Alfred Stephen Richardson, lawyer and state representative, was born in Wallis, Austin County, Texas, on August 16, 1830. He was the son of Lucinda (Hodge) Richardson and Stephen Richardson. Richardson’s father settled in colonial Texas in 1822 as a member of the Old Three Hundred and participated in the administration of the colony. The younger Richardson grew up in Texas in the towns of Harrisburg and Liverpool. He studied law at Harvard Law School in 1851 and then taught school for two years before he entered into practice about 1854 in Anderson, Grimes County, Texas. Richardson relocated to Houston in 1857 and continued his law practice, establishing the firms of Palmer & Richardson and Richardson & Botts. Richardson was married twice. His first marriage to Abi Elizabeth Bowin occurred around 1858 and produced four children. His first wife may have died prior to 1870, as only Richardson, his children, his mother, and a domestic servant are listed in the 1870 census. He married Elizabeth Allyn Brooks in Harris County on April 10, 1871. They had one daughter.
In 1849 Richardson was confirmed in the Episcopal Church and became a vestryman at Christ Church, Houston, by 1859. Richardson became a member of the Odd Fellows in 1855 and achieved the rank of Grand Master by 1866. He joined the Masonic Lodge in 1857 and was a Grand Master by 1890. He served as Grand Commander of the Knights Templar in 1871 and 1872. Richardson was active in local politics as well and won election as representative for Harris County to the Ninth Texas Legislature in 1861. He served from February 9, 1862, to November 2, 1863. Following the Civil War Richardson began working for private railroad interests. He served as secretary and treasurer of the Houston and Texas Central Railway from 1867 to 1884. In 1879 he served on the board of directors for Texas Central Railroad. In 1885 he accepted the post of Master in Chancery for the Houston East and West Texas Railway Company. Richardson joined the Houston city government as city secretary in April 1890. He held this post until 1896. Richardson also served on the first board of trustees for Rice University. He died in Houston on October 30, 1899, and was buried there in Glenwood Cemetery.