submitted by Neal Carter, November 28, 2007

Nov 14, 1899 (hand written)

As sadly prophecied in the Journal last evening, W. S. Richie, a prominent and well-known citizen of Muscatine, breathed his last at a late hour last evening. It was felt all day yesterday after a violent hemorrhage which Mr. Richie suffered in the morning that the end was drawing near. About the middle of the afternoon the attending physicians gave up all hope and Mr. Richie himself realized that he was at death’s door. With his usual Christian fortitude, however, he bore up all day and was ever ready for the end, passing peacefully into his eternal sleep from full consciousness. He had been ill for about two months with la grippe and abscess of the lungs.

Mr. Ritchie was born in Turtlecreek, Pennsylvania, March 3, 1831, and coming to Muscatine in 1857 he engaged in the coal and wood business, and later dealt in grain and produce, and in his palmy days did a business of great volume.

When in the latter business the firm of Richie & White owned the immense elevator on the river bank, the burning of which will be remembered by all citizens. Most of his business activities were in country produce.

When civil war threatened to disrupt the Union he enlisted in the Federal army as a member of Company A, 1st Iowa, and rendered gallant service as a soldier of the republic. On August 14th, 1862, he was united in marriage with Frances A. Johns, who, with seven children, survives, the latter being Elwood J., of Little Falls, Minn.; George W., Grace E., of this city; Addie M., of Chicago; William H., of Lansing, Iowa; Clara B. and Anna W., at home.

A conspicuous figure in our community for more than a generation past has been removed by the death of W. S. Richie. He was a man of marked personality. He possessed originality of thought and expression to an unusual degree and took an active part in nearly all movements for the benefit of the public. In politics he was always an ardent Republican and his “curbstone speeches,” as his friendly talks on the streets with his fellow-citizens were sometimes called, were always incisive and to the point. He used wit and sarcasm, but not unkindly or bitterly. Good humor pervaded his mind at all times. He was resolute and brave in everything he undertook. He was always an ardent temperance man and an earnest upholder of the prohibitory law. As a member of the Methodist church, he was active and devoted. He was a diligent student of the Bible and few men in his walk were better posted in its Divine precepts. He was accustomed to quote some of these with fine effect in his talks and especially in his arguments with his fellow-citizens. As a patriot soldier and a Christian citizen his memory should not be forgotten.

The funeral will be held from the Methodist church at two o’clock tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. Dr. C. L. Stafford will conduct the services.

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