and benevolent enterprises, moving in the best social circles of the city and county.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 358-360.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI August 4, 2002.
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