Jackson County


As a native son of Southern Illinois and a member of one of the sterling pioneer families of this section of the state, Mr. Ritter is well entitled to consideration in this publication, as is he also by reason of his standing as one of the representative business men and progressive and public-spirited citizens of Murphysboro, the judicial center of Jackson county. He has been influential in the furthering of measures, and enterprises tending to advance the civic and material welfare of his home city and county and has been specially prominent in connection with educational affairs, .the while his personal popularity in the community emphatically gives evidence that he has measured up to the gauge of public approbation, which is the metewand of character.

Charles Louis Ritter was born in the city of Cairo, capital of Alexander county, Illinois, on the 21st of September, 1868, and is a son of Louis and Kate (Erne) Ritter. The family removed to Murphysboro in 1871, when he was about three years of age, and here his parents passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the high regard of all who knew them. The father devoted the major part of his active career to merchant tailoring, and is a man of prominence and influence in Jackson county. To the public schools of Murphysboro Charles L. Ritter is indebted for his early educational discipline, and he was graduated in the high school as a member of the class of 1885, when but sixteen years of age. Thereafter he devoted sixteen years as an officer of Jackson County and First National Banks, and at the expiration of this period he engaged in the real-estate and insurance business, with which line of enterprise he has since continued to be actively identified and in which his operations have been of broad scope and importance. Through the medium of his real-estate business he has done much to further the material advancement of his home city and county, and he is one of the leading factors in his field of business in this section of his native state. His transactions have been of important order, involving the handling of valuable city and farm property, and the scope of his business has been expanded to include representation as a general fiscal agent. Mr. Ritter has won large and definite success through his own well directed efforts and has large and varied capitalistic interests. He is a member of the directorate of the First National Bank of Murphysboro and also that of the Murphysboro Savings Bank, and he was prominently concerned in the development of the Murphysboro Waterworks, Electric & Gas Light Company, of which he was superintendent for two years. He is secretary of the Jackson County Fair Association, and served for some time as president of the local board of insurance underwriters. Among the most worthy and valuable achievements of Mr. Ritter as touching matters of general public import has been his work in connection with the advancement of the standard of public-school systems in Jackson county, and his interest in this important work has been of the most loyal and insistent order. He was a member of the official board under whose direction was erected the present fine township high school building of Murphysboro township, in the city of Murphysboro, and he served as president of the board of education of this township for five years.

Though he has manifested no desire for the honors or emoluments of political office, Mr. Ritter is aligned as a stalwart supporter of the principles and policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor. He is an appreciative and influential member of the Knights of Pythias and in this order is now grand chancellor of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. He is also affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America, besides which he was for a number of years president of the Jackson Club, one of the representative civic organizations of Murphysboro. He has put forth many effective efforts in behalf of educational work, and in this connection has delivered many effective addresses before educational organizations as well as before popular assemblies of a general order. Broadminded, liberal and progressive, Mr. Ritter stands as a loyal and valued citizen, and in his home community his circle of friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances.

On the 3d of September, 1892, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ritter to Miss Jennie Goggin, of Murphysboro, and they have one daughter, Pauline Celeste.

Extracted 11 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1209-1210.

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