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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Richard W. Ritter

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 69-70 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Every successful business undertaking adds to the stability, material development and financial standing of the city in which it is situated, and through the organization and wise management of an important productive industry Richard W. Ritter has stimulated the pulse of trade in Amsterdam, while his efforts have also resulted in the attainment of individual prosperity. He was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, April 15, 1890, a son of H. W. and Elizabeth Ritter, and there received his education, attending the elementary and high schools.

Richard W. Ritter's initial experience along commercial lines was gained as a clerk in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, and in 1912, when twenty-two years of age, he came to Amsterdam. He worked for the Mohawk Carpet Mills, Incorporated, for five years, gaining valued business experience, and in 1917 was called to the colors. He was sent to the training camp at Niagara and received the commission of first lieutenant. He was ordered to Camp Lee, Virginia, and became a member of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Depot Brigade. He was promoted to a captaincy in 1918, and in 1919 received his honorable discharge from the service, at which time he was holding the rank of major.

Returning to Amsterdam, Mr. Ritter started a business of his own, forming the Ritter Chemical Company, which has been incorporated, and he acts as its president and treasurer, while George R. Pensel is serving as vice president and secretary. They commercialize dye stuffs and heavy chemicals and find a ready market for the output of their plant, which is well equipped for work of this character. Since its inception the business has grown rapidly, and Mr. Ritter has carefully watched every detail, knowing that in this age of strong competition each point must be closely guarded. To the solution of the many problems presented to him as chief executive he brings the clearness of vision and promptness of action of the true man of business, meeting every emergency with poise and decisiveness. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Fultonville Hosiery Company, one of the prosperous manufacturing concerns of Montgomery county.

One June 3, 1918, Mr. Ritter was married to Miss Beatrice M. Shuttleworth, a daughter of H. L. Shuttleworth of Amsterdam. Mr. and Mrs. Ritter have three children: Richard W., Jr., born October 15, 1919; Elizabeth Ann, who was born on the 10th of June, 1921; and Mabeth Stocks, who was born December 23, 1922.

Mr. Ritter is allied with the republican party and keeps in close touch with the vital questions and issues of the day. He belongs to the Masonic order, the Troy Oriental Shrine, the Antlers Country Club, the Montgomery County Historical Association, and the Amsterdam board of trade. A typical young business man of the present age — alert, progressive, resourceful — Mr. Ritter is ready to meet the obligations of life with confidence and courage, and his career, much as it holds of accomplishment, is still rich in promise.

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