In the fall of 1909, a Great Northern Railway survey crew came through here and by 1912 all of the surrounding area had been homesteaded except the badlands. Those early years were hard on the settlers. In spite of the survey, there were no roads, no railroad, no market, no grain elevators and some years no crops!
In 1911 one of the homesteaders, Clyde Richey, applied for a post office to serve the area, and the town has borne his name ever since. As the railroad built in this direction, a squatter town sprouted up on the prairie and farmers sold stock to build an elevator. In 1916, Great Northern officially surveyed a townsite and sold lots. The "old town" merchants quickly moved to be near the depot and the first newspaper began publication. The entire community celebrated Steel Day, Dec. 2, 1916, when the first train arrived on the tracks, laying the last ties before it as it came.
The Great Northern intended to extend the line across central Montana into Lewiston, but World War I interrupted those plans and the line terminated at Richey. As in so many areas, the other small towns nearby died out as the railroad town became the trade center. In February 1986, the BNSF Railway Company removed the tracks and once again Richey was without a railroad.