Search Library Catalog

Ritter, Lloyd & Lydia (Kemmerling)

by Margaret Femmer Cudney, grand niece

Lloyd Manton was born in 1878, in North Webster, Indiana, to Lloyd & Mary Ritter. According to his 1951 obituary, Lloyd came to Juneau from Indiana in 1898. Lloyd’s daughter, Mabel, says that in the early years he worked at B.M. Behrends’ Store in the grocery department. He was very interested in baking and got a job at the San Francisco Bakery in Juneau, working for the Messerschmidts. His future wife, Lydia Kemmerling, also worked at the bakery behind the counter. Lloyd and Lydia were married in Juneau in 1909. Lydia was born in 1889, in Republic, Michigan, where her father Grant Kemmerling left the iron mines in Republic in 1898, to work in the Treadwell Mines and the family followed him to Alaska around 1900-01.

Lloyd and Lydia bought property in Juneau in 1910. The 1910 census listed Lloyd’s occupation as a baker. The Ritters had seven children all born in Juneau: Mary Agnes (1911), Lloyd Jr. (1912), twins Mabel Blanche and Samuel Bryson (1913), John Vance (1916), and twins Helen May and Grant Kemmerling (1920).

In 1913-14, Lloyd formed a business partnership in the transfer business with David B. Femmer, his wife’s brother-in-law. The partnership in Femmer and Ritter would last until 1921. In March 1913, they advertised a stand for Femmer and Ritter’s Express at Burfords Corner, a cigar store and billiard parlor. The 1914 telephone directory lists “114 Femmer and Ritter Coal Bunkers Worthern dock.” In 1915-16, they worked from an office at 32 Front Street. The pair had started out in 1913, by buying coal “direct from the British Columbia Collieries, in addition to conducting a large transfer and drayage business...Both men are pioneers in the hauling game here.”

As the center of mining operations moved to the Gastineau Channel, Femmer and Ritter decided to build a wharf for their growing transfer, coal and storage business. David and Lloyd chose a site on the tidelands about 200 yards west of Main Street on Willoughby, then a planked street on piling which followed the high tide line past the Native Indian village. The land was purchased and on June 4, 1915, an article entitled “Big Dock for Femmer-Ritter is Going Up” ran on the front page of The Alaska Daily Empire. According to Ruth Allman, James Wickersham’s niece, Femmer went to his friend Judge Wickersham for help getting approval to build the dock on the tidelands. Special Federal permission was needed since the site had historically been a docking place for Indian war canoes. On July 30, 1915, construction began on a 55x1,000 foot warehouse on the new dock. The company offered feed, hay, grain, coal, baggage, storage and transfer services. Lloyd and David ended their partnership in 1921 and the Ritters sold their share to the Femmers.

After the transfer business, Lloyd became a self-employed gardener and landscaper, gardening as well as building rock walls and fences. During and after the war years, Lloyd was employed by the Army Engineers in Anchorage. He retired in Juneau and died in 1951. Lydia died in 1969, in Santa Clara, Calif. Three of Lloyd and Lydia’s children are still living: Helen Ritter Hayden, Mabel Ritter Rekosh and Grant Ritter is the only one still living in Juneau.

Lloyd Manton Ritter and Lydia Kemmerling Ritter

General Information +
Exhibits and Collections +
Education +
Public Programs +
Juneau History Research -
Museum Calendar
Friends of JDCM