The complete history of the driver is rather cloudy. The following is more than likely to be incomplete and inaccurate.
Apparently, Per Lindqvist first got a driver working with an early ATI adapter under X386 1.1a. This original driver might have actually been based on a non-functional ATI driver written by Thomas Roell (currently of Xi Graphics).
Then Doug Evans added support for the ATI VGA Wonder XL, trying in the process to make the driver work with all other ATI adapters available at the time.
Rik Faith obtained the X11R4 driver from Doug Evans in the summer of 1992 and ported the code to the X386 part of X11R5. This subsequently became part of XFree86.
Marc Aurele La France took over development and maintenance of the driver in the fall of 1993 after Rik got rid of his VGA Wonder adapter.