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A. J. Rittenhouse. During the past eighteen years no one name has been more conspicuous in the legal profession in Oklahoma than Rittenhouse. The late A. J. Rittenhouse was a lawyer of broad experience and many years of practice in various states, having moved to Oklahoma in 1897. He practiced at Chandler until his death. One of his sons is Hon. George B. Rittenhouse, now one of the justices of the Supreme Court Commission of Oklahoma. Another son, F. A. Rittenhouse, was in practice with his brother as a member of the firm of Rittenhouse & Rittenhouse at Chandler until Judge Rittenhouse went on the bench, and is now carrying on a large practice alone. Thus father and sons have contributed a great deal by their respective ability to the early associations of the Oklahoma bar.
The late A. J. Rittenhouse, a son of James and Rebecca (Wells) Rittenhouse, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and of old Pennsylvania stock, was born in Harrison County, Ohio, in 1850, and was reared and educated in his native state. He was admitted to the Ohio bar, and after some practice there.moved to Centerville, Iowa. At Seymour, Iowa, he married Louise Jane Brown. Mrs. A. J. Rittenhouse, who is still living at Chandler, was born in Huron County, Ohio, a daughter of E. J. and Maud (Sturgeon) Brown. Her father was born in Ohio, was a Presbyterian and prominent in the Masonic Order and is now deceased, while her mother died at the age of forty-five. Of the Brown family, one son, Montreville Brown, survives his parents, besides three daughters.
After their marriage A. J. Rittenhouse and wife removed to McCook, Nebraska, where he practiced law. For a time he was also identified with the Colorado bar and later was a resident of Bellingham, Washington. From there he returned to McCook, Nebraska, but in 1897 located in Chandler, Oklahoma. He practiced in all the courts, had many cases in the Federal courts, and his knowledge and attainments and skill as an advocate had few superiors among his contemporaries. In Chandler he practiced with his son, George B. For a time he had as partner Charles Barnett of Shawnee.
A. J. Rittenhouse died at Hot Springs, Arkansas, April 24, 1909. During the twelve years of his residence in Oklahoma he identified himself closely with affairs where he could be influential and helpful outside of his own profession. He served as a member of the board of regents of the state university. He was an Odd Fellow and was a man of many social qualities as well as high professional attainments. A close student of the law, he was rated as an unusually able speaker whether before court and jury or on public occasions.
Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Rittenhouse had the following children: Olive Rebecca, who is docket clerk and bookkeeper for the firm of Keeton, Wells & Johnston at Oklahoma City; George B., of the Supreme Court; May Maria, now deceased; F. A.; and Robert R., who was born May 23, 1896, and lives in Chandler.
Hon. George B. Rittenhouse was born at Aurora, Nebraska, December 25, 1879. He graduated from the McCook High School, and obtained admission to the bar in 1901. He was in practice from that year until 1909, associated with his father, and from 1909 to 1914 was senior member of the firm of Rittenhouse & Rittenhouse, his partner being his younger brother, F. A. Rittenhouse. Since 1914 he has been one of the justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Commission, and was one of the youngest men ever elevated to that high dignity. He is prominent in Masonry and in 1915 received the highest honors of the Scottish Rite when he was made a thirty-third degree Mason. In 1906 Judge Rittenhouse married Mignone A. Ashton, daughter of Francis Allen and Maggie Ashton. They have one daughter, Margaret May. Judge Rittenhouse and family now reside in Oklahoma City.
F. A. Rittenhouse was born in Aurora, Nebraska, January 8, 1885, being six years younger than Judge Rittenhouse. He received most of his education in Nebraska, in the public schools of McCook, and has lived in Oklahoma since he was nineteen years of age. His higher education was attained in the University of Missouri, where he graduated in the law course, receiving the degree LL. B. Beginning practice at Chandler with bis father and brothers, this relationship was interrupted by the death of his father, and since his brother took bis seat on the bench at Oklahoma City he has been alone. He has fine offices in Chandler and one of the best law libraries in the state.
On June 22, 1910, at Cortez, Colorado, Mr. Rittenhouse married Miss Alma Hocking. She was educated in the states of Oklahoma and Kansas and is a daughter of Scott A. and Sarah Hocking. Mr. and Mrs. Rittenhouse have one son, Austin J. Mr. Rittenhouse has taken thirty-two degrees in Scottish Rite Masonry and is also a Knight Templar. He is a man of striking presence, stands over 6 feet 1 inch high, and has both the learning and talents requisite for a high position in the bar. He is a member of the executive council of the State Bar Association.