J. Wadsworth Ritchie
James Wadsworth Ritchie
May 24, 1861
|Died||March 22, 1924 (aged 62)|
Emily Montague Tooker
(m. 1895; her death 1903)
Daisy Muriel Hoare
(m. 1907; his death 1924)
|Children||3, including Gabrielle, Montie|
|Parent(s)||Montgomery Harrison Ritchie|
|Relatives||James S. Wadsworth (grandfather)|
James Wadsworth Ritchie (May 24, 1861 – March 22, 1924) was an American sportsman and rancher who was prominent in New York Society during the Gilded Age.
Ritchie was born on May 24, 1861 in Geneseo, New York. He was the son of Montgomery Harrison Ritchie and Cornelia Wadsworth (1837–1921). From his parents marriage, he had one brother, Arthur Ritchie, who died in childhood. Through his father, he was descended from Federalist party leader Harrison Gray Otis. His paternal grandparents were Mary Craig (née Wharton) Wadsworth and General James S. Wadsworth. Among his extended family members was uncle James Wolcott Wadsworth and first cousin, James W. Wadsworth Jr., who were both successful New York politicians. Ritchie's aunt, Elizabeth Wadsworth, married Arthur Smith-Barry, 1st Baron Barrymore in 1889, becoming Lady Barrymore.
Following his father's early death in 1864 from an illness contracted in battle during the U.S. Civil War that also killed his grandfather (during the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia), his mother met and, in 1869, remarried to John George Adair, a Scottish-Irish businessman and landowner from County Donegal. After their marriage, they lived at Glenveagh Castle in Ireland, in Great Britain, and New York City, where Adair, also known as "Jack Adair", opened a brokerage house. His stepfather also owned a large cattle ranch, known as JA Ranch, southeast of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.
After his step-father's death in 1885, his now twice-widowed mother divided the JA Ranch holdings with Charles Goodnight. In 1887, Ritchie traveled to the ranch to learn the cattle business from his stepfather's old partner who continued to manage the late Adair's properties, and hired Ritchie as a cowhand, eventually promoting him to foreman. Reportedly, Ritchie adapted quickly to the Panhandle and lived in a dugout at the original Tule campsite.
In January 1888, Ritchie was demoted for gambling. Soon afterward, his mother persuaded him to travel to New York where Ritchie he managed the New York City Police Department's purchase of horses from the ranch. Ritchie visited the ranch several times and was assisted in hiring Richard Walsh as manager of the ranch.
Following the outbreak of the Second Boer War, Ritchie enlisted for service in 1899. Although he remained an American citizen, he was promoted to major in the British Cavalry and was his ability to manage men and horses, earned him promotions and praise from the British.
In 1892, Ritchie, who had not yet married, was included in Ward McAllister's "Four Hundred", purported to be an index of New York's best families, published in The New York Times. Conveniently, 400 was the number of people that could fit into Mrs. Astor's ballroom.
After his 1895 wedding to Emily, her father gifted his Newport, Rhode Island house, including all its furnishings, chandeliers, and draperies, to his children, who promptly divided the contents and sold the home.
In 1895, Ritchie was married to Emily Montague Tooker (1872–1903). She was the daughter of Margaret Augusta (née Peckham) Tooker and Gabriel Mead Tooker. Emily's older sister, Charlotte Augusta Tooker, who was considered the "beauty of the family", was married to prominent architect Whitney Warren of Warren and Wetmore. Emily, who was said to be "not in the least bit pretty," had previously been engaged to A. Lanfear Norrie in 1893. Sadly, she died only a few years later in 1903 at their home in Ashwell, England, at the age of 31.
In 1907, he married Daisy Muriel Hoare, an Englishwoman, who was the daughter of first-class cricketer and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Charles Twysden Hoare of Bignell, Bicester. They settled in his home in Ashwell, Rutland, England. Together, the couple were the parents of three children, including:
- Gabrielle Muriel Ritchie (1908–1995), who married three times. Her second marriage was to Charles R. Style, a brewery manager, and her third was in 1951 to Alexander Keiller, archaeologist and family heir of marmalade makers in Dundee.
- Montgomery Harrison Wadsworth "Montie" Ritchie (1910–1999), who married twice and worked the JA Ranch.
- Richard Morgan Wadsworth "Dick" Ritchie (1912–1940), who died from inhaling carbon monoxide from a faulty heater on his yacht while he was fishing off Corpus Christi.
In his later years, his health failed and he became a semi-invalid. Ritchie died on March 22, 1924 and was buried in England.
Through his son Montie, he was the paternal grandfather of Cornelia Wadsworth "Nina" Ritchie, who was the first wife of Republican Texas State Senator Teel Bivins of Amarillo, who, prior to his death in 2006, served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden during the second administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. Their son Andrew M. Bivins also works for JA Ranch.
- Anderson, H. Allen (15 June 2010). "RITCHIE, JAMES WADSWORTH". tshaonline.org. Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "PLANS FOR THE RITCHIE-TOOKER WEDDING It Will Take Place in Newport the Last Week in August" (PDF). The New York Times. June 29, 1895. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- Cornelia Adair, My Diary: August 30 to November 5, 1874 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965).
- JA Ranch exhibit, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas
- J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1949).
- Dorothy Abbott McCoy, Texas Ranchmen (Austin: Eakin Press, 1987).
- Armstrong County Historical Association, A Collection of Memories: A History of Armstrong County, 1876–1965 (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1965).
- McAllister, Ward (16 February 1892). "THE ONLY FOUR HUNDRED | WARD M'ALLISTER GIVES OUT THE OFFICIAL LIST. HERE ARE THE NAMES, DON'T YOU KNOW, ON THE AUTHORITY OF THEIR GREAT LEADER, YOU UNDER- STAND, AND THEREFORE GENUINE, YOU SEE" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- Keister, Lisa A. (2005). Getting Rich: America's New Rich and How They Got That Way. Cambridge University Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780521536677. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "THE DUKE MUCH FATIGUED Greatly Wearied by His First Social Effort in Newport. RESTING IN THE BIG MARBLE HOUSE A Grand Ball to be Given by Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt this Evening in Honor of Miss Consuelo" (PDF). The New York Times. August 28, 1895. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "NEWPORT SEASON AT AN END.; A Few Families Still There, but Nothing of Importance Going On" (PDF). The New York Times. October 13, 1895. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "NEWPORT'S OCEAN HOUSE SOLD Believed that a New Hotel Will Be Erected on Its Site — The Herrick Cottage Rented" (PDF). The New York Times. May 5, 1897. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- "Newport" (PDF). The New York Times. August 24, 1895. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "THE RITCHIE-TOOKER WEDDING. Arrangements Completed for the Coming Event" (PDF). The New York Times. August 4, 1895. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "TOOKER-RITCHIE WEDDING Notably Brilliant Society Event at All Saints' Chapel, Newport. ELITE OF THE COTTAGERS PRESENT Dr. Magill, Rector of Trinity, Officiated — Congratulations for Miss Cameron, Who Found the Bride's Cake-Ring" (PDF). The New York Times. August 25, 1895. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Gen. G. M. Tooker Dies Abroad" (PDF). The New York Times. December 13, 1905. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- Town Topics, the Journal of Society. Town Topics Publishing Company. 1893. p. 5. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Warren, Whitney, 1864-1943. Whitney Warren papers, 1914-1926: Guide". oasis.lib.harvard.edu. Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "A WEDDING IN NEWPORT | MR. WHITNEY WARREN, OF NEW-YORK, AND MISS TOOKER.FASHIONABLE SOCIETY WELL REPRESENTED—THE TOILETS OF THE LADIES—THE PRESENTS AND THE BRIDE'S HOUSE" (PDF). The New York Times. July 18, 1884. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- Social Register, New York. Social Register Association. 1904. p. 390. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Death List of the Week" (PDF). The New York Times. July 12, 1903. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
RITCHIE--July 4, at Ashwell, Rutland, England, Emily, wife of J. Wadsworth Ritchie, daughter of Gabriel Mead Tooker, in the 32nd year of her age.
- "The Hoares of Annabella". The Washington Post. April 11, 1907. p. 6. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Carpenter, Louis Henry (1912). Samuel Carpenter and His Descendants: Comp. private circulation. p. 251. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Woman Must Pay Alimony". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
- Murray, Lynda J (1999). A zest for life: the story of Alexander Keiller. Swindon: Morven Books. ISBN 0953603903.
- Brown, David (12 January 1996). "Obituary: Gabrielle Keiller". The Independent. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- "Montgomery H.W. Ritchie | Owner, operator of Texas' JA Ranch". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 30, 1999. p. 32. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Pauline D. and R. L. Robertson, Cowman's Country: Fifty Frontier Ranches in the Texas Panhandle, 1876–1887 (Amarillo: Paramount, 1981).