Welcome! I hope you find this site interesting and useful! My family is descendant from Michael Arbogast who came to America aboard the ship Speedwell and settled in what is now West Virginia.
If you have any questions or information please feel free to contact me to me
Thank you for your interest in this genealogical website. Best of luck John.
Harmon Henry Arbogast (1846-1922
A beautifully built and well situated home was built around 1895, in the hills of Ritter, by a Civil War veteran, Henry Harmon Arbogast. Henry, who moved his family to the region in 1885, homesteaded the land where the family home still stands in Ritter. The house was built from timber that surrounded the property. The foundation is made of granite rock. There are two large black walnut trees in front of the home as well as a few out buildings.
Henry was born in Saybrook, McLean County, Illinois, in 1845. He enlisted with the 116th Volunteer Illinois Infantry, F Company, of the Union Army in August 1862. He joined up with General Sherman’s regular Army and the siege at Vicksburg. He was wounded twice, shot once, in the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, requiring hospitalization at the Big Shanty field hospital. He later joined back up with his regiment and was discharged in June 1865 in Washington, D.C.
He married Fannie Fairchild in October 1869 in Linn County, Kansas. He moved the family via railroad to Oregon in June 1888. In 1896, Henry built the Arbogast Family Homestead in Ritter. He took up farming, ranching and operated a saw mill. The couple had seven sons and two daughters.
In April 1916, they moved to Pendleton. Fannie Fairchild Arbogast died in August 1916, and is buried in Ritter Cemetery not far from the family home.
Henry moved with his daughter, Fannye, to Corning, Calif., where he later died in January 1919 at the age of 74.
During a recent visit to the home, I was able to see how well built it was. To withstand the elements, harsh winters of Ritter and the test of time, is nothing short of amazing.
Henry and Fannie still have a grandchild who is alive and nearing 101, Emma Leola Arbogast Speed. Emma Leola is the daughter of Henry’s son, Roy Arbogast. Emma Leola still remembers Henry and Fannie, and can recall several memories. Leola was born in 1912 and spent her childhood in Ritter where she attended school until she was about 8 years old.
The property and home were purchased around 1940 from the Arbogasts, and remains privately owned.