Burial Site of Joseph and Rhoda Richards

Thanks to Don Sugarman, through other sources, I've learned that Joseph and Rhoda Richards were buried on the Richards' property (near their daughter) in a small stand of four trees. There are no stones (don't know if there ever were) but the bodies should still be there.

The Home as it Looked December 2010 (shot by Don Sugarman)


Joseph Richards Home- Richmond, Massachusetts

As it looked on July 1, 2008. It is located on Dublin Road near Sleepy Hollow. It hasn't changed much since the pictures taken in 1970 except the side porch has now been enclosed and the fan ornamentaion in the half circle window has been removed.

Haun's Mill Aftermath

Phineas Richards wrote to comfort his wife Wealthy on January 7, 1839, not long after his son George’s death. Phineas assured her that
“George is gone an early martyr to the cause of Zion. Lay not this thing too much at heart, but trust in Christ alone, and realize that God is right.”

Wealthy Dewey Richards

Birth: Sep. 6, 1786
Berkshire County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Nov. 25, 1874
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Daughter of Samuel Dewey & Milley McKee

Married Phineas Howe Richards, 24 Feb 1818, Richmond, Berkshire, Massachusetts

Phineas Richards: 1788-1874

Family of Joseph and Rhoda Howe Richards

Joseph Richards, b. 16 Mar 1762, Southboro MA; d. 29 Mar 1840, Richmond MA

mar. 20 Dec 1781 in Hopkinton MA, Rhoda HOWE

The first documentation for Joseph Richards is a record of his military service in 1779 to 1780 as a private at the age of 17. "Richards, Joseph, Hopkinton, Private, Capt. Amasa Cranston's company, Col. Samuel Denny's regiment; enlisted 28 Oct 1779; discharged 23 Nov 1779; service one month, 6 days, at Claverack, including travel (200 miles) home; regiment raised for three months. Also, Capt. Staples Chamberlin's company, Col. Dean's regiment; enlisted 7 Mar 1781; discharged 14 Mar 1781; service eleven days, company marched to Rhode Island by order of His Excellency John Hancock to serve on a 40 days expedition, including travel (60 miles) home."

Ten years later there is a land deed dated 9 Oct 1789 when Joseph, “of Hopkinton, Middlesex Co. cordwainer”, bought for £9 nearly 10 acres in the northern part of Hopkinton. About the same time 14 Jan 1790 Joseph and Rhoda Richards joined the Hopkinton Church. It was on 13 May 1821 that Joseph Richards is removed, giving us the date that the family had finally transferred to the Richmond Church.

The 1790 U.S. Census listed Joseph and Rhoda Howe in Hopkinton with two males under 16 and two females. The last land deed by Joseph in Hopkinton is 3 July 1811, when he sold out for $1800 his 125 acres in Hopkinton.

Joseph took his oldest boys each summer to work on constructing the house and outbuildings on their homestead in the Berkshire Mountains. He qualified for this land due to his military service, as brief as it was. By March 1815, they were ready for the move. Only Joseph Jr., the oldest son, who was already married with a growing family, stayed behind in Hopkinton. [These family silhouettes were likely completed by Hepsy Richards before the family left central Massachusetts.]

Surviving diaries record the family's intimate connection with the Congregational church in Richmond, with the Evangelical revivals sweeping thru New England and upstate New York, and Democratic politics. In addition variouschildren became involved with reform movements such as phrenology and homeopathic medicine. But it was the arrival of cousins Joseph and Brigham Young that attracted them to the gospel preached by the Latter Day Saints.

Joseph and Rhoda Howe resisted the new religion, even as their children, one by one converted. It wasn't until the death of both parents, that most of the children emigrated to Kirtland OH, Far West MO and Nauvoo IL in search of a new Zion.


1. Joseph RICHARDS, 29 Sep 1782, in Framingham MA; d. 21 Jan 1852 in Westboro MA. He mar. 27 Nov 1806 in Dudley MA to Nancy CODY.

2. Rhoda RICHARDS, 8 Aug 1784, in Framingham MA; d. Salt Lake City UT. Her fiance, Ebenezer DAMON, died after visiting her in a snowstorm in 1811 at her home in the Berkshires, so she declined to marry for years. But out of family loyalties and affinities, 'Aunt Rhoda', in her fifties, was made the 30th wife of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and then the 30th wife of Brigham Young. She resided in Beehive House in Salt Lake City UT.

3. Susanna RICHARDS, 13 Aug 1786, in Framingham MA; d. 11 Apr 1830 in Richmond MA.

4. Phinehas RICHARDS, 15 Nov 1788, in Hopkinton MA; d. 25 Nov 1874 in Salt Lake City UT

5. Levi RICHARDS, 7 Dec 1790, in Hopkinton MA; d. 18 Jun 1795 in Hopkinton MA.

6. Nancy RICHARDS, 22 Nov 1792, in Hopkinton MA; d. 15 Jul 1852 on the Platte River, Nebraska on the Mormon Trail.

7. Hepzibah RICHARDS, 28 Jul 1795, in Richmond MA; d. 30 Sep 1838 in Far West, MO, of fever.

8. Betsey RICHARDS, 17 May 1797, in Richmond MA; d. 12 Dec 1803 in Richmond MA.

9. Levi RICHARDS, 14 Apr 1799, in Richmond MA; d. 18 June 1876 in Salt Lake City UT. He mar. 25 Dec 1843 Sarah GRIFFITH in Nauvoo IL. He accepted plural marriage and 2nd mar. 27 Jan 1846 in Nauvoo IL to Persis GOODALL-YOUNG. He had one child, by his 1st wife.

10. William RICHARDS, 2 Jun 1801, in Hopkinton MA; d. 7 Mar 1884 in Alford MA. He mar. 19 Dec 1837 in West Stockbridge MA to Sarah Ann LEWIS.

11. Willard RICHARDS, 24 Jun 1804, in Richmond MA; d. 11 Mar 1854 in Salt Lake City UT, He 1st mar. 24 Sep 1838 in Preston, Lancashire, England to Jeanette RICHARDS. Beginning in Jan 1846, Willard accepted the teaching of plural marriage, and took 10 more wives. He had 14 children by six of them, most residing in Salt Lake City UT.

From Richards History Website-