This past Saturday night at the First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton,. I met the granddaughter of Hugh Ritchie. She is 95 years old. She told me that Ritchie Court in Chicago is named for him In searching through the documents I have scanned and placed on Intact. I found the Memorial given by the Board of Governors of the Illinois St. Andrews Society upon his death in 1918. The memorial covers two and one half pages, so I will not include all of it on this blog. However, if anyone would like a complete copy, please send me your email. Here are some of the comments in the Memorial.
“The Illinois Sant Andrew Society, with deep sorrow, and the feeling of a very personal loss, is called upon to record the passing on Oct. 6, 1918, to the Great Beyond of our esteemed and well-beloved life-member Mr. Hugh Ritchie, at his late home, No. 28 West Chestnut St., Chicago.”
“A native of Stevenson, Ayrshire, Scotland, he came while a young man to this country . . . The Chicago Fire of October 1871, was a severe calamity to our city’s interests and their managers, and he was among those who were heavy sufferers . . . Mr. Ritchie was the last surviving charter-member of the Illinois St. Andrew Society.”
“In 1845, the Society was instituted, but it was not until 1853 that it was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly of Illinois. He became a member of the Society in 1849, which was four years before it was chartered by the State, and he was therefore one of the original charter-members . . . He was for many years a member of its Board of Managers . . . At the time of his decease he was the oldest life-member.”
“We extend to his family our sincere sympathy. They may not sorrow as those without hope. His life will remain to the one who so long has been his helpmeet as a comfort, a satisfaction, and an enduring memorial of conjugal fidelity and affection; and to his children as an inheritance which shall become more precious with the passing years.”
Signed: Thomas C. MacMillian, Robert W. Hall, John Williamson, Dr. John A. McGill, George Fraser, Thomas Innes, and John J. Badenoch.
(There was a death notice in the Chicago papers, but it did not show the place of burial. I am going to make an effort to contact his granddaughter tomorrow and perhaps have more information to report later.)
Wayne Rethford, Chairman
Scottish American History Club
A part of the Illinois St. Andrew’s Society