GEORGE W. RITCHEY, a skillful blacksmith and well-known citizen of West Alexander, was born December 10, 1827 in Donegal township, Washington Co., Penn. He is a son of John and grandson of George Ritchey, who was born and grew to manhood in Ireland. George Ritchey was married in his native country, and some time afterward came to America, locating in Buffalo township, Washington county, near Taylorstown. They remained there seven years, and then came to Donegal township, where Mr. Ritchey purchased the home farm. He had a family of twenty-one children. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religious connection a member of the U. P. Church of Donegal township.
John Ritchey was born in Donegal township, Washington Co., Penn., and there received his early education at the primitive subscription schools. He was united in marriage with Elizabeth Fowler a resident of Washington county, and their children were: Margaret J. (deceased wife of George Karnes), Elizabeth M. (first married to John Miller, now the wife of Thomas Phillips), George W. (our subject), David, William T. (deceased minister of the U. B. Church) and John. After marriage Mr. Ritchey made his permanent home in Donegal township. He was a public- spirited man, interested in all progressive movements, and an active worker in the Democratic party; in religion he was a member of the U. B. Church of Donegal township. He died in 1861, and was followed by his widow in 1866. The remains of both rest in the U. B. Church cemetery.
George W. Ritchey received his early education and passed his boyhood in Donegal township. At the age of eighteen years he was apprenticed to Lewis Hallom, of Washington borough, to learn the blacksmith's trade. He remained there two years, and then entered the employ of John Morrow, with whom he worked four years, when he established a shop at Taylorstown. Mr. Ritchey conducted the blacksmith business at that place for eight and a half years, and then entered the employ of William McCoy, in West Alexander, remaining with him until 1862 when he enlisted in Company C, "Ringgold Cavalry," serving until the close of the struggle. After the war he worked at his trade in West Alexander until 1871, when he settled in Buffalo village, which was his home thirteen years, but finally came to West Alexander where he has since remained. On April 5, 1848, he was united in marriage with Mary, daughter of James Mitchell, of Bentleyville, Washington county, and their union has been blessed with the following children: Winfield S., Lena (Mrs. Robert Martin), Thomas, A. E., Mary (Mrs. George Timmons), William and Lester G. Of this family, Thomas, A. E. and William are deceased. Mr. Ritchey has always been a progressive man, and has taken an active part in the development of the community. Politically he is an earnest Republican, and while residing in Hopewell township, served three terms as justice of the peace. He is a substantial member of the Presbyterian Church at West Alexander.
Text taken from page 811 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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