David R. Ritchey has devoted his life to general farming in Washington township, this county, where he was born
January 29, 1848, being one of the oldest living native sons. His rigid application to business together with his
aggressiveness and straightforward transactions have always commended him to the respect and confidence of all
those with whom he has come in contact. His parents were John C. and Margaret K. (Anderson) Ritchey. His father,
who was a native of Indiana, removed to Illinois, and settled near Nauvoo, where he pursued agriculture for several
years. He came to this county about 1840 and located in what is now Washington township, in company with a brother
Adam and his daughter. Here he followed his chosen occupation until 1862, when he enlisted in Company C, Nineteenth
Iowa Volunteer Infantry and during the battle at Morganza Plantation, he lost his life, his remains being interred
upon the battlefield. All of his regiment were taken prisoners at that time except a few who escaped. The mother
of our subject was a native of South Hanover, Indiana, born October 19, 1817, and when about six years of age removed
to Green county, Ohio, with her parents, remaining there about ten years. She next lived in Laporte, Indiana, until
1842, when she came to this county, where she was married and here she lived until she departed this life August
8, 1908, her remains being interred in the old Washington cemetery. She reared three children: David R.; Florence,
who passed away on November to, 1889; and Luther, who died in infancy. By a former marriage on December 2, 1840,
to Rhoda Houston, who passed away on February 18, Aix years later, John C. Ritchey had four children: Erastus,
deceased; Leander, who served three years in Company H, Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at Belmont
and who now resides in Illinois; Mary E., deceased; and William, deceased.
The common schools afforded David R. Ritchey his preliminary education but he subsequently pursued a course of
study in an academy of this county. When his father entered the Union army he took charge of the family and although
but fourteen years of age he assumed management of the farm, pursuing agriculture on the home place until he was
united in marriage. He has since followed that occupation independently here with the exception of five years spent
in Reno county, Kansas. He owns an excellent farm containing forty acres on section 1, where with great success
he engages in general agriculture, giving some attention to raising stock.
On September 10, 1879, Mr. Ritchey wedded Miss Arabella Logan, who was born in Brighton township, April 27, 1853.
To them have been born three children: Winnifred, deceased; Bessie L., the wife of Arthur Wead, a neighboring farmer;
and Helen M., deceased. Mr. Ritchey has always voted the republican ticket and has never found cause justifying
him in forsaking his party. He is a faithful adherent of the United Presbyterian church, as is also his wife, and
throughout the township he enjoys an excellent reputation as an upright man and industrious farmer.
History of Washington County, Iowa
From the First White Settlement to 1908
BY: Howard A. Burrell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Washington County, IA
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