John Ritchie, he paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Edinburg, Scotland, where he was reared to man's estate and apprenticed to the trade of a stone-cutter. He was also married there, and some time afterward emigrated to New York City, where he met his death by falling from a building. He left two sons - John and James. The latter settled in New Hampshire, where he engaged in farming pursuits, and probably spent the remainder of his life. The other son, John, the father of our subject, likewise learned the trade of a stone-cutter, which he followed in New York City and Boston until coming to Illinois. Here he first located in Pike County among its earliest pioneers. Later he removed to Greene County, and next to Macoupin, where he resided until the fall of 1887. He then changed his residence to Moberly, Mo., where he is now living and engaged in the hotel business.
The father of our subject was first married in New York City to Miss Margaret Wilson, who accompanied him to the West, and died in Pike County, this State, leaving three children. The eldest of these, a daughter, Elizabeth, became the wife of Erastus Eldred, and died in Macoupin County, where also a younger sister died, named Emma. Amanda became the wife of Thomas J. Arnold, of New York City, and is deceased.
The elder Ritchie was a second time married in Carrollton, Ill., to Miss Mary Kirgan, who was born in Kentucky, and was the daughter of Benjamin Kirgan. This union resulted in the birth of two children - Fred B. and Julia, the latter of whom is now living with her father. Fred B., our subject, pursued his studies in the common schools until a youth of sixteen years, then he entered a printing office at Virden, where he learned his trade. Later advancing, he was employed as local editor in Greenfield and other places until coming to this county. In Greenfield he was married, Sept. 19, 1872, to Miss Sarah, daughter of Hiram and Vianner (McLaughlin) Holiday. Mrs. Ritchie was born in Greenfield, Ill., in 1848, acquired a common-school education, and remained a member of the parental household until her marriage. She is now the mother of one child, John, who was born July 9, 1873.
Mr. Ritchie, politically, is a sound Democrat, and an earnest worker for his party, frequently serving as a delegate to the county and district conventions. He occupies with his family a pleasant home in the west part of town. Mrs. Ritchie is a member of the Congregational Church.