Phillips County Museum News for June 17, 2020
June 17, 2020
This week we have the story of Johnny Ritch another Phillips County character.
Johnny rode into the town of Landusky in the glory days of the mining camp. During his first visit to Landusky, he lost his hat and cigarettes and came to several days later on a poker table, but he must have liked the town as he soon became a well-known citizen. Now Johnny had a bit of the reformer in him and had tolerable oratorical gifts. He was often called on to speak at funerals.
The community of Landusky did take exception at a funeral for two local men who killed each other when he called his sermon “When Fools Go Forth to Fight”! At one time Ritch was so well-liked in Landusky that they named one of the streets “Ritch Street” and wanted to elect him mayor. Ritch declined, saying he was an indifferent shot.
As with all politicians Johnny fell out of favor when he served a plum pudding at a Thanksgiving dinner and laid some citizens out cold. Rumor has it that he only beat a posse of men to the railroad by several jumps.
Come visit our outlaws and “model” citizens at the Phillips County Museum. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10-5.