Marine Link
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

W. C. Richardson


ONE of the most marvelous developments of the past century is that of the growth in population and the increase in resources and industries in the region of the Great Lakes. Many of the finest cities in the world border on these vast expanses of navigable waters and the foundation of their wonderful prosperity is based upon the great and growing maritime traffic upon these "Unsalted Seas." The gem of the great Erie Coast is the city of Cleveland, the development of which is marvelous, it having grown from a small village, within the memory of men now living, to the position of the sixth largest city in the United States and the forty-fourth city in rank of population in the world. It has won its way by a combination of great advantages and exceptional men.

In the shipping business, which is the foun-dation of this city's greatness, one of the rec-ognized leaders is Wesley Cunningham Richard-son, head of W. C. Richardson & Company, vessel owners and brokers and marine insurance agents, having offices in the Leader-News Building. He was born in Unionville, Lake County, Ohio, June 6, 1840, the son of Henry and Mary (Cunningham) Richardson. Fie was educated in the schools of Ashtabula, Ohio, and from his boyhood had a great predilection for the marine life, which he began as a boy on the Great Lakes. Later he became a salesman on the road for Briggs, Hathaway & Harrison, and after some experience with them he became a partner in H. J. Webb & Company, vessel brokers, in which he continued until the death of Mr. Webb, when he took over the business and conducted it as sole proprietor until 1908, in which year he formed the present firm, of which he has since been the head, his partners being John T. Kelly, Clarence E. Richardson and Tracy H. Paine. The firm at present are owners and managers of fourteen steamers, and Mr. Richardson is president, manager and treasurer of The Hubbard Steamship Company, The Hanna Transit Company, The Miller Transit Company, The Norton Transit Company, The Owen Transit Company; vice-president, manager and treasurer of The Mentor Transit Company, The Ottawa Transit Company; manager and treasurer of the Castile Transit Company, the Montreal Transit Company, the Bristol Transit Company, the Fort Henry Transit Company and The Yosemite Transit Company; is general manager and treasurer of The Crescent Transit Company, and treasurer of the Great Lakes Protective Association.

The steamships of W. C. Richardson & Com-pany carry principally coal, iron ore and grain.

Mr. W. C. Richardson's nephew, Clarence E. Richardson, has been with him since 1901, but was taken into the firm in 1908. He is also as-sistant treasurer of the Great Lakes Protective Association. Tracy H. Paine is a son-in-law of Mr. Richardson, and Mr. Kelly was in the office fourteen years prior to being taken into the firm in 1908.

Mr. Wesley Cunningham Richardson is the oldest vessel manager on the lakes and is widely and nationally known in the maritime circles of the country as Captain Richardson. His knowl-edge of the lake transportation business is inti-mate and complete, and there is probably no man in the business who has had a wider experience in this field of commerce.

In his individual capacity Captain Richardson is deservedly popular. He is a member of many of the prominent organizations and clubs of Cleveland; is a member of the Mobilization Committee of the Lake Carriers' Association of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the Union Club, the Clifton Club and the Cleveland Auto-mobile Club, and of various other prominent or-ganizations.

Mr. Richardson's position as a vessel man of most intimate knowledge of lake problems has given him a voice of authority, and he is recog-nized as one of the most earnest workers for the general welfare of the vessel owners of the Great Lakes region and of the various interests and improvement of conditions which the Lake Carriers' Association has been organized to promote. He has been one of the most progressive among those who have been instrumental in the wonderful growth of lake business and in the promotion of the progress of Cleveland to its present prominence as a center of the lake shipping interest.

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