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

Winfield Scott Ritch

Winfield Scott Ritch

Male 1879 - 1945  (66 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name Winfield Scott Ritch 
    Born 20 Jun 1879  Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1 Aug 1945  Fultonville, Mongomery, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I6956  Ritch
    Last Modified 22 Jun 2020 

    Father Israel Augustus Ritch,   b. 12 Feb 1829, Baughall, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jan 1901, Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Hannah Jane Mead,   b. 21 Nov 1836, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Aug 1881, Greenwich, Fairfield CT Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 44 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F2253  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Johannah Schumann,   b. 17 Nov 1864, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1955, Fultonville, Mongomery, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 18 Oct 1899  Manhattan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Winfield Schumann Ritch,   b. 23 Nov 1906, Brooklyn, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1946, Fultonville, Mongomery, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 22 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F2558  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Samuel Whitcomb Pidge, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, came to Upstate New York after the turn of the century to work for General Electric in Schenectady. While there he partnered with Connecticut native Winfield S. Ritch in 1914 to manufacture household items. The partnership conducted business under the name of Ritch & Pidge Manufacturing Company, Inc. and five years after inception, in 1919, moved up the Mohawk River to the Montgomery County village of Fultonville.

      At the time of the move, despite the closing of the Erie Canal, Fultonville remained a bustling hub. Both the Pidge and Ritch families took up residence and the manufacturing operations on Broad Street with the Fultonville National Bank on the corner of Broad and Main streets and the lumber company, Glen Mohawk Creamery, and White Mop Wringer just a few hundred feet to the west.

      Pidge’s partner, Winfield Scott Ritch, lived with his wife, Johanah (Schumann) and son in “The Cobblestone.” Also known as “Cobblestone Hall,” the area’s unique example of Gothic Revival architecture was constructed in 1840 by the noted historical author, Jeptha R. Simms. With high peaked gables adorned with carved wooden “gingerbread” features, the edifice was built using smooth, rounded cobblestones. Simms used a hole in a board to select stones of the same size.

      John H. Starin took ownership of “Cobblestone Hall” in the later nineteenth century, turning the residence into a village library. Under the aegis of the Starin Benevolent Association, he added two large wings that became an Industrial School for educating women with sewing and vocational classes so they could work in his silk mill.

      By the 1920s, the former Industrial School was transformed into Ritch & Pidge’s machine shop and the foundry was located behind “Cobblestone Hall”. According to records on the website for the U.S. Patent Office, Ritch & Pidge obtained a patent in 1925, possibly for the Peerless clothesline pulley. No other records indicate how the business fared or even when it dissolved.

      Sometime around 1926, Samuel W. Pidge, wife Gertrude, and family left the Fultonville area. They show up in Pheonix, Arizona on the 1930 census. He owned and operated a pattern making business where he lived out the remainder of his life. Pidge died on October 14, 1956 and is buried in Pheonix.

      By 1928, the Fultonville directory lists Winfield S. Ritch as the president of Ritch & Pidge Mfg. Co. and Thomas Brookman as the vice-president. Ritch’s wife, Johanah, was the company’s secretary-treasurer.

      Members of the Methodist Church, the Ritch family remained in Fultonville until their deaths. They continued living in the Cobblestone, although it is not sure when operations for the foundry and pulley manufacturing ceased. Mr. Ritch, sixty-six years old at the time of his death on August 1, 1945, was employed by Beech-Nut in Canajoharie. His wife, fifteen years his senior, survived him. Funeral services were held at the home on Broad Street.

      Winfield Schumann Ritch, the couple’s son, assisted his parents with the family business. Born in Brooklyn in 1906, his obituary appeared in the Amsterdam Evening Recorder on April 1, 1946, just eight short months after his father. The body of the junior Ritch was discovered hanging in the cellar of the “Cobblestone.” The son, described in his obituary as a “foundry worker by trade,” had been stationed in the United States Air Force at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, and received an honorable discharge in September, 1945.