John Michael Ritter was born in Northampton county on April 18,1782, and married Margarethe Arner on February 26, 1805. Their first child was Charles A Ritter, born January 5, 1806. After moving to Rittersville in 1808, their second child, Thomas D Ritter, was born on May 9 of that year.
During his life in Rittersville, Michael Ritter served as postmaster (1828 - 1832), three terms as Justice of the Peace (1843, 1848, and 1852), and as a Pennsylvania State Representative. In addition to being a tavern owner, he built a hotel, opened the first store, initiated the building of the first school (1812) and initiated the building of the first church (1842). His son, Charles, managed most of the family's businesses, and was the Rittersville postmaster for 50 years. Son Thomas was a farmer who owned 152 acres in the vicinity of what was to become Central Park. This included the land which became the site of St Peter's Union Church and the Rittersville cemetery.
John Michael Ritter died on March 17, 1854. His wife died in 1857. Both are buried in Rittersville Cemetery.
©2005 Robert M Reinbold Jr