WHITTON and RITCH -Surname Studies and people from the Island of GRAEMSAY, Orkney

John Bundy Ritch

John Bundy Ritch

Male 1868 - 1942  (73 years)

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  • Name John Bundy Ritch 
    Born 31 Dec 1868  Concord, Cabarrus, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 29 May 1942  Fort Harrison Veterans Hospital, Montana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I5796  Ritch
    Last Modified 22 Jun 2020 

    Father Thomas Lee Ritch,   b. 2 Jun 1838, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jul 1907, Elmwood Cemetry, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Mary Vashti Bundy,   b. 27 Mar 1838, Sampson, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jul 1922, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F2170  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Minnie Rehder,   b. 1878, Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1971, Lower Makefield, Bucks, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years) 
    Married 1902  Lwistown, Fergus County, Montana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. John Bundy Ritch,   b. 5 Apr 1915, Montana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1989, Bethesda Naval Hospital, Washington, USA buried Arlington Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)  [natural]
     2. Myrtle Judith Ritch,   b. 1903, Montana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1989  (Age > 87 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 22 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F2173  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Clara B Hutchison,   b. 30 Dec 1874, Montana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 May 1966, San Francisco California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Married 16 Nov 1888  Missoula, Montana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Son Ritch,   b. 1888,   d. Nov 1892, Kibbey, Montanta, USa Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 4 years)  [natural]
     2. Baby Ritch,   b. 1891,   d. Nov 1891, Kibbey, Montanta, USa Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 22 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F2172  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Extract from the 1880 Census:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Age: 12
      Estimated birth year: 1868
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Race: white
      Sex: male
      Relationship to head-of-household: son
      Parents: Thomas L and Marcina V Ritch, ages 42 and 40
      Home in 1880: Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina
      Marital status: single
      Father's birthplace: North Carolina
      Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
      Father's occupation: loader
      Occupation: attending school
      Siblings living at home: Joseph L (age 14) and Charles T (8)
      Census place: Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Roll: T9_972; Family History Film: 1254972; Page: 335.4000; Enumeration District: 108; Image: 0096
      Date: 2 Jun 1880

      Extract from the 1900 Census:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Age at last birthday: 31
      Date of birth: Apr 1869 [sic]
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Race: white
      Sex: male
      Relationship to head-of-house: head
      Home in 1900: Anaconda, Teller, Colorado
      Address: Swede Gulch Street
      Marital status: single
      Able to read, write and speak English: yes
      Father's birthplace: North Carolina
      Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
      Farm or home: home
      Home owned or rented: rented
      Occupation: gold miner
      Months not employed: 2
      Census place: Anaconda, Teller, Colorado; Roll: T623 130; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 130
      Date: 9 Jun 1900

      Extract from the 1910 Census:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Age in 1910: 41
      Estimated birth year: 1869
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Race: white
      Sex: male
      Relation to head of house: head
      Home in 1910: Lewistown Ward 3, Fergus, Montana
      Marital status: married
      Number of years of present marriage: 8
      Able to speak English: yes
      Able to read and write: yes
      Father's birthplace: North Carolina
      Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
      Farm or house: farm
      Home owned or rented: owned; has mortgage
      Occupation: clerk of district court
      Salary or wage worker: wages
      Whether out of work on April 15, 1910: no
      Number of weeks out of work in 1909: 0
      Census place: Lewistown Ward 3, Fergus, Montana; Roll: T624_831; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 110; Image: 766
      Date: 18 Apr 1910
      Note: name listed as "John B Kitch" by Ancestry.com.

      Child living with parents in 1910:
      Myrtle J Ritch age 7 b. Montana [source: 1910 Census].

      Extract from U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Birth date: 31 Dec 1868
      Birth place: Concord, North Carolina
      Residence: Louistown, Montana [sic]
      Application date: 6 Oct 1917
      Passport issue date: 8 Oct 1917
      Father name: T L Ritch
      Father's birth location: North Carolina
      Father's residence: not listed
      Previous travel abroad: Philippine Islands 1898 to 1899
      Purpose: travel to England and France representing the newspapers Great Falls Daily Tribune, Butte Daily Post, and the Helena Independent
      Occupation: newspaperman
      Age: 48
      Stature: 5 feet 10½ inches
      Forehead: medium
      Eyes: blue
      Nose: straight
      Mouth: small
      Chin: rounded
      Hair: thin - gray
      Complexion: fair
      Face: clear-cut lines
      Passport includes a photo: yes
      Source: passport applications, 2 Jan 1906 - 31 Mar 1925 (M1490)

      Extract from New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Age: 48
      Birth date: 31 Dec 1868
      Birth place: Concord, North Carolina
      Gender: male
      Married: yes
      Address: Lewistown, Montana
      Departure date: 28 Nov 1917
      Port of departure: Liverpool, England
      Ship name: Saint Louis
      Arrival date: 10 Dec 1917
      Port of arrival: New York
      Port arrival state: New York
      Port arrival country: United States
      Line: 28
      Microfilm serial: T715
      Microfilm roll: T715_2555
      Page number: 9

      Extract from Fergus County Montana Archives - a part of the Bureau of Land Management Database:
      Name meridian twp range section acreage type casetype docid date
      Ritch John B 20 014 N 021 E 006 160 272003 PA 726559 10 Jan 1920
      Ritch Minnie R 20 016 N 022 E 013 160 251101 PA 94020 6 Dec 1909
      [source: http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/mt/fergus/land/qr.txt 16 Apr 2004].

      Extract from the 1920 Census:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Age: 51
      Estimated birth year: 1869
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Race: white
      Sex: male
      Home in 1920: Lewistown, Fergus, Montana
      Address: 310 Fifth Avenue
      Marital status: married
      Able to speak English: yes
      Able to read and write: yes
      Father's birthplace: North Carolina
      Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
      Home owned or rented: owned; no mortgage
      Occupation: proprietor
      Type of industry: picture theater
      Salary or wage worker: working on own account
      Census place: Lewistown, Fergus, Montana; Roll: T625_969; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 87; Image: 1089
      Date: 8 Jan 1920

      Children living with parents in 1920:
      Myrtle Ritch age 17 b. Montana
      John Ritch Jr. age 4 3/12 b. Montana [source: 1920 Census].

      Biographical sketch from "Montana, Its Story and Biography, Vol 2" (date around 1920)
      John B. Ritch
      The career of John B. Ritch in Fergus County has extended over a period of thirty-five years, during which time he has been a prospector, miner, range-rider, cattleman, public official and repository of big business interests. At present he is one of the prominent and influential businessmen of Lewistown, with extensive connections in commercial and financial circles.
      Mr. Ritch was born December 31, 1868, in North Carolina. He was but fifteen years of age when he left the parental roof and made his way to the State of Texas, where he secured employment on a cattle ranch and subsequently rode the open range in the Lone Star State. His advent in Montana occurred in 1885, in which year he entered the Judith Basin of Fergus (then Meagher) County in the role of a range rider, later engaging in mining and the newspaper business. He was elected clerk of the Tenth District Court, a position in which he served for eight consecutive years. Since then he has been variously connected with big business interests, making his headquarters at 409 West Main Street, Lewistown. His home here is at 310 South Fifth Avenue. Mr. Ritch is a democrat has wielded some influence in the ranks of his party in Fergus County.
      In 1902 Mr. Ritch was united in marriage with Miss Minnie Rehder, and to this union there have been born two children: Myrtle Judith and John B., Jr.

      Article from the "Helena Independent" of Helena, Montana dated 12 Jun 1926:
      John Ritch Returns
      to the Home State
      Lewistown, June 11 - John R. Ritch [sic], former clerk of the district court and long prominent in business and politics here, returned last evening from Florida, where he went early last fall because of ill health.
      Although tired from his long journey from the southland, he is reported as enjoying good health. Mr. Ritch spent practically all of his time away at West Palm Beach.

      Extract from the 1930 Census:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Age: 61
      Estimated birth year: 1869
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Race: white
      Sex: male
      Relation to head-of-house: head
      Home in 1930: Lewistown, Fergus, Montana
      Address: 310 Fifth Avenue South
      Marital status: married
      Age at first marriage: 34
      Education: able to speak English
      Education: able to read and write
      Father's birthplace: North Carolina
      Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
      Military service: yes - Spanish American War
      Rent/home value: owns home; value $9500
      Owned a radio: no
      Occupation: manager
      Industry: theater
      Salary or wage worker: working on own account
      Census place: Lewistown, Fergus, Montana; Roll: 1255; Page: ; Enumeration District: 3; Image: 690.0
      Date: 7 Apr 1930

      Child living with parents in 1930:
      John B Ritch II* age 16 b. Montana
      Also living in the household in 1930:
      Anna D Lincoln age 62 b. Nebraska (sister-in-law) [source: 1930 Census].

      *Extract from the Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005:
      Name: John Bundy Ritch III
      Gender: male
      Residence state: California
      Spouse: Christina Marie Hammond
      Gender: female
      Spouse residence state: California
      Marriage date: 2 Mar 1989
      Marriage county: Clark
      Officiant type: religious celebrant
      Recorded date: 10 Mar 1989
      Recorded county: Clark
      Book: 310
      Page: C110802
      Instrument number: 91564

      *Extract from the Social Security Death Index:
      Name: John B Ritch
      SSN: 116-26-8565
      Born: 24 Sep 1915
      Died: 18 May 1989
      Last residence: 20008 Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia
      Issued: New York 1951

      *Captain John B Ritch, Jr (1915-1989) is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia; columbarium number 2.

      Article from the "Helena Independent" of Helena, Montana dated 10 Jul 1930:
      Ritch Aspires For Place
      On Railroad Commission;
      Is Democratic Candidate
      Asked for his picture at the time he filed his petition for nomination as railroad commissioner on the democratic ticket, John B. Ritch of Lewistown demurred, declaring he hadn't faced a studio camera since the day when he went to the Philippines during the Spanish-American war, as a buck private in the First Montana regiment. Then he was lured to a gallery just before he sailed for the islands but he said he never received the pictures.
      A week ago, while he was on a trip to the western part of the state in behalf of his candidacy, he was dragged into the studio of Leslie Lyle where, after considerable badinage, the picture which appears above was secured.
      Those who may not have met John Ritch, who came as a youth from his native state, North Carolina, to Montana in 1885, have frequently heard of him as a range rider, a miner, a wheat rancher and in later years as a business man of Lewistown who counts his friends by the hundreds. He was working for cattle companies at the time the late Charles M. Russell, famous as an artist, was a cowboy riding the range of eastern and central Montana. The friendship struck up in those days between Russell and Ritch, known as Charlie and Johnnie, persisted to the end and Mr. Ritch has been prominently identified in the movement for the creation of the Russell memorial at Great Falls.
      John Ritch, as stated, came to this state at the age of 15, locating first in the Judith basin, then Meagher county. He began as a range rider, then was a prospector and miner in the Judith mountains and the Little Rockies and helped survey the townsite of Landusky, named after a character of the early days, Peter Landusky, who after grubstaked Mr. Ritch when he was a prospector in the mining camps.
      The Spanish-American war came along and Ritch enlisted in the First Montana and served in the Philippines. Upon his return home he entered politics and was elected clerk of the Tenth district court, which office he held for eight years. He served as treasurer of the democratic state central committee, when the late Tom Swindlehurst was chairman.
      During the World war, he went overseas in a civilian capacity, working in France, in England and Belgium, returning home to resume his activities as a business man in Lewistown. For several years he conducted the Myrtle theater, which was sold to the Fox interests within the past year.
      Mr. Ritch was married in 1902 and is the father of two children, Myrtle who is a graduate of the state university and John Ritch, Jr., who is a high school student at Lewistown.
      During his residence in Montana he has taken an active part in the work of the democratic party and at one time was publisher of the Lewistown Democrat, before Tom Stout acquired the plant and converted it into a daily.
      Note: he lost the race - Richard H Rhode.

      Article from the "Helena Independent" of Helena, Montana dated 17 Dec 1937:
      John B. Ritch Is
      Adopted by Gros
      Ventres Indians
      Malta, Dec. 16 - (AP) - John B. Ritch of Helen and Lewistown, state historical librarian, was adopted into the Gros Ventres Indian tribe at ceremonies at Rays and given the name "Comes Flying."
      Ritch has been well known among the tribesmen for many years and was present when the Indians ceded the Little Rocky Mountains to the government in 1895. Ritch laid out the townsite of Landusky, in the Little Rockies.
      He was named for one of the tribal heroes whose fame as a warrior has become legendary.

      Article from the "Helena Independent" of Helena, Montana dated 20 May 1939:
      Montanans Made
      Helena [source for middle name].

      Extract from the Montana Death Index, 1860-2007:
      Name: John B Ritch
      Age: 73
      Estimated birth year: 1869
      Death date: 29 May 1942
      Gender: male
      Index number: LC 1768
      Source: Montana Office of Vital Statistics

      Article from the "Billings Gazette" of Billings, Montana dated 30 May 1942:
      Early Montana
      Resident Dies
      - - -
      John B. Ritch Lived In State 57 Years
      Helena, May 29 - (AP) - John B. Ritch, 73, early-day prospector and cowboy, author, public official and former librarian of the Montana Historical society, died here Friday.
      Ritch, one of the state's best known residents, had lived in Montana for 57 years, most of the time at Lewistown.
      He died Friday morning at the Fort Harrison veteran's hospital, where he has been a patient at intervals for the past year. The body will be taken to Lewistown Saturday.
      Funeral services were tentatively scheduled to be held in Lewistown.
      Ritch was a member of the Montana Historical society board and the society's librarian from Nov. 8, 1937, until early this year.
      His book of western poems, "Horsefeathers," was published about two years ago and is now in its second edition. He was an intimate friend of the late Charles M. Russell, noted cowboy artist.
      Ritch was born Dec. 31, 1868, in North Carolina. When he was 15 he went to Texas and became a cowboy. He came to Montana in 1885 and rode the Judith Basin county range for several early-day cattle outfits.
      He later engaged in the mining business, and was for a time a newspaperman. During the Spanish-American war he served in the Philippines as a member of Co. J, First Montana infantry.
      He served eight consecutive terms as clerk of the Tenth judicial court, and one term as a member of the state house of representatives.
      Ritch at one time operated a Lewistown theater, and was a frequent contributor to periodicals and newspapers on early Montana life and customs.
      He was a prominent member of the Democratic party.
      Ritch married Minnie Rehder at Lewistown in 1902. The widow and two children, Lieutenant (junior grade) John B. Ritch, Jr., U.S.N., and Mrs. Myrtle Judith Gabbelson of Berkeley, Cal.
      Expresses Regret
      Helena, May 29 - (AP) - Governor Sam C. Ford Friday expressed "deep regret" when informed of the death of John B. Ritch, former Montana historical librarian.
      The governor said:
      "News of the death of John B. Ritch will be received with deep regret in all sections of Montana, because he was known to every area where there is left a memory of the days of the cowboy and the cayuse and the open range, of which he wrote so forcefully in prose and poetry. He had held county and state positions, and in all of these he showed the competency, honesty and faithfulness which were characteristics of his whole life.
      John Ritch was a loyal and living citizen, and I am very sorry of his coming to the last roundup, as are thousands of his friends throughout the state."

      Obituary from the "Helena Independent" of Helena, Montana dated 30 May 1942:
      Colorful Old-Timer Dies
      John B. Ritch, 73, a colorful old-timer, public official, author and former librarian of the Montana Historical society, died early yesterday morning at the Fort Harrison veterans' hospital, where he had been a patient intermittently for the past year.
      Mr. Ritch, who resided in Montana for 56 years, rode the Judith Basin county range for several early-day cattle companies.
      He was born Dec. 31, 1868, in Concord, N.C.
      For many years he was an intimate friend of the late Charles M. Russell, famed cowboy artist. Also, he was a member of the Montana Historical society board and the society's librarian from Nov. 8, 1937 until early this year.
      His book of western poems, "Horsefeathers," was published two years ago and is now in its second edition.
      Before coming to Montana, Mr. Ritch, at the age of 15, became a cowboy in Texas.
      After his interlude of cowpunching in the Judith Basin country he was engaged at various times in the mining business and as a newspaperman. During the Spanish-American war he served as a private in the Philippines in Company 1 of the First Montana Volunteer infantry, enlisting May 4, 1898, and receiving an honorable discharge Oct. 17, 1899.
      After the first World War he accompanied a congressional committee through France, Germany and Belgium as a historian.
      He also served eight consecutive terms as clerk of the 10th judicial court and one term as a member of the state house of representatives. He was a member of the democratic party.
      At one time he operated a theater in Lewistown.
      He contributed frequently to newspapers and magazines.
      In 1902 he married Miss Minnie Rehder in Lewistown. Surviving are his wife and two children, Lieut. (junior grade) John B. Ritch, Jr., of the U.S. Navy, and Mrs. Myrtle J. Gableman of Piedmont, Calif., and two grandchildren, Harry Gableman and Joyce Gableman, of Piedmont.
      The body is at the Herrmann and Company mortuary, from where it will be taken Saturday to the Creel chapel in Lewistown for funeral services, to be conducted at 2 o'clock Monday. Burial will be in the Lewistown cemetery.

      Note: there are six towns named Concord in North Carolina, in six different counties. However, Cabarrus County is adjacent to Mecklenburg County which is associated with his father, so his birthplace has been listed herein as Concord, Cabarrus, North Carolina - Richard H Rhode 2 Jun 2006.

      Encomium from "The Helena Independent" of Helena, Montana dated 30 May 1942:
      To have been a friend, or even an acquaintance, of John B. Ritch and heard his wholesome and entertaining lore of the West was a happy privilege. And it may be said as this loveable old-timer passes on that there were hundreds in Montana who enjoyed the friendship and the consequent opportunity to drink in his graphic narratives of the West, of war and of captivating human happenings.
      Mr. Ritch lived a full life. He saw life in all its quirks, for during a colorful career he was cowboy, prospector, soldier, author, public servant and newspaperman. Of that varied life-time, he had the gift to put forth in oral and written words the highlight incidents. A host was ever anxious to hear him.
      Helena came to know John Ritch while he was librarian of the Montana Historical Society. No finer selection could have been made to that post for it was Mr. Ritch's hobby and delight to delve into the facts and anecdotes of this state's early days. His wide knowledge of Montana history and his research was invaluable to the development of the state library, an intriguing center for many Montanans.
      Mr. Ritch was an intimate friend of the late Charles M. Russell, Montana's famed cowboy artist. He served in the Spanish-American war, he rode the range, and once toured Europe as historian for a congressional delegation. He held public office on a number of occasions, his home being in Lewistown before he came to Helena. Mr. Ritch, in fact, enjoyed experiences that fall to few of us.
      He was here only yesterday. His memory will live long with many - that delightful character, John B. Ritch.

      Article from the "Helena Independent" of Helena, Montana dated 2 Jun 1942:
      Final Rites Are
      Conducted
      For John Ritch
      Lewistown, June 1 - (AP) - Military rites were conducted today by the William Meyersick post 1703, United Spanish War Veterans, at the funeral of John B. Ritch, pioneer Minnesota resident and former librarian of the state Historical society. Ritch, 73, died Friday in the Fort Harrison veterans' hospital after about a year of ill health.
      Neighbors, friends, relatives and political associates of long standing attended the funeral. Burial was in the soldiers' plot at the local cemetery.
      Pallbearers were Roy E. Ayers, Tom Stout, James Weaver and Dan Kennedy, all of Lewistown; Austin Middleton of Helena and Lawrence Nelson of Great Falls.
      Ritch, former cowboy, mining man, poet, newspaperman and soldier, came to central Montana in 1885. During the Spanish-American war he served in the Philippines with Company 1, first Montana infantry.
      He was clerk of the 10th judicial court for eight years and served one term in the state house of representatives.

      Burial: Lewistown City Cemetery in Lewistown, Fergus, Montana [source: Find A Grave.com].

      Gravestone inscription:
      John B. Ritch
      Co. I
      1 Mont. Inf.
      Sp. Am. War