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Title: John F. Ritenour
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Warren county has long been favored in the personnel of its public officials, a rule to which the present efficient and popular clerk of the circuit court is no exception. John F. Ritenour, the incumbent of that office, is a native of Warren county, Indiana, and dates his birth from the 4th day of June, 1878, having first seen the light of day in the beautiful little city of which he has been a life-long resident. Henry Ritenour, father of the subject, also of Hoosier birth and a native of Warren county, was a teacher by profession and for many years actively identified with the educational interests of his part of the state. He taught a number of years in different townships and villages of the county and in 1874 was elected county superintendent of schools, the duties of which position he discharged with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the public, proving a very capable and judicious official. Later he was made deputy county and is a lady of beautiful life and character, whose home has long been a popular resort for the best society circles of Williamsport, especially the younger people who have ever found her a kind and gracious hostess whose hospitality has become proverbial. The paternal grandfather of the subject was Frederick Ritenour, a native of Maryland and one of the pioneer settlers of Warren county. He migrated to Indiana when the savage still roamed the forests, in due time secured land, which he converted velopment and subsequent growth of the part of the country in which he located. He died many years ago and left to his descendants the memory of a useful life and honorable name.

The early years of John F. Ritenour were passed in his native town, in the public schools of which he received his preliminary education. After being graduated from the high school he entered the Northern Indiana Normal University at Valparaiso, where he took the full classical course and earned an honorable reputation as a student, having stood among the first in his classes and demonstrated marked ability in his studies and investigations.

On leaving the above institution, Mr. Ritenour turned his attention to educational work and during the several years ensuing, taught in the country districts and later taught his last terms in the graded schools of Williamsport, shortly after the close of which he was chosen assistant cashier in the Williamsport State Bank, the duties of which position he discharged with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the management of the institution for a period of six years. A scholar and thinker, Mr. Ritenour very naturally became interested in public affairs and took pains to keep himself well informed on the great questions before the people and in close touch with the trend of thought on matters political. Believing the principles of the Republican party to be for the best interests of the body politic he gave them his earnest and uncompromising support and it was not long until he forged to the front as one of the influential young politicians of the county. He rendered valuable service to his party, both as an adviser in its councils and a worker in the ranks, in recognition of which, as well as by reason of his fitness for the position, he was nominated in February, 1910, for the office of clerk of the Warren circuit court, his opponent being a popular man who stood well with his party and proved a strong candidate. Mr. Ritenour made an active canvass, during which he visited every part of the county and left no honorable means untried that he thought would weaken the opposition and inure to his advantage. Notwithstanding the strength and popularity of his competitor, Mr. Ritenour was elected by a handsome majority, receiving more than the normal Republican vote and greatly reducing that of the opposition. He entered upon the discharge of his official duties in January, 1912, and thus far his course fully meets the expectations of his friends and the general public and justified the wisdom of the party in his election. Capable, painstaking and courteous to all who have business to transact in his office, he has already won the confidence of his fellow citizens, irrespective of party ties, and it is the general opinion that the place he now holds has never been filled by an abler or more popular official.

Mr. Ritenour, on December 25, 1901, was united in marriage to Esther Citizen, the accomplished daughter of Calvin and Adah (Ogborn) Citizen, both parents natives of Indiana, Mr. Citizen being a contractor for various kinds of cement work and a successful business man. Mr. and Mrs. Ritenour have one child, a daughter, Esther M., who is three years of age and the sunshine of the household.

Fraternally, Mr. Ritenour is a member of the Masonic order and at the present time, is junior warden of the lodge to which he belongs; he is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a trustee of his lodge, and he has been through all the chairs of the Knights of Pythias lodge which holds his membership and is now filling the office of treasurer of the same. Religiously, he subscribed to the Presbyterian creed and belongs with his wife to the local church in Williamsport, being a member of its board of trustees.

Mr. Ritenour has one brother living, Jacob, older than himself, who is a farmer of Warren township; Fred, his son, is the deputy in the clerk's office. Thus, in rather a cursory manner, have been set forth the leading facts in the life of one of Warren county's most enterprising and up-to-date citizens and accomplished officials. In closing this brief sketch it is needless to state that he combines the sterling qualities which win success and gain the good will and applause of his fellow men, or that he occupies a place in the respect and confidence of the public record in importance to men of his contemporaries. Vigorous in action, resolute of purpose and with a will that hesitated at no opposing circumstances, he has made his presence felt as a leader in political circles, also as a neighbor and citizen and the high esteem in which he is held by all classes and conditions of people has been well and faithfully earned. In his official capacity he has widely extended his circle of friends, both personal and political, and as he is in the prime of life with most favorable future prospects it is predicted that still higher honors await him.

[Page 573-576.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00001165
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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