William Rittenour.— It is always pleasant and profitable to contemplate the career of a man who has made a success of life and won the honor and respect of his fellow citizens. Such is the record of the well-known farmer whose name heads this sketch, than whom a more whole-souled or popular man it would be difficult to find within the limits of the township where he has his home.
William Rittenour was born on the farm which he now owns, in Jefferson Township, on February 17, 1859, and is a son of George and Sarah (Hisey) Rittenour. George Rittenour was born in Ford’s Valley, Virginia, on July 10. 1819, and lived to the unusual age of almost ninety-eight years, dying on May 24, 1917. His wife was born in Virginia on January 24, 1822, and died on October 10, 1893. She was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Altdaffer) Hisey, by whom she was brought to Columbiana County, Ohio, when five years of age. When she was fourteen years old they moved to Richland County, Ohio, and at the age of seventeen years, on August 27, 1840, under the pastorate of Rev. S. Leiter, she united with the Reformed Church, of which she was ever after a faithful and earnest member. To George and Sarah Rittenour were born thirteen children, of which number eight are living, namely: Mary A., the wife of Lorenzo DeGroff; Arabelle, the widow of J. W. Jones; Sarah E., the wife of J. J. Young; Effie, the wife of Albert Knapp; Francis is married and lives in Portland, Oregon; George, of Tacoma, Washington; William, the immediate subject of this review, and Arthur, who lives in West Unity, Ohio.
The subject of this sketch was reared on the home farm in Jefferson Township and received his educational training in the district schools. After his marriage he continued to reside on the home farm, the ownership of which he afterwards acquired, and he has continued to the present time to operate it. He carries on a general line of farming, together with which he gives attention to the raising of poultry. Thoroughly practical and progressive in his methods, he has gained a distinctive success in his work, and is numbered among the enterprising and substantial farmers of Jefferson Township. The farm, which comprises forty acres, is well improved in every respect and maintained at a high state of cultivation.
On December 24, 1885, Mr. Rittenour was married to Ella M. Burns, who was born in Jefferson Township on August 29, 1866, the daughter of John and Diana (Smith) Burns. Her parents were both natives of Maryland, where the father was born on March 9, 1828; his death occurred on December 6, 1900. He and his wife were married on March 22, 1849, their union being blessed in the birth of thirteen children, eleven of whom are now living, namely: Angeline, Peter, Susie, Catherine, Edward, Victoria, Ella M., Jennie, Charles, Perry and Sadie, all of whom are married. Two children died in infancy. To Mr. and Mrs. Rittenour have been born three children, namely: Oscar W., who volunteered for service and was sent to the Mexican border in the ambulance service, on his return being mustered out at Fort Sheridan. He then enlisted in the ambulance service and was sent overseas, serving in France for nine months; he now lives in Toledo, Ohio; Alva G., who lives in Toledo, Ohio, married Elva Kleinhaus; Orpha A. is unmarried and remains at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Rittenour are members of the Reformed Church, Mr. Rittenour being a deacon in that society. He is an earnest republican in his political faith. He belongs to the Grange at Pulaski, of which he has served as chaplain. He is a stockholder in the Pulaski Grain Elevator Company and is known as a man who stands ready to give his support to every enterprise or movement looking to the advancement of the best interests of the community. Because of his success and his sterling qualities of character, he enjoys the unlimited confidence and esteem of all who know him.
Source: Bowersox, Charles A. ed. A standard history of Williams County, Ohio: an authentic narrative of the past, with particular attention to the modern era in the commercial, industrial, educational, civic and social development , 2 vols. Publisher Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1920.