Richardson, Chauncey (1802–1852)

By: William J. Stone, Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 1, 1995

Chauncey Richardson, Methodist minister and first president of Rutersville College, was born in Vermont on October 10, 1802. He was licensed to preach in 1823 and received "on trial" in 1826 by the New England Conference. He was appointed to Danville, Vermont, and later held pastorates in Massachusetts at Dorchester (1827), Andover (1828), Boston (1829), Weymouth (1830), and Falmouth (1831). His circuit-riding duties and the severity of the winter weather caused his health to fail in 1832, and he used the enforced time off to engage in formal studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He was called in 1833 to be the president of a female college at Tuscumbia, Alabama, where he remained for six years. In the spring of 1839 he helped found and became the first president of Rutersville College, Fayette County, Texas. The college later became Southwestern University in Georgetown. At Houston in 1846 Richardson presided at what was probably the first educational convention held in the state. After serving Rutersville College for six years, he was appointed to edit the Texas Wesleyan Banner (see UNITED METHODIST REPORTER), the first newspaper of the Texas and East Texas conferences. He helped to establish the newspaper's high literary standards during his tenure from 1849 to 1851. He left the Banner in late 1851 after a salary dispute and became presiding elder of the Galveston District. He died suddenly in Galveston on April 11, 1852, and is buried near the site of Rutersville College in Fayette County.

Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly, October 1910.
  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators
  • Religion
  • Methodist

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

William J. Stone, Jr., “Richardson, Chauncey,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995