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Willis A. Ritchie, Architect

Arkansas City Republican, April 10, 1886.
While in Architect Ritchie’s office yesterday, we were shown the outline of the drawings of S. C. Smith’s new hotel. The building is to be 128 x 54 feet and four stories high. The office and dining room will be elegantly finished, the office to have French plate glass windows. Bath-rooms will be on each floor, besides all necessary closets. There will be about 70 rooms in the building. There will be verandas on every side. The hotel will be equal to any in Southern Kansas. The cost of the building alone will be $45,000.
[This  hotel went through a lot of name changes. The first name was “St. James Hotel.” The second was the “Gladstone Hotel.” When it was torn down many years later, it was known as the “Elmo Hotel.”]
Arkansas City Republican, April 10, 1886.
W. A. Ritchie & Co., have been awarded the contract for drawing the plans and specifications for S. C. Smith’s new hotel.
Arkansas City Republican, April 17, 1886.
The boycott has broken out in Winfield. The contractors of that city have boycotted W. A. Ritchie & Co., architects.
Arkansas City Republican, April 24, 1886.
                                                       Notice to Contractors.
Sealed proposals will be received at the office of W. A. Ritchie & Co., architects, at Winfield, Kansas, until Monday, April 26, at 6 o’clock p.m., for the erection of a frame two-story hotel at the town of Cale, according to the plans and specifications on file at said office, and also at their office at Arkansas City. Bids must be accompanied by a bond in a sum equal to one-fifth of the bid, conditioned to the faithful performance of contract.
The right is reserved to accept any or all bids. W. A. RITCHIE & CO., Architects.
Arkansas City Republican, May 22, 1886.
                                                        Council Proceedings.
The city council met Monday evening in regular session. Present: C. G. Thompson, C. G. Thurston, A. A. Davis, A. D. Prescott, J. Hight, C. Dean, and O. Ingersoll.
The allowing of bills occupied the attention of the council first.
Bill of W. Ritchie & Co., $17.50; referred.
W. A. Ritchie submitted plans for the city building, but no action was taken upon them.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, May 29, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.
W. A. Ritchie & Co., the architects, have permanently located in Arkansas City. As many of our readers are aware, their office is in the upstairs of the Commercial block. Their designs of buildings are very fine, and they are doing much toward beautifying our city with the planning of and the erection of handsome blocks. J. W. Ginder, an experienced architect, has charge of the business in this city. He is gentlemanly and courteous to one and all. He will be pleased to have you call and see him.
Arkansas City Republican, May 29, 1886.
                                                        Council Proceedings.

Monday evening the city council met. Present: Mayor Schiffbauer, Councilmen A. D. Prescott, O. Ingersoll, A. A. Davis, C. T. Thurston, C. G. Thompson, and J. Hight.
The following bills were allowed.
W. A. Ritchie, surveyor, $17.50; allowed.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 5, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.
J. L. Howard will have erected upon North Summit Street a two-story business room with basement. It will be 25 x 100 feet. The front will be built of pressed brick. W. A. Ritchie & Co., will furnish the plans and specifications, and superintend the construction. How we boom!
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 5, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.
W. A. Ritchie & Co., are preparing the plans and specifications for a brick residence for H. O. Meigs. The residence is to be built upon lots at the corner of 6th Street and 4th Avenue. It will be two stories high, with a handsome tower. The dimensions are 40 x 40 feet. How we boom!
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 17, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.
We were shown the plans and specifications of the new block to be put up for Frank J. Hess by J. W. Ginder, of the architectural firm of W. A. Ritchie & Co. In design the block is a beauty: ’Tis 25 x 80 feet, two stories high, with basement. The ground floor will be composed of three rooms—main office, private office, etc., and will be occupied by Mr. Hess with his real estate agency. The upstairs of the block will be made into office rooms. The block will be constructed of pressed St. Louis brick and is very similar in structure to the Johnson Loan & Trust company’s block. The contract for the work is to be let this week.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 17, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.
The plans and specifications for the city building have just been completed by W. A. Ritchie & Co., architects. It is to be two stories high with basement and an 80 foot tower. The building will be constructed of pitched faced Ashlar work and trimmed in cut stone. On the ground floor will be the fire department rooms, the marshal’s office in front, and the jail in the rear. The jail will occupy 20 x 22 feet of the building, first and second story. It will contain four iron cages and two large corridors. The front upstairs portion of the building will be used for city offices. The building proper will be 30 x 80 feet and is a very fine structure. The contract for the work will be let the 26th of this month.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 11, 1886.
We dropped into the office of W. A. Ritchie & Co., yesterday, and found his assistant, J. W. Ginder, busy upon the plans for Judge I. H. Bonsall’s building. The dimensions are 25 feet by 122 feet, three story and basement. The exterior design is elaborate and graceful, and it will be the handsomest business building in the city. The second story will be devoted to offices, and the third story will be finished off for a lodge room. The judge proposes to begin work at once, and prosecute it vigorously so as to have the building closed in before bad weather.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 21, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.
I. H. Bonsall will commence removing his frame building from his lot at the corner of Summit Street and Central Avenue, in a day or so, preparatory to beginning the excavation for his proposed three-story brick and stone business block.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 25, 1886.

                                                          Notice to Builders.
Sealed bids will be received by H. O. Meigs for the erection of a brick or stone building on I. H. Bonsall’s lot. Said bids may be made on the entire building or on different parts of said building; said work to be done according to plans and specifications on file in the office of W. A. Ritchie & Co., Commercial building. The right to accept any bid or reject all bids is hereby reserved. Time required to finish said building must be specified in said bids. All bids will be opened on the 1st of September, 1886. Bonds for the fulfillment of said contract will be required. I. H. BONSALL.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 11, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.
Ritchie & Co., have prepared the plans for the building block on South Summit street. There are four houses, two stories high, and 100 feet deep, and the fronts are to be constructed of pressed brick.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 22, 1886.
W. A. Ritchie returned to this city last week after a three months’ absence in the east. The town has grown so prodigiously while he was away that he could hardly recognize it for the same.


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