Obituaries of Pioneer Citizens of Schuyler County Illinois – Jacob and Clara McKee Ritchey

Jacob and Clara McKee Ritchey are the third great uncle and aunt of my husband.  We photographed gravestones of family members buried in the Sugar Grove North Cemetery during one of our genealogy tours in 2002.  I can’t believe it was that long ago!  Rushville, Illinois, is a beautiful little town with very friendly citizens.

Jacob Ritchey, December 5, 1821 – December 29, 1901

from The Schuyler Citizen, Rushville, Illinois

January 2, 1902

Death of Jacob Ritchey

He Died at His Home North of Rushville on Sunday, After a Long Illness

Jacob Ritchey, an honored pioneer resident of Schuyler County, died at his home, four miles north of Rushville, on Sunday,  He had been in failing health for many years and for the past five years has been a great sufferer.

On Tuesday morning at 11 o’clock funeral services were held at his late residence, conducted by Elder G. W. Ford.  There was a large attendance of friends and relatives, for during the many years Mr. Ritchey has resided in this county he has enjoyed the honor and respect of all who have known him.  The remains were laid to rest in the Sugar Grove North Cemetery.

Jacob Ritchey was born in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, December 5, 1821.  He was left an orphan when seven years of age and for five years he lived with his uncle, Jacob Sawyer.  When still in his teens he accompanied his brother George to this county, living with him until he grew to manhood.

In 1849 Mr. Ritchey was united in marriage with Clara Ann McKee, daughter of the late William McKee, and the young couple settled on an 80-acre farm which was given them by the bride’s father.  To this union were born nine children, two dying in infancy, while three sons and four daughters, with his loving wife, survive the loss of a loving husband and father.

In 1852, in company with Thomas Boyd and Milton Moore, Mr. Ritchey made the overland trip to California.  In 1855 he returned to his farm where he has lived since, and where his life ended after much suffering, being an invalid for more than three years.  His life ended like a summer evening, calm and peaceful, surrounded by his wife, three sons and three daughters; one daughter, living in Kansas, did not get here.  His last words to his family were, “I am going home.”

Besides leaving an aged wife and a family of grown children he leaves a host of other relatives, friends and neighbors to mourn the loss of a kind husband and father, and a true, faithful friend and neighbor.

Clara Ann Ritchey, August 9, 1825 – March 13, 1902

from The Schuyler Citizen, Rushville, Illinois

March 20, 1902

Death of Mrs. Jacob Ritchey

Mrs. Jacob Ritchey, one of the old pioneer residents of the county, died at her home four miles north of Rushville last Thursday evening from the effects of a paralytic stroke.  Mrs. Ritchey was 75 years of age and had resided in this county the greater portion of her life.  She was a sister of the late William McKee, one of Schuyler’s prominent early settlers.

Mrs. Ritchey leaves a family of grown children to mourn her loss.  Two daughters, Misses Georgia A. and Mary, lived with their mother; Charles resides in Camden township; Mrs. R. E. Sands in Rushville township; Mrs. Susan Moore in New Salem, Kansas; and James Ritchey in Woodstock township.

Funeral services were held at the family residence on Saturday morning at 11 o’clock and the remains were interred in the Sugar Grove Cemetery.

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