Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
John Adam Rittinger

John Adam Rittinger

Male 1855 - 1915  (60 years)

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  • Name John Adam Rittinger 
    Born 16 Feb 1855  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Interesting story, news 
    Religion 1861  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Lutheran 
    Religion 1871  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Lutheran 
    Occupation 1875  Walkerton, Brant Twp., Bruce Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    the editor of The Walkerton Glocke 
    Occupation 1876  Walkerton, Brant Twp., Bruce Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    co-publisher of the "Bell and Telescope" 
    Occupation 1897  Walkerton, Brant Twp., Bruce Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    publisher of "The Glocke" 
    Residence 1904  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Occupation 1911  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Printer 
    Religion 1911  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Lutheran 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-140549 
    Died 29 Jul 1915  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Buried Walkerton Protestant Cemetery, Walkerton, Bruce Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I140549  Generations
    Last Modified 21 Jan 2020 

    Father Friedrich "Frederick" Rittinger,   b. 6 Dec 1833, Michelbach, , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Oct 1897, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Mother Elisabeth Geiger,   b. 1829, , Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jul 1919, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 14 May 1854  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Family ID F32271  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Jane Rogerson,   b. 11 Jul 1855, Owen Sound, Grey Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 22 Jan 1877  Owen Sound, Grey Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2020 
    Family ID F185348  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    John Adam Rittinger
    John Adam Rittinger
    from Waterloo Region Hall of Fame
    John Adam Rittinger in 1912
    John Adam Rittinger in 1912
    From: Berlin, Canada A Self-portrait of Kitchener, Ontario before World War One [1912]

  • Notes 
    • John A. Rittinger, born in Berlin, Ont., February 16, 1855, died here July 29th. For 29 years, 1875 to 1904, he was active on and became proprietor of the German weekly paper, the Walkerton "Glocke," and was well known throughout the Counties of Bruce and Grey as the " Glockemann. " In 1904 the "Glocke" was combined with the Berliner Journal when Mr. Rittinger returned here and became member, as was his father before him, of the firm of Rittinger and Motz, and was active, until his untimely death, as editor of the Journal. Mr. Rittinger took keen interest in the formation of this Society. His accumulated volumes of the ' ' Glocke ' ' have passed into possession of the Society.


      Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society, 1915

      __________________________


      RITTINGER, JOHN ADAM, editor, publisher, and humorist; b. 16 Feb. 1855 in Berlin (Kitchener), Upper Canada, son of Friedrich Rittinger and Elisabeth Geiger; m. 22 Jan. 1877 Mary Jane Rogerson (Rodgerson) in Owen Sound, Ont., and they had one son; d. 29 July 1915 in Kitchener.

      John Adam Rittinger was educated at the College of St Jerome in Berlin. After graduation he was apprenticed in his father's firm, Rittinger and Motz, publishers of the weekly Berliner Journal [see John Motz], and then obtained a journeyman's training in the newspaper and publishing business in Guelph, Toronto, Buffalo, New York, and Chicago. He returned to Ontario and in 1875, in partnership with Aaron Eby, acquired the weekly Walkerton Glocke. He became sole owner and editor of the paper in 1878 and changed its name in 1882.

      Friedrich Rittinger died in 1897 and John Adam succeeded him as a partner in Rittinger and Motz. In 1904 the Ontario Glocke amalgamated with the Berliner Journal, though an edition of the Journal continued to be published with the Ontario Glocke masthead; Rittinger moved to Berlin and became "political and responsible" editor of the Journal, which he now published with John Motz's son, William John. It prospered and by 1909, when it sold more than 5,000 copies every week, Rittinger and Motz had absorbed, with one exception, all other German-language newspapers in Ontario.

      As a journalist, Rittinger was keenly interested in public affairs. He argued that Canadian patriotism and the maintenance and promotion of the German language and culture were not only compatible but desirable. It was in the letters he wrote under the pseudonym Joe Klotzkopp from 1890 onwards in the Ontario Glocke and the Berliner Journal that he expressed his views most effectively. The publishing of texts in the Pennsylvania-German dialect common among German Canadians in southwestern Ontario was a tradition at the time for German-language newspapers, and letters were published under various noms de plume in almost all of them. Although Rittinger was not himself of Pennsylvania-German descent and acquired the dialect as an adult, the Klotzkopp letters, 120 in all, became the most favoured of these writings. The letters, which in their humour can be compared to writings by Thomas Chandler Haliburton* and Stephen Butler Leacock*, for the most part deal with matters of public concern. Less often, Rittinger wrote letters and poems of an occasional type, such as a description of his son's birthday party. Despite their thematic restrictions, the Klotzkopp letters, in their linguistic and stylistic treatment of themes and in their humoristic mode of narration, are outstanding examples of a specific literary genre and testimonials of 19th-century German Canadian thinking and affairs.

      Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek

      AO, RG 80-5-0-64, no.2937. H. K. Kalbfleisch, "Joe Klotzkopp returns!" Kitchener-Waterloo Record (Kitchener, Ont.), 4 March 1966: 3-4. Ahornblätter: deutsche Dichtung aus Kanada, ed. Heinz Kloss and A. B. Dyck (Würzberg, [Germany], 1961). Canadian encyclopedia, 2: 895-96. Heiteres und Satirisches aus der deutschkanadischen Literatur . . . , ed. Hermann Boeschenstein (Toronto, 1980) [text in English]. H. K. Kalbfleisch, The history of the pioneer German language press of Ontario, 1835-1918 (Toronto, 1968); "John A. Rittinger," American-German Rev. (Philadelphia), 23 (1957-58), no.6: 18-20; "A word about Joe Klotzkopp," German-Canadian Rev. (Galt [Cambridge], Ont.), 10 (1957), no.1: 2-5; 11 (1958), no.1: 2-7. K. K. Klein, Literaturgeschichte des Deutschtums im Ausland (new ed., with biblio. by Alexander Ritter, Hildesheim, [Germany], and New York, 1979). Gottlieb Leibbrandt, Little paradise: aus Geschichte und Leben der Deutschkanadier in der County Waterloo, Ontario, 1800-1975 (Kitchener, 1977; also issued in English as Little paradise: the saga of the German Canadians of Waterloo County, Ontario, 1800-1975, Kitchener, 1980). "Literary works by German-speaking Canadians and their critical appraisal: a selected and annotated bibliography with an introduction," comp. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Canadian Rev. of Comparative Lit. (Edmonton), 16 (1989): 669-86. J. E. Middleton and Fred Landon, The province of Ontario: a history, 1615-1927 (5v., Toronto, 1927-[28]), 4: 438-39. L. E. Richardson, "A facile pen: John Motz and the Berliner Journal, 1859-1911" (ma thesis, Univ. of Waterloo, Ont., 1991). G. K. Weissenborn, "John Adam Rittinger: the 'Glockemann' (1855-1915)," German-Canadian yearbook (Toronto), 8 (1984): 221-24.


      Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online 2000 University of Toronto/Université Laval

  • Sources 
    1. [S229] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1871, Div. 1, Pg. 58.

    2. [S712] Book - Third Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society, pg 11 - Biographical Sketch of John A. Rittinger.

    3. [S123] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1861, Div. 3 Page 22.

    4. [S340] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1911, Div. 38 Page 1.

    5. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), 25 Jan 1876.
      22 Jan 1877 John A. Rittinger, co-publisher of the "Bell" and "Telescope", married Mary Rogerson, both of Walkerton.

    6. [S1118] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berlin Daily News (1878-1897), Obituary of Friedrich Rittinger - October 14th, 1897.

    7. [S6] Church Records - ON, Waterloo - Bindeman, F. W. - Card Index Kitchener Public Library.
      Friederich Rittinger, painter of Berlin married 14 May 1854 in Berlin by license to Elisabeth Geiger of Berlin, wit: John Friederich of Berlin & Maria Hess of Berlin

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 16 Feb 1855 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Lutheran - 1861 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Lutheran - 1871 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - the editor of The Walkerton Glocke - 1875 - Walkerton, Brant Twp., Bruce Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - co-publisher of the "Bell and Telescope" - 1876 - Walkerton, Brant Twp., Bruce Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 22 Jan 1877 - Owen Sound, Grey Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - publisher of "The Glocke" - 1897 - Walkerton, Brant Twp., Bruce Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1904 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Printer - 1911 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Lutheran - 1911 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 29 Jul 1915 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Walkerton Protestant Cemetery, Walkerton, Bruce Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth