Richardson: Further details about hunter’s death, connection to hospital


I am writing in response to Andrew West’s From the Editor column, in which he referred to “Doll” Richardson as a hunter (“Dover hospital’s story of need dates back to 1927,” Nov. 26).

Yes, Doll was a hunter, along with every other gentleman of the time period, but the death of a single hunter probably would not have been enough to precipitate the leaders of Dover to move forward in building our own hospital.

Alden Bradford Richardson II (Doll) was the grandson of Alden Bradford Richardson, the founder of Richardson & Robbins Cannery, the original director of the First National Bank, the president of the Dover Gas Light Co. (precursor of Chesapeake Utilities), the builder of the Hotel Richardson and a state senator.

Doll was also the son of Harry Alden Richardson, U.S. senator; the president of Richardson & Robbins Cannery; the builder of Priscilla Block, as well as his home, Richardson Hall, on State Street; the owner of Diamond State Telephone Co. (later sold to Bell Telephone); the president and chief financial backer of the Delaware State League of baseball teams; and also president of the First National Bank.

Doll himself was vice president of Richardson & Robbins Cannery at the time of his death, age 40. He was also the state champion trapshooter (a hobby) and broke the world record for 99 out of 100 breaks. Doll’s obituary was printed in The New York Times, and his funeral was attended by hundreds of dignitaries from all over the country, including John Philip Sousa. The funeral procession stretched over a mile between his father’s home on State Street to Lakeside Cemetery. (Note: His father’s home, Richardson Hall, is presently the headquarters for Delaware’s Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs.) Ironically, 36 years after his death, Doll’s grandson, Alden Bradford Richardson III, married Becky Scull, daughter of Carl and Sarah Scull. Dr. Carl Scull had been the medical director at Kent General Hospital (later purchased by Bayhealth). Sarah later sold her home, Scull Mansion, to Kent General Hospital.

I hope this clarifies who Doll Richardson was. He was the son and grandson of very prominent leaders of Dover. His death most likely had a greater impact on the citizens of Dover when stressing the need for a hospital, probably more than another local hunter’s would. It should also establish the connection the Richardson family has had over numerous decades to Bayhealth.

Ellen Richardson (Mrs. Alden Bradford Richardson IV)


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