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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
J. B. Ririe


Since 1899 J. B. Ririe has been identified with the agricultural and stock raising interests of Magrath and vicinity, where he owns nine sections of land, and he is president of the Magrath Trading Company. A native of Utah, his birth occurred in Springville, Utah county, on the 22(1 of October, 1858, a son of James and Ann (Boyack) Ririe, both natives of Scotland. The father was born on the 24th of January, 1827, at Newcastle, Scotland, and the mother was born in 1830. Their marriage was celebrated in Utah, whence he came, in 1853, with the Jacob Gates Ox-team Company, and she came in 1855, with the Milo Andrews Company. Mr. Ririe made the trip to Utah by way of the Mississippi river to Keokuk, Iowa, and thence overland, crossing the Missouri river at Florence, Nebraska. He was one of the pioneer settlers of Utah county and he homesteaded considerable land there. He engaged in general farming and stock raising and met with well deserved prosperity. In 1856 he was united in marriage to Miss Ann Boyack and to their union the following children were born: Marguerite, the widow of George Hogg of Ogden, Utah; J. B., whose name introduces this review; David, whose demise occurred in Idaho; Alexander, a resident of Ogden, Utah; Elizabeth, the widow of James Farrell of Ogden, Utah; Isabelle, the wife of Joseph Stallings of Eden, Utah; Agnes, the wife of David Burnett of Eden, Utah; Joseph, a resident of Ogden, Utah; 1-lyram, residing in Lewiston, Utah; and George and Mary, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Ririe were zealous workers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-clay Saints, and he held many minor offices in the church and subsequently became high priest. Mr. Ririe died on the 17th of June, 1905, and his wife passed away in September, 1914.

The boyhood and youth of J. B. Ririe were passed on the old homestead in Utah county and he attended the schools of Weber. After putting his textbooks aside he engaged in sheep raising in Davis county, that state, starting oil small scale. He gradually increased his land interests, however, until he owned some two hundred acres, most of which was under cultivation, and he resided on that land until 1899, when he was called to assist in the colonization of Magrath. He arrived in Magrath in August of that year and lived in a tent with his family until December. lie purchased six hundred and forty acres in the vicinity of Magrath and a ten-acre block in the town. At that time the land was nothing but raw prairie. In a systematic manner he went about improving it and he has built thereon many fine buildings. He continued his sheep raising and also the breeding of blooded Shire horses, shorthorn cattle and the Merino thoroughbred sheep, and he now runs all of three thousand sheep. He owns nine sections of land in the vicinity of Magrath, which includes his original purchase. He has inherited the thrift, energy and business integrity of a long line of Scotch ancestors, all of which qualities he has exercised in the pursuit of his career, and as a result he is today the owner of valuable property and enjoys the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens.

Mr. Ririe was first married to Miss Elizabeth Morgan, a native of Kaysville, Utah. She was born in September, 1862, and died in 1904. She was the mother of thirteen children: Anna Louise, now Mrs. Ralph Winterton of Magrath; James A., manager of the Magrath Trading Company, who served three years oil mission in Holland; Joseph W., residing in Magrath; David L., born oil 24th of July, 1887, who died in February of the following year; Lawrence, farming in Welling, Alberta; Laura, the wife of Orsen Bridge of Magrath; Olive, the wife of R. W. Bradshaw of Beazer, Alberta, where he is engaged in farming; Elmer, a resident of Magrath, who was on a mission in the state of Maine for three years and served as councilor under Bishop Harker; Melvin, farming at Raymond; Leonard, who served on a mission in Florida for over two years; and hazel, Horace and Lloyd at home. On October 16, 1908, Mr. Ririe was married to Miss Julia Hawkes, a native of West- water, Utah, and a daughter of Nathan Havkes of Ogden. To the second union four children were born: Velma, Marguerite, Prudence and Julia Dean, all living at home.

Mr. Ririe follows an independent course in politics and he takes an active and helpful interest in all local affairs. He served as mayor of Magrath several terms and is now trustee of the school district. The entire family are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-clay Saints and Mr. Ririe has devoted a large part of his time to the church. At the present time he is holding the office of high councilor and has held every office from deacon to that of high priest.


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