The Works Progress Administration

Biography of David I. Ritter of El Monte California

Another pioneer of El Monte coming to California in 1880 was David I. Ritter. Born in Herman, Missouri, December 19, 1845, he was the son of Florent and Nancy (Dickison) Ritter, farmers, who were of French birth.

Mr. Ritter was educated in the local schools of his home community and remained at home with his parents until he was of age. By then engaged in farming on his own account in the home community in partnership with his brother.

In 1880, following his marriage, he came to California, settling in El Monte on a plot of land on the south side of Main Street no situated between Los Flores Drive and Cleminson Avenue. Here he built a residence and remained until his death in 1909, during which time he followed general farm work under the employment of Mssrs. Hoyt, keys and other ranchers of the district.

In 1880 Mr. Ritter was united in marriage with Miss Martha S. McGarvin, a native of Montgomery County, Missouri. She was the daughter of Dennis and Mary McGarvin, who were both also natives of Missouri.

To Mr. and Mrs. Ritter were born six children, four of whom are still living, namely: Mamie, Josephine, and Vin, all residing with their mother in El Monte, and Edna (Mrs. J.D. Cox) of Los Angeles.

Mr. Ritter was greatly interested in fraternal activities, and contributed much of his time to their advancement. During his residence here he became a member of the Masonic Order, the Eastern Star, and the Forresters. Of these (in the order named) he was, at his death, a Past Master, Past Patron, and Past Chief Ranger.

Politically he was a Democrat, and in religion, he was a Methodist, as also is Mrs. Ritter at the present time.

Mrs. Ritter with her son, Vin, and two daughters, Mamie and Josephine, reside at 116 Los Flores Drive in El Monte.

Source: C. D. Mayon, F. Brow, L. Stoddard, and C. Mudd; El Monte from the Pioneer Days. WPA Project No. N-5740, 1936. In record 19-187072. (California Historical Landmark No. 765: El Monte). On file at the SCCIC, CSU Fullerton.

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