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Francis Xavier Richter  (1837-1910)

Francis X. Richter was born in Friedland, Bohemia, in 1837.  He came through Osoyoos customs from Oregon in 1864 with a herd of forty-two cattle.  From Osoyoos, he followed the Dewdney Trail westward via a mountain pass which bears witness to the family name:  Richter Pass.

 

Richter settled in the area now known as Cawston, B.C.  Richter, who was also working for the Hudson Bay Company, pre-empted 320 acres and set out to develop a prosperous cattle ranch.  It was here that he took his aboriginal bride, Lucy.  Together they raised five sons.

 

The Richters were producers of hay and grain, primarily oats, with threshing operations on the ranch.  They raised cattle, horses, and cultivated the region's first orchard.  The homestead developed to comprise more than 10,000 acres of rangeland, an orchard, and nearly 1400 head of Aberdeen Angus, Shorthorn, and Herefords.  Richter's first orchard was planted in 1880, the second to include Italian prunes in 1886.  Richter's third orchard brought twenty-three prizes at the 1906 Provincial Exhibition at New Westminster.

 

In 1894, Richter, age 57 and widowed, acquired a 437-acre property at Keremeos.  He moved there with his second wife, 17 year old Florence Elizabeth Lowdon.  She bore him five daughters and one son.  This ranch flourished with an orchard, vineyard, and the area's first alfalfa hay.  "Richter's Banana" apple, which won a bronze medal in 1910, originated on this ranch.

 

In 1906, Richter was appointed Justice of the Peace and owned the Keremeos general store.  By this time, he had acquired numerous properties.  When the townsite of Osoyoos was surveyed, it included a part of Richter's holdings.

 

In July of 1910, Richter, at age 73, became father for the very last time.  Baby Francis Richter was born in Keremeos.   F. X. Richter passed away in Victoria, B.C., on December 25, 1910.