FAMILY: The Richcreek Family
2000: I finally VISITED Richcreek home areas in Indiana and Ohio. Click HERE for more info.
The Richcreeks were originally German ("Reichenbach").The first ancestors seem to have arrived in Virginia in the 1700's, but accurate information is hard to come by. For instance, the following - from "The Descendants of David Richcreek and Mary Penn" - seems only partially accurate:
Biographical memoirs of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana,Goodspeed Brothers Publishers-- Chicago, Ill.-- I893. Gives a biography of the Richcreek family as coming from England and settling in America,near Philadelphia, Pa., about I760. Moving later into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Strangely, there are a lot of Reichenbachs all over France, which suggests that the name may have been Alsation (since Alsace went back and forth between Germany and France).
There are at least two Richcreek genealogies available in certain major libraries (neither was published in the usual sense, so private distribution tends to be by photocopy). The original, on the descendants of
Probably the most accurate and up-to-date version is by Marguerite Richcreek Wallace: "The Richcreek Line - descendants of Philip Jacob Richcreek".A copy is in the Mormon library. I've also located a tantalizing reference to a Richcreek family document in NEWFOUNDLAND (!).
There was a Richcreek State Bank in Indianapolis around mid-century.
Family lore has it that it closed sometime after Seth M. Richcreek, the family member who ran it, fell in love with a young employee and left with her and a lot of money, though contemporary accounts make it seem very much as if the Richcreeks had their own (albeit minor league) Bernie Madoff:
Seth M. Richcreek appeared in Indianapolis in 1892, and opened a law office, but soon devoted his attention to buying street assessment liens. He had left his country home when a boy, and had just reappeared after an absence of 25 years, no one knew where. He made a large amount of money in a short time by bringing suits on assessment liens and forcing payment of attorneys' fees on compromise settlement. He then developed into a sort of broker, and in March, 1904, started the Richcreek Bank. In 1907 he dazzled the community by announcements of a new bank building. He leased the Phoenix block, at Market and Delaware streets, for 99 years, agreeing to pay $5,000 a year rental for two years, $6,500 for one years, and an addition of $150 a year for the next 96 years; also to erect a block costing not less than $100,000, covering this property and 40 feet adjoining on Delaware street that already belonged to him. He contracted for the steel work for the building, to cost $32,000.This single event had numerous repurcussions on various family members, including my grandfather's sister Cora who received a "proper"education from her uncle only to have him take her trust fund along with everybody else's money. Nonetheless, she apparently bore him no ill will. (The descendants of his deserted family have proved less forgiving.)
Such misbehavior must have especially distressed his fellow Richcreeks, who on the whole seem to have exemplified 'typical' Midwestern values: religion, family, modesty and duty.
This may explain why Richcreeks often end up in uniforms. Most often military, but also civil: a Web search found one Richcreek fire chief and one Richcreek fire ranger.
The family's military history started early. Philip Jacob Richcreek, the probable ancestor of most Richcreeks, fought at Yorktown. A John Richcreek (of Dover Township, York County, Pa.) fought with the German Regiment, also during the Revolutionary War. George Washington RICHCREEK ran away to fight in the Civil War. His son, Walter Bernard RICHCREEK (my own grandfather), ran away to serve in the Navy. Karl Richcreek (of Tennessee) was a Navy fighter pilot in the Gulf War. His father Eugene fought with the Marines in both World War II and Korea. George Franklin Richcreek was with the Coast Guard in the South Pacific during World War II, while his uncle Walter served in near Greenland (and later met Walter Bernard in a military hospital!!).
Though many of the original Richcreeks were farmers, a number subsequently became entrepreneurs, starting businesses which prospered. (Two - Eugene and George Franklin - credit their military experience with giving them their real start in life.)
One genetic quirk is striking - at least three male Richcreeks have been born with six fingers (double thumbs).
I know of no very famous (or infamous) Richcreeks (though two have been named in "Who's Who in Industry and Business"). Would be delighted to hear of any. Given the paucity of Richcreek info, I'd welcome any further info people can e-mail me.
A Coshocton County Page does exist, if you have or would like to find information on the many Richcreeks from there.
The following Richcreek researchers have approved posting their names and other information:
GENEALOGICAL REFERENCES:"John was the son of Joshua Hatcher and Jane Richcreek, of the Quaker Hatchers"
Mention of Philip Richcreek's pension (1818)