William G. Ritch

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William G. Ritch
Acting Governor of New Mexico Territory
In office
June 3, 1875 – July 30, 1875
Preceded byMarsh Giddings
Succeeded bySamuel Beach Axtell
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 21st district
In office
January 8, 1868 – January 13, 1869
Preceded byGeorge Gary
Succeeded byIra W. Fisher
Personal details
Born(1830-05-04)May 4, 1830
Ulster County, New York
DiedSeptember 14, 1904(1904-09-14) (aged 74)
Political partyRepublican
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Union Army
RankUnion army 1st lt rank insignia.jpg First Lieutenant, USV
Unit46th Reg. Wis. Vol. Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

William G. Ritch (May 4, 1830 – September 14, 1904) was acting governor of the New Mexico Territory and a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.


Ritch was born on May 4, 1830 in Ulster County, New York.[1] During the American Civil War, he was a first lieutenant with the 46th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army. He died on September 14, 1904 and was buried at Santa Fe National Cemetery. Ritch was a member of the Knights Templar.

Political career[edit]

Ritch was a member of the Wisconsin State Senate in 1868. Later, he became Secretary of the New Mexico Territory. During this time, he contributed to the design of what would later become the Seal of New Mexico. Following the death of Marsh Giddings on June 3, 1875, Ritch became acting Governor of the territory. He remained so until Samuel Beach Axtell was appointed. While acting governor, he encountered some controversy over his initial refusal to pay off the bounty hunter who shot down Billy the Kid, a decision that was eventually reversed. Ritch was a Republican.[2]


  1. ^ "Ritch, William Gillett". Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2015-05-22.
  2. ^ "Ritch, William G." Our Campaigns.com. Retrieved 2015-05-22.

External links[edit]