Ritzville, Adams Co., Washington

Names: 
Ritzville, Adams Co., Washington
History: 

Ritzville was platted in 1881 along with other towns on that section of the Northern Pacific Line. It was named in honor of Phillip Ritz, a successful farmer and businessman from Walla Walla, who had planted trees along the Northern Pacific Railroad in the area.

The first Volga Germans came to Adams County, Washington, from Nebraska in 1883 when a group of 17 families under the leadership of Johann Friedrich Rosenoff arrived. By the mid-1890s, continuing immigration led to the Volga Germans being the largest ethnic group in the Ritzville area.

Volga German Families: 

The following Volga German families are known to have settled in and around Ritzville:

Achziger
Adler
Amen
Arnst
Barth
Bastron
Bauer
Becker
Benzel
Bier
Blum
Boos
Borgens
Braun
Christel
Dewald
Dietz
Eckhar(d)t from Frank
Funk
Gerlach
Gettman
Gross
Heimbigner
Hein
Heinemann
Her(r)man(n)
HillHofferber
Hof(f)man(n)
Kammerzell from Frank
Kanzler
Kautz
Kechter
Kembel
Kenzel / Kinzel
Kiehn
Kissler
Kleinknecht
Koch
Kramer from Warenburg
Lesser
Lust from Yagodnaya Polyana
Meier / Meyer
Miller / Mueller
Minch
Nagel
Oestreich
Pauley from Norka
Pfenning from Norka
Pflugath
Pister
Quast
Rehn
Rieber
Rodenberger
Roloff
Rosenoff
Roth from Walter
Sauer
Scha(e)fer
Schmidt
Sch(o)essler
Schriner
Schultz
Sittner
Stehr
Stromberger
Thaut
Thiel
Tiede
U(h)rich
Wagner
Walker from Norka
Walter
Weber
Wertemberger

Sources: 

- Adams County Washington Pioneer Edition (Ritzville: Ritzville Journal-Times, September 15, 1949), p. 5, 29.
- An Illustrated History of the Big Bend Country Embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin Counties State of Washington (Spokane: Western Historical Publishers, 1904).
- Becker, Paula, "Volga Germans led by Johann Frederich Rosenoff settle near Ritzville in 1883" (HistoryLink.org).
- Egan, Timothy. The Worst Hard Time (New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 2006), p. 63.
- The History of Adams County, Washington (Ritzville: Adams County Historical Society, 1986), p. 264.
- Kirk, Ruth and Carmela Alexander. Exploring Washington's Past: A Road Guide to History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1990), p. 96.
- National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form (1979) - Zion German Congregational Church (Online)
- Scheuerman, Richard D. & Clifford E. Trafzer. The Volga Germans: Pioneers of the Northwest (Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Press, 1985): 139.

Resources: 

- 1920 Federal Census of Adams County (Eugene Jenkins)
- Ritzville Memorial Cemetery (A-H) (I-Q) (R-Z)

Pre-Volga Origin

Map showing the location of Ritzville in Adams County, Washington.
Source: Wikipedia.

Wheat hauling (ca.1910) in Ritzville, Washington.
Source: Wikipedia.

Volga Colonies

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Longitude: 9.903333
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Longitude: 9.387028