J. J (John Jacob) Riter & Elizabeth Walker

Married in Dubuque County, Iowa, April 20, 1862

~Information on this page submitted by family descendant, Russell Riter

John Jacob Reutter left his home and family in Germany when he was 18, arriving to America on the ship named, David Hoadley, in the port of New York on September 16, 1854. His port of departure had been Antwerp, Belgium. He made the journey to America alone.

According to the U.S. Federal Census records the family changed the spelling of the name to RITER sometime between 1900 and 1910.

Reutter Family Tree page link


Reporter, April 25, 1912


Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Riter of Rock Rapids celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage at the family home in this city Saturday. Their seven children, six sons and a daughter, were all here to join in the celebration, and it was a merry occasion for all, and none more so than to the venerable father and mother, who have traveled the journey in married life to the half century mark. Mr. and Mrs. Riter are both natives of Germany, the former being 17 years of age when he landed in America and Mrs. Riter, 6 years. The latter’s maiden name was Elizabeth Walker, and she and Mr. Riter were married in Dubuque county, Iowa, April 20, 1862. For a time they lived at Carpenter, Iowa, and in 1881 moved to near Schaller in Sac county, which was the family home until a year ago, when they came to Rock Rapids and purchased a home on west Main street. Mr. Riter also invested in a farm east of town which is at present occupied by his son, John. They were hard working and frugal and accumulated a competence to care for them in their declining years, though at present time Mr. Riter is hale and hearty at 77 years and Mrs. Riter at 66 is as active as many a women ten years younger. Their sons and daughter all have a liking for this section of the country and none have strayed far from the old family home. 

J. P. Riter lives at Ireton; G. J. Riter at Windom, Minn;  E. H. Riter, at LeMars; C. F. Riter, at Carroll; John and Louise at Rock Rapids; and Lester, the youngest, is a student in the University of South Dakota at Vermillion.

Mr. and Mrs. Riter are well known, particularly among the German residents of this section and have a host of friends, who will congratulate them upon their successful completion of a half century of married life, and will wish them many more anniversaries of their wedding day.

The sons, with the exception of Charles, who resides at Carroll, were accompanied by their families and it made a family reunion of considerable size.

Reporter, April 27, 1922


Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Riter, of this city, but who for the past two years have spent most of their time with their son, Edward Riter, at Seney, Iowa, celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary Thursday of last week, with a big family dinner and reunion. The children present were Mr. and Mrs. John Riter, of this place; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Riter, Carroll, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Riter, Ireton; and Edward Riter of Seney. Mr. and Mrs. Riter were married in Wisconsin, April 20, 1862, and have enjoyed a life remarkably free from sickness. Mr. Riter is now 87 years old and Mrs. Riter, 75.  Both are active and are enjoying their declining years in fine shape. Mr. and Mrs. Riter made their home in Rock Rapids several years, but went to Seney, Iowa, three years ago when their daughter-in-law, Mrs. Ed Riter, died during the flu epidemic, and have been assisting in the care of Ed’s family of five children since that time, although they plan to return to their home in the spring.  They are right good people, and have a large number of their friends here, and all will join in wishing them many more years of life and happiness. The only two members of the family who were not at the celebration of this unusual event were L. A. Riter, of this city, who was tied up in a hearing of the railway taxation matter at Spencer, and George Riter, who was ill at his home in Luverne, Minn.

Elizabeth Riter holding Gail Riter (at left); baby on the right is unidentified


Mr. & Mrs. J. J. Riter Family--Golden Wedding Anniversary

~Rock Rapids, Iowa, April 20, 1912

Left to Right

Back Row: Charles, Lester, John, Ed, George

Front Row: John Jacob, Phil (seated center), Louise, Elizabeth


Children of J. J. & Elizabeth (Walker) Riter:

J. P. (Phil) Riter b. 26 Jul 1864; d. Dec 1948
Emma Riter b. bet 1866-1867; d. bet 1870-1880
G. J. (George Jacob) Riter b. 21 Jan 1868; d. 13 Feb 1948
Mary Riter b. abt Jul 1870; d. 10 Sep 1890
Elizabeth Riter b. abt 1873; d. bet 1885-1895
Alice Riter b. abt 1875; d. bet 1900-1910
E. H. (Edwin) Riter b. 26 Mar 1877; d. 28 Oct 1967
C. F. (Charles) Riter b. 05 May 1879; d. Aug 1972
John Riter Jr. b. 24 Jun 1882; d. 05 Jun 1961
Louise Riter married John Kerns; b. 28 Nov 1884; d. Mar 1968
Lester Riter b. 21 Jan 1889; d. Jun 1974

[Follow above linked names to more family history]

John Jacob Riter
b. 22 Mar 1835, Wurtemburg, Germany
d. 16 Oct 1926, Rock Rapids, Iowa

His Obituary

Marriage to Miss Elizabeth Walker on April 20, 1862, Dubuque County, Iowa.

Elizabeth Walker Riter
b. 1846, Germany
d. 19 Mar 1933, Rock Rapids, Iowa

Her Obituary




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