Founders of Rich, the Richberger Family


Jacob Richberger was born around 1835 in Russian Poland.  He and his wife Fanny along with his son George migrated to the United States in 1864 and settled in New York.  After the Civil War,  Jacob moved to Mississippi for better opportunities.  He left his wife and son to tend to their store.  According to stories, George obtained an Irish accent because they lived in a predominately Irish neighborhood in New York.. In the 1870 census, he and his mother are listed in New York. Jacob is not there though. Evidently, he was looking for a place to settle in Mississippi.  The Mobile and Northwestern constructed a railroad from Jonestown to Lula in 1879. The population of northern Coahoma County was a growing.  Jacob established a store in Jonestown and sent for his family. After selling off some of their merchandise, Fannie and George bought a wagon and horses and headed south. In the 1880 U.S. census, Jacob is living in Beat 3, Coahoma County with his wife and Rosa Pachter.  He is a merchant.  In 1883, George became mayor of Jonestown.  George Richberger moved up the tracks to the Yazoo Pass and opened a store in 1888.  He became the first postmaster on March 13, 1888. The community of Rich was born. He would remain postmaster until Feb. 10, 1890. It was named after the Richberger family.  George met his first cousin Mary Pachter on a visit to Mississippi from New York and married her in 1889.  Soon her two brothers, Henry and John and come to Coahoma County to work for George and Jacob.  They often told stories of what they called frontier life in Rich.  There were Saturday night hold ups and fist fights. George Richberger was made postmaster again on January 10, 1892 and served in that capacity until March 23, 1893.  Soon other family members arrived. George and his family moved to Jonestown and opened a store there.  On the 1900 U.S. Census,  George is listed as living in Beat 3, Coahoma County with his wife and five children.  He is listed as a banker.  George got into some trouble then. On April 23, 1906,  George Richberger was convicted of embezzlement from the Bank of Jonestown and sentenced to 2 years.  He appealed to the Supreme Court but it was denied. After this legal trouble, he moved to Memphis.  For the next 30 years, George worked in the insurance and travel industry.  On November 20, 1938, George died in Shelby County, Tennessee.  He is buried in Temple Israel Cemetery.


In 1910, Jacob was the only Richberger still living in Jonestown.  Apparently, he and his son fell out after the embezzlement. In 1914, he left on a world trip.  On June 27, 1914, he dies on the S.S. Pannoria of the Cunard Line while on the high seas of heart failure.  His body was embalmed and interred at Gibraltar.  He listed his nearest relative as his brother David Richberger in Russia.  The company applied for information to the cashier of the People’s Bank of Jonestown who had given him a letter of recommendation.. That was the same bank his son had been found guilty of embezzling from.

Sources:  Issaquena

Eichberger v. State.  Supreme Court of Mississippi 1907

Reports of Death’s of American citizens abroad 1835-1974

Find a Grave






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