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John A. Ritter was born in Jessamine County Kentucky on Jan. 3, 1819 to John and Agnes Butler Ritter. He was the youngest of three children. Dr. Ritter's father was native of Kentucky and his mother was a native of Virginia. His father died when he was very young.

In 1839, Dr. Ritter moved to Orangeville, Indiana following his mother who had moved there a year earlier.

Dr. Ritter received a medical degree from the University of Louisville in 1850. He was the first physician in Orangeville.

On Oct. 28, 1845, he married Margaret Carter and fathered nine children.

In addition to his extensive medical practice, Dr. Ritter was a businessman in the firm of Ritter & Carter and he and his wife owned about 1,000 acres of land. He was actively involved in politics as a staunch Republican, was a trustee and steward of the Methodist Epispocal Church, was a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity, and was active in the County Medical Society.

In November of 1860, Dr. Ritter enlisted as a volunteer private and was chosen as Captain during the organization of the company. He served as a company commander and regimental surgeon in the 49th Indiana Volunteers in campaigns in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi from 1861-1863.

He resigned his commission in Sept. of 1863 due to ill health. Family history states that Dr. Ritter was instrumental in the arrest of Dr. William Bowles sometime around 1864,  Dr. Bowles, a prominent physician in Orange County Indiana, was a leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle which was sympathetic to the Southern cause.

Dr. Ritter died in 1891 in Orangeville, IN.