Alexander County

Biography - Wood Rittenhouse

WOOD RITTENHOUSE, merchant, Cairo, is a native of Hamilton County, Ohio, and was born June 21, 1835. His father, Joseph Rittenhouse, was born in the same county in 1808, and, in 1828, married Miss Sarah J. Ewing, who was born in 1812 in Hamilton County, Ohio. To these parents were born five sons — William E., John H., Wood, James A. and Joseph H. Rittenhouse. Their father died in 1842, and the mother was subsequently married to Thomas Lind. She is now living on the old Rittenhouse homestead in Ohio, though enfeebled by age. Wood Rittenhouse received a common school education in his native State, to which he added a coarse in the Evansville Commercial College of Indiana. In 1858, he came to Cairo, Ill., and for four or five years was employed in the capacity of salesman for B. S. Harrell and William White. At the death of Mr. White, Mr. Rittenhouse and C. Hanny, another clerk, became his successors, and continued their business for a term of eight years, the last five years of which time they occupied the building now used for the Alexander County Bank, which they erected in 1865. At the termination of this partnership, Mr. R., in 1870, began his present line of trade, that of flour and commission business, locating on the Ohio levee. In 1872, he associated with him in business his brother, Joseph H. Rittenhouse, which partnership still exists, and is one of the standard firms of Cairo. Mr. R., for several years past, has been and now is President of the Chamber of Commerce. He has served the city for several years as a member of its Council, and also of the Board of Education. He is a member of the Masonic order, and a Republican in politics, and morally and socially he exerts an extensive influence for good. He was married, in Pulaski County, Ill., December 31, 1863, to Miss Laura J. Arter, daughter of Dr. Daniel Arter, whose biography and portrait appear elsewhere. She was born in Pulaski County April 30, 1841. Their family consists of Isabella Maud, Wood Arter, Harry H., Fred M. and Robin C. Rittenhouse.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 39.


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