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Adams County Washington
Genealogy and History

History of Ritzville, WA

Ritzville, county seat of Adams County, named in honor of Philip Ritz who located in 1878 a homestead just south of the town site. (N.W. Durham, Spokane and the Inland Empire, page 627)
Source: "Origin of Washington Geographic Names", 1923

Ritzville, Washington-Ritzville, the county seat of Adams, is a thriving town of about 500 population. It is located on the main line of the Northern Pacific railroad, 64 miles west of Spokane, the leading city of Eastern Washington. 
     Ritzville is the banking, trading and shipping point for a large area of agricultural and grazing country that is well settled. The land in the vicinity of the town yields large crops of wheat, barley, rye and oats. In some sections of Adams county horticulture is receiving considerable attention. In the county is still a large amount of unoccupied land which is open to settlement and which can be made highly pRitzville pixroductive. Farming in this part of the state is successfully carried on without the aid of irrigation. Good water for domestic use is obtained by sinking artesian wells to an average depth of about 80 feet. Much of the land of the county would produce perhaps greatly increased yields if water were carried to it, and as the supply from the artesian wells of this section is inexhaustible there is no reason why the arid portions of the county should not be well watered from this source in the near future.
     Ritzville's future growth depends on the settlement of the surrounding rich farming lands. The town at the present time contains a $25,000 brick court house, a handsome school building which cost $13,000, a flouring mill with a daily capacity of 50 barrels and a bank which occupies a substantial brick building in the business center. The place enjoys considerable trade and the solid basis on which the town is built can be appreciated from the statement that this trade is annually increasing in volume.  (Picture is the schoolhouse in Ritzville)

[Source: "The Oregonian's handbook of the Pacific Northwest" c. 1894 - Sub. by Shauna Williams]


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