HomeFinding Aids#9403 Robert Mathias Ritchie Collection

#9403 Robert Mathias Ritchie Collection

Robert Mathias Ritchie Collection

MSS #9403

April 1997

Abstract: Materials related to schools run by Robert Mathias Ritchie (1890s-1910s) in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties of North Carolina.

Online catalog terms:

Bostian School (Rowan County, N.C.)

Cress School (Rowan County, N.C.)

Deaton School (Cabarrus County, N.C.)

Education--North Carolina--Rowan County--History

Education--North Carolina--Rowan County--History

Fink and Yost School (Rowan County, N.C.)

Harris Chapel School (Cabarrus County, N.C.)

Ritchie, Robert M., 1876-1938

Sifford, Ethel

Sloop School (Rowan County, N.C.)

Size: Less than one linear foot.


Gift of Ethel R. Sifford
1108 Hwy 152E
China Grove, NC 28023
February 14, 1994

Access: No restriction.

Copyright: Retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


A longtime Rowan County schoolteacher, Robert Mathias Ritchie (August 18, 1876- Nov. 18, 1938) was the son of John and Sarah Walker Ritchie. He began school near his home at Saw, NC, then went to Enochville High School (1894-1896), later graduating from China Grove High School. He also attended North Carolina College (in Mt. Pleasant, NC) and took summer courses at Davidson College.

He began teaching in 1901 in Cabarrus County. From 1903-1906, he was at Harris Chapel, located north of China Grove. From 1906-1907, he taught at Sloop School. And during the years 1907-1911, he taught at Deaton School. He was at Fink and Yost from 1914-1915, and returned to Sloop for the 1920-21 school year. He was at Cress School 1922-1924 and was at Bostian 1918-1922 and 1924-1925.

In the 1930s, he taught adult education classes for the WPA. One was located in South China Grove and another in a church on Horah Street in Salisbury.

Ritchie did manage to pull himself out of the classroom for a short period. During the 1910's Ritchie entered the mercantile business with J.A. Blackwelder, but finally sold out to his partner in 1915 to return to teaching.

Robert Mathias Ritchie married Laura Elizabeth Cress in 1904 and had eight children.

This collection contains materials created by Ritchie during his schoolteaching days and brought together by his daughter, Ethel Sifford. It includes certificates of his teaching credentials, school registers from various schools taught by Ritchie, an account book that appears to list the pay he received from various school and farm work, teaching notebooks with outlines of school programs, a 1936-1939 weather diary, as well as notes made and newspaper clippings gathered by Ethel Sifford.

Series Descriptions

Series I. School Materials

Primarily school registers for the individual school taught by Ritchie. These registers give the school year, lists of students, their birthdays, attendance and "yearly summary." The teaching credentials folder contains teaching contracts and certificates. The Harris Chapel School folder holds a handwritten program for a school performance helds there in 1903. The miscellaneous file contains a set of assignments concerning birds of the school district, a schedule of night classes, blank monthly teaching reports, and a 1902 letter from Ritchie's mother to Ritchie while he was a student at North Carolina College.

Folder List:

Folder 1. Teaching Credentials

Folder 2. China Grove, various schools? (1906-22)

Folder 3. District 1, Litaker Township School (1923-1924)

Folder 4. Bostian (1919-1920) #1

Folder 5. Bostian (1919-1920) #2

Folder 6. Bostian (1920-1921)

Folder 7. Bostian (1921-1922)

Folder 8. Bostian (1924-1925) #1

Folder 9. Bostian (1924-1925) #2

Folder 10. Cress (1922-1923)

Folder 11. Cress (1923-1924)

Folder 12. Deaton?

Folder 13. Fink and Yost (1903-1904)

Folder 14. Fink and Yost (1914-1915)

Folder 15. Harris Chapel School

Folder 16. Sloop (1920-1921)

Folder 17. Sloop (1924-1925)

Folder 18. Miscellaneous material Series II. Writings and notebooks Poetry and an essay about R.G. Kizer written by Robert M. Ritchie are to be found in the writings

Folder. The notebooks contain listings of educational games and riddles as well as an attendance book for an unknown school. The account book contains a listing of pay received by Ritchie from the various schools. A typical entry for the diary would be "Sat. 18. Cloudy and warm. I hired a black man." or "Wed. 15. Cloudy cold. Ray moved his saw mill."

Folder List:

Folder 19. Writings

Folder 20. Account Book

Folder 21. Notebooks

Folder 22. Diary (1936-1939)

Series III. Ethel Sifford Materials

Clippings gathered and notes made my Ethel Sifford, daughter of Robert Mathias Ritchie, concerning Rowan County schools .

Folder List:

Folder 23. Notes of Ethel Sifford

Folder 24. Clippings

Folder 25. Clippings, photocopied