Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Richardson, Mary A., 1855-1910
Mary A. Richardson (1836-1910), a dedicated Universalist, was a benefactor of Tufts College. Considered a long-time friend of the college, she was a donor of library books, a scholarship fund, and money for a professorship.
Richardson was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on May 20, 1836.After marrying in 1855, she and her husband, William August Richardson, lived in various places in Massachusetts, settling in Worcester in 1874.Mr. Richardson established a firearms manufacturing business there. Following his death, Richardson took on an active role in the company's management and continued her philanthropic efforts, favoring Tufts and Lawrence University. She left Tutfs more than $40,000, used to endow a divinity school professorship, fund a student scholarship, and purchase a collection of Sir Walter Scott's works. Richardson, eager to aid in the education of young women, also funded the studies of female exchange students from Japan at Tufts.
She also supported the Universalists' Women's and Young People's Societies. Richardson was a member of the Women's NationalUniversalistMissionary Association. She died March 1, 1910, following a long illness.
Richardson House was named for Mary A. Richardson in 1910, following the structure's renovation for use as a Jackson College dormitory. The Richardson Professorship at the Crane Theological School was established in 1910 in accordance with her will.
Source: LOH1, 230; UL, March 12, 1910; TA, Winter 2000.