John E. Ritter is now treasurer of Ferry county. He was first appointed in 1901 to fill an unexpired term in this office, and the following year was elected to continue in the same office. Previous to this he had been treasurer of Republic, and had also served a term as commissioner in that county. He is a first class officer and has given satisfaction.

John E. Ritter was born in Illinois on November 4, 1866, being the son of J.H. and Alice Ritter,natives of Pennsylvania and Illinois, respectively. As the parents of our subject died when he was four years of age, he was taken to the home of J. Botorff, where he remained until sixteen. He had one brother, Jerry H., who is deceased, and two sisters, Alice, wife of John Flynn, of Ashland, Illinois and Susie M., married to Kirt White, of Petersburg, Illinois. Our subject was educated in the common schools of Adams county, Illinois, and at the age of sixteen began to learn telegraphy. As soon as proficient, he took a position on the Texas Pacific Railroad as operator, and later was in the employ of the Missouri Pacific in Missouri.

In 1889, he came to Sprague, Washington, and operated there and at Cheney, until the time of the extension of the Washington Central railroad, when he took a position at Wilbur in 1893, remaining in the same until 1898. In that year, Mr. Ritter came to Ferry county and associated himself with J.C. Keller in merchandising. Soon after he was located as stated above, and since that time has been in public office. Mr. Ritter has accumulated some excellent property, including lands and buildings in Republic, mining property, and other real estate. He has a comfortable residence, and is one of the leading men of the county. In 1896, Mr. Ritter married Miss Myrtle, daughter of H.D. and Julia Hall, natives of Connecticut and Missouri, respectively. Mrs. Ritter was born in Greenfield, Missouri. She has one brother, Edward C., a lumber merchant at Aurora, Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Ritter two children have been born, June E. and J. Edward.

Mr. Ritter has always been active in political matters, being allied with the Democratic party. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Ferry Lodge No. 111, A.F. & A.M., the Eastern Star, the W.W., while his wife is also a member of the Eastern Star. Mr. Ritter is an accomplished musician and has done excellent work as instructor in this art. Their home is a center of refinement, where Mrs. Ritter presides with gracious hospitality.


File contributed by: Candy Grubb

Source: An illustrated history of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties, state of Washington, pp. 473-74; by Richard F. Steele and Arthur P. Rose.[Spokane] : Western Historical Pub. Co. 1904.