Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

O. F. Rittenhouse

O. F. RITTENHOUSE. Of the many solid and substantial citizens of Cherokee County, few stand higher in the public estimation than the gentleman whose name is here presented. Mr. Rittenhouse is a farmer living on the northwest quarter of section 3, township 33, range 23, in Salamanca township. His residence in the county dates from 1886, his former home having been in St. Clair County, Illinois, where he was born in 1853. The parents of Mr. Rittenhouse, John and Sybil (Barker) Rittenhouse, located in St. Clair County "in its infancy," as they were wont to remark; they were young children in their respective families when the settlements were made. The father was born in Illinois, and died in St. Clair County in February, 1901, at the advanced age of 90 years. The mother was a native of Maine, and her death occurred at the age of 87 years. They were married in St. Clair County, and passed their lives in farming. John Rittenhouse was a man of many sterling qualities, and during his long life was a power for good in the communities in which he lived. In political affiliation he was first a Whig, and later a Republican. It was always a source of satisfaction to him, that he helped to elect the Immortal Lincoln to the presidency. He was also proud of the fact of having voted for both the Harrisons.

The family born to these parents consisted of six sons and two daughters, of whom three of the former and two daughters are still living, all in Illinois, save the subject of this sketch.

O. F. Rittenhouse was the youngest of this family. He was reared to farm life and had a good common school education. He has always followed the occupation of an agriculturist, and success has attended him. The first marriage of Mr. Rittenhouse took place in St. Clair County, Illinois. His wife, whose maiden name was Julia Higgins, died in Illinois, leaving Mr. Rittenhouse with a daughter, Estella. This daughter now resides in Columbus, and is the wife of C. H. Briggs, a business man of that city; they have three children,—Bessie, Roscoe and Mabel. Mr. Rittenhouse was joined to his present wife after he came to Kansas. She was reared in the same neighborhood in Illinois as her husband, her maiden name having been Rachel H. Kraft, and came to Cherokee County in May, 1886. To her have been born three children,—Reuben R. and Lucy, both still at home, and one that died in infancy.

The success of Mr. Rittenhouse may be attributed to his untiring industry, a penchant for keeping "everlastingly at it," and to a keen grasp of the financial end of the farming industry. He cares nothing for political preferment, but is a stanch Republican, when he drops his ballot in the box on election day. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. In the fraternities, he holds membership in the Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America.

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