A P RITZELL
WHO CONDUCTS ONE OF THE LARGEST CARRIAGE AND WAGON FACTORIES
IN THE STATE
Today more than ever, wagons, carriages, buggies, etc., are
indispensable agents for the convenience of man, and one of the
symptoms of enlightenment, enterprise and progress of a community are
its carriage and wagon repositories and shops. The foremost
manufacturer of these vehicles in this entire section is Mr A. P.
Ritzell, who, by the exercise of sound judgment, the introduction of
first-class material into his work, and the employment of expert
mechanics has attained a reputation extending over a wide territory.
the enterprise dates its origin back to 1879, when it was founded in
comparatively small way by the present owner, being located near the
Keys House. In 1883, the business was moved to its present location,
and since that time Mr. Ritzell has made improvements and additions
to the building utilized an until it is now a substantial brick
structure, 60X80 feet in dimensions.
As in all other products of manufacture, the public estimation designates the output of carriage factories is good, better and best, and the products of Mr. Ritzell's enterprise have long been rated, not only in Keyser but for a radius of many miles, as the best! this position has not been attained by chance, but by the labor and study of a thoroughly educated mechanic, and by the use of only the most perfect stock obtainable. Both workmanship, and the material used, are the best money can buy. the statement will be unquestioned that this factory not only carries the largest stock of seasoned lumber, etc., but that it is the most thoroughly equipped industry of this nature within the counties of W Va. the product is entirely of a high standard and the resulting wear and durability of the wagons and buggies amply justifies their cost. The Keyser wagons practically never break down. A specialty is a family, market, delivery and milk known as the Ritzell Spring Wagon, and which embodies in its construction all the good points and qualities which long experience have enabled Mr Ritzell to conceive. This wagon, of which he is the sole manufacturer, is in general use in this vicinity and has invariably given absolute satisfaction. It is both light and strong, durable and of a neat appearance, and is made either open or covered.
There are everywhere people to when, for various reasons, cheapness be the first object, and who prefer a buggy of a less high standard of manufacture provided the price is low. to meet this demand, Mr Ritzell carries a stock of the best grade of factory made buggies and is prepared to meet the prices of any competition.
The lower floor of his factory building is divided between the blacksmithing and wood working departments, where a specialty is made of repairing. On the second floor, are located the office, paint room, trimming room and show room. these are the only perfectly equipped carriage trimming and painting rooms in this section of the state, and in consequence a large trade is enjoyed. In the show room, at all times, are specimens of completed work, well worthy of inspection. the storage sheds, holding on a average 50,000 feet of first-class bone-dry stock, are located to the left of the main building extending along its entire length, or 80 feet.
As the pioneer plumber and steamfitter in Keyser, Mr. Ritzell, for a number of years, did all of this work here. He embodied this department in his business in 1885, and still retains the bulk of this trade. Hardware is also handled.
A. P. Ritzell was born in Cumberland, Md., in 1853, and is in every sense of the term a self-made man. During the civil war, he lived in Keyser, and as this section was alternately occupied by both the
Confederate and Union forces, his early childhood was filled with exciting events, which did not ten to the acquisition of an extended education. Between soldiers and school books, he, in common with other boys of like age and temperament, showed a decided preference for the company of the former. he acquired some education, however, in the school here, and at the age of 11 was apprenticed to the wagonmaker's trade, a vocation for which he displayed a decided aptitude. He started in business for himself in 1879 on a capital composed principally of youth, energy and a reputation for industry, and his present high position in the business circles of Keyser is the reward of his own efforts. He married Miss Annie M. Keys in 1880, and with his interesting family of four children occupies a handsome three story brick residence of eight rooms, corner of Davis and Piedmont Streets, which he made a Christmas resent to Mrs. Ritzell in 1896. Few Keyser houses are more completely appointed. Even before the introduction of the water system, perfect plumbing arrangements had been secured. The water was obtained from a storage tank, and bath room and sanitary plumbing facilities made possible. the spacious ground, 53X109 feet, add to the attractive appearance of this comfortable home. Mr Ritzell owns the building used as a carriage factory, and has, step by step, worked to the top of the ladder of success. He is a member of the A. F. and A. M., and takes a deep interest in all that pertains to the work and welfare of that order.
TRANSCRIBED OCTOBER 26, 2001 BY PATTI MCDONALD
RETURN TO KEYSER
TRIBUNE JULY 1898
RETURN TO MINCO NEWS
RETURN TO MINERAL