William C. Ritchie, 1855

stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org on Sun, 11 Feb 2001


Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., WI, by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge

WILLIAM C. RITCHIE, a prominent representative of the Agricultural community in Hewett Township, having a farm in Section 11, was born at Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wis., Sept. 2, 1855, son of Stephen and Betsey (Elliott) Ritchie. The parents, who were of Scotch nativity, Came to this country when young, were married in New York State, subsequently settled in Jefferson County, Wis., and later, in 1868, in Weston Township, Clark County where, in course of time, they developed a farm from the wilderness and died, each at an advanced age. William C. Ritchie obtained his schooling chiefly in Jefferson County. He was 13 years old, or in his thirteenth year, when the family settled in Clark County, and attended school here only one term, his teacher being the wife of Judge James O'Neill. The rest of his time in youth was fully occupied with hard work on his father's farm, which he helped to clear. For thirty-five winters he worked in the woods as a lumberman, and was concerned in the drives on Wedge's Creek for many springs.

In time, he became the owner of the parental homestead, remaining there until some sixteen years ago (about 1901), when he sold the property and bought land in the Township of Seif. Three years later he sold that and purchased a tract of one acre in Section 11, Hewett Township, his son purchasing forty acres, and this tract is now well cleared and improved. While residing in Weston Township, Mr. Ritchie served on the township board and in Hewett Township he has been chairman of the board for twelve years.

He was instrumental in having the first concrete bridge constructed in the township-over Hay Meadow Creek. Mr. Ritchie was first married to Agnes Marshall, a native of New York State, who, while residing there, attended school kept by Judge O'Neill, after whom Neillsville, Clark County, was named. She died, leaving one child, Robert, who is now a traveling salesman, residing in Iowa.

Mr. Ritchie married for his second wife Flora E. Wood, who was born in Michigan. Of this second union four children were born: Frank and Irvin, who are both residing at homeland Mary and Stephen, who are deceased.



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