Ritter Family Plot in Simmons Cemetery


Museum Staff Unknown c0112pj.jpg C-112 B&W 1020-0112-0010 c0112pj Print 3x5 Historic Photographs c. 1978 Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


Nellie & Ed Ritter's family plot in the Simmons Cemetery. This cemetery has also been known as the Ritter Cemetery and the Miller Valley Cemetery. It is maintained by the Arizona Pioneer Home with the oldest section referred to as the Simmons Cemetery.

Nellie Grace (Miller) Ritter came to the Arizona Territory in 1902 to care for her brother, Curtis, who had arrived in Arizona before her and then become ill with tuberculosis. Once her brother recovered from his aliments, Nellie was employed as a housekeeper for her friend who taught school, Lillie Morgan. Nellie married Edward Ritter on June 5, 1907, in Prescott. As they started their life together, the couple settled in Thompson Valley, six miles east of Kirkland, and entered the cattle business. The Ritters were an enterprising duo and decided to increase the size and quality of the herd by raising Polled Herefords. They had three children: Curtis of the Ritter Ranch in Kirkland, who became one of the first participants in the World’s Oldest Rodeo, a school superintendent and a representative for Yavapai County in the state legislature; Edna Grace Lange of Fossel, Oregon, and Alta Rose Smith of Farmington, California. When “Ed” died in 1939, Nellie assumed full responsibility for the viability of the ranch. Nellie passed on March 13, 1962 and was buried in the Ritter's family plot in the Simmons Cemetery in Prescott, Arizona.

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