John Franklin Richardson

British Columbia, Canada

John Franklin Richardson was an Electrical Engineer who picked the route for the Yukon Telegraph line.
He left Victoria Aug 15, 1897 on the SS Islander. He returned Oct 1897, and reported to Hon. Clifford Sifton.
He worked for CP Telegraphs for 14 years, before being hired by the Dominion Government.
He became Superintendent for the CPR Telegraph Service in BC.
His headquarters was in Vancouver.

John Franklin Richardson
b- Aug 23, 1860, Granby, Quebec
d- Nov 26, 1931 in Lanigan, SK
Buried in Lanigan SK Cemetery, with his parents
son of Joseph Franklin Richardson (1833-1925)
and Mary Jane Parker (1841-1928)
both parents born in Quebec, but later moved to Lanigan SK
His father homesteaded NW, Sec 14, Tsp 34, Rge 23, W2

John was a student of Sheffield Academy at Waterloo, Quebec
Graduated from McGill University
Learned Telegraphy at the Waterloo Station,
while working for the Central Vermont Railroad Co., in 1876.
He obtained the details of the new invention at that time, the Telephone, from Professor Graham Bell,
John built and operated the First Telephone in the Dominion of Canada, in Waterloo Quebec in the winter of 1876.
He worked for 3 years in Waterloo, then entered service with Montreal Telephone Company,
That company merged with the Great Western Telegraph Co.
He worked there until 1883.
He was then hired with the CPR Telegraph Service in Ottawa.
He was in charge of the construction of their lines, in the Maritime Provinces from 1888 until 1892.
1892 he was appointed General Inspector for the entire CPR Telegraph System.
1892 he made his first visit to BC
1897 he installed a Telegraph line in the Kootenay's.
Aug 1897 he was loaned to the Dominion Government, to find the route for the Yukon Telegraph Line (4).
In 1899 he was permitted to build this line.
The Dawson YT office opened Sept 28, 1899.
Jan 1912, after 8 years as Superintendent in Montreal, he was transferred to BC as Superintendent of the Department of the CPR Telegraph Service in BC.
He invented and patented numerous electrical devices.
Member of the Old Time Telegraphers and Historical Association.
also a member of the Association of Railway Telegraph Superintendents.
Member of the Masons, Prince Consort Lodge, No 52, A.F. & A.M. and Carnarvon Chapter, No 5, R. A. M. V. R.
He was a big game hunter and fisherman
1921 census shows him single, age 60 in Lanigan SK as Postmaster.
Appointed Jan 4, 1919, and was in that position until he died.

Married Josephine Elizabeth Elliot, Nov 10, 1883
shown as Elizabeth Josephine Elliot in son's baptism record.
shown as Elizabeth Jane Elliot in another source,
shown as Lilian Richardson in his war enlistment form,
b- 1864, Bedford, Eastern Township of Quebec.
d- 1960 in Montreal, Quebec

They had 2 children:
daughter- Mary Ayleen Richardson
b- Mar 5, 1885 in Montreal, Quebec
d- Jan 20, 1868 in Montreal, Quebec
she married Walter Joseph Desser of Montreal, in 1910
she had 2 children

son- Creighton Elliot Richardson
b- June 5, 1886, Montreal Quebec
d- ?
Creighton graduated from McGill University in 1911, with a BSc degree
became a Civil Engineer with the CPR, lived in Montreal.
He enlisted in WWI, June 8, 1917 in Montreal.
next of kin his mother shown as Lilian Richardson, same address in Montreal
Reg # 2341497
he married Catherine McGibbon in 1925 in Montreal

John had a brother,
Berton Richardson, age 10, in 1881
1904 him and his wife were going to Phoenix Arizona

Source- Most of bio above, is from link below

Here we have a very famous and important Canadian, that is not very well known.
I am hoping this web page will change that.
Lanigan SK should be proud of him!

Ext Links
Note- Not my sites

British Columbia from the earliest times to the present. Vol. 4
John Richardson bio above mostly taken from there


  • Last modified: 2019/10/27 16:57
  • by dlgent