now living: Harriet, Richard J.,
Mary E., Amanda, Eliza Ann, Thomas, William, Susan C.,
Margaret and John (twins), Lewis and Mollie, all of
whom are married. Mr. Beasley has thirty-eight
grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Mr. and Mrs. Beasley united with the
Methodist Church in their early years. Mrs. Beasley
was a consistent and devout member of that communion
for over forty years, and our subject still retains
his connection therewith. He is ever ready to take up
any responsibility that comes to him as a citizen, and
usually deposits his ballot in favor of the Republican
party. His first vote was for William H. Harrison.
Among the portraits of leading
citizens given in this volume may be found that of Mr.
Beasley, and as a fitting, companion picture we
present that of his estimable wife.
JOSIAH RITTER, a minister of the Lutheran Church, and
a farmer of ripe experience, is now living retired
from active labor upon the homestead where he settled
in April, 1868. This is pleasantly located on section
25, in McWilliams Precinct, and forms one of the most
desirable homesteads along the southern line of Otoe
County. This, when coming into the possession of our
subject, was an uncultivated tract of land, but now
presents a fine illustration of the results of
resolute industry and good management. It comprises
260 acres, which have been brought to a careful state
of cultivation, and upon which has been erected a set
of substantial frame buildings, including a roomy and
comfortable residence, a good sized barn, and the
other structures required for the proper care of stock
and the storing of grain. Mr. Ritter raises good
grades of cattle and other stock, and has always taken
pride in the appearance of his homestead, keeping
everything up in good shape and not permitting more
than necessary waste or loss.
The early home of our subject was in
the little Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, March
8,1823. His father, Gottlieb Ritter, was a vineyard
keeper and wine-maker, and spent his entire life in
his native land, passing away at the ripe old age or
eighty-two years. The mother, Mrs. Doretha Ritter,
also of German birth and ancestry, died about 1875,
prior to the death of her husband. Josiah, of our
sketch, was the elder of their two sons, the other
being Gottlieb, Jr., who still remains in his native
Our subject, in common with the
children of Germany, received a thorough education and
lived in his native town until 1849, being then a man
of twenty-six years. In the fall of that year he
crossed the Atlantic, and taking up his residence in
Toledo, Ohio, engaged in the ministry. There, also,
Nov. 12, 1851, he was married to Miss Christiana D.
Swartz, also a native of Wurtemberg, and the playmate
of his younger years. They were betrothed before Mr.
Ritter came to America, and she passed from earth
after having been the faithful and affectionate
companion of her husband for a period of eleven years.
In the meantime Mr. Ritter had taken up his residence
in Bureau County, Ill., and he and his estimable wife
had become the parents of three children, one of whom,
a daughter, was taken away after the death of the
mother. The two living are sons, Frederick and Adolph,
the former a resident of California, and the latter
married, and a farmer of Rock Creek Precinct.
Mr. Ritter, Oct. 24, 1862,
contracted a second matrimonial alliance at Caledonia,
Racine Co., Wis., with Mrs. Charlotte (Strangman)
Weinmann. This lady is a native of Westphalia,
Germany, and born May 24, 1828. She came to the United
States in the summer of 1845, and was married in
Racine, Wis., in 1852, to Rev. John Weinmann, a
minister of the Lutheran Church. Mr. and Mrs. Weinmann
settled in Baltimore after their marriage. Mr.
Weinmann, in 1858 crossed the Atlantic to his native
home in Germany, and when ready to return home took
passage on the ill-fated ship "Austria," which when
two days' journey from New York City was destroyed by
fire, September 13, and all on board, perished. Mrs.
Weinmann, in her widowhood, was left with one
daughter, Lydia, who is now the wife of August Engfer,
and lives in Red Wing, Minn.
After their marriage our subject and
his present wife took up their residence in Bureau
County, Ill., and Mr. Ritter had charge of the German