William Ditman William Ditman, of near Mesa, Mesa county, one of the commissioners of the county who is rendering to the people valuable and appreciated service in the office to which they chose him, and whose past life has been a succession of trials and triumphs in which he has made his way by his own pluck and capacity, is a native of Erie county, Pennsylvania, born April 29, 1849. He is the son of August and Rose (Forest) Ditman, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father came to the United States in 1846 and lived for a short time in New York. From there he moved to Pennsylvania, where he met and married his wife, and where he made a good living for his family as a millwright and railroad bridge builder. He died in 1856, at the age of forty. The mother lived eight years longer, dying in 1864, and leaving two children, of whom William was the older, he then being nearly fifteen. Not long before the death of the father the family moved to Michigan, and there the subject of this review grew to manhood, attending the country schools as he could and working to support himself at various occupations until he was old enough to join Rankin’s Lancers, a military organization which was soon afterward disbanded, whereupon young Ditman enlisted in the regular United States army as a member of the Nineteenth Infantry, for a term of three years, serving till the close of the Civil war and afterward in Arkansas and Indian Territory. On being discharged at the end of his term, in 1867, he returned to Michigan, and there he remained two years. In 1869 he went to California, and in that state he worked in a saw-mill for about ten years. From there he came to Colorado and settled in Elbert county, where he resumed operations in saw milling and continued his work in this line for eight years. He then turned his attention to ranching and raising stock, and for this purpose settled in 1883 on the ranch he has since occupied and which he has raised to a high state of productiveness and great value. He was one of the pioneers of Mesa county and the Plateau valley. He was married in 1876 to Miss Julia Rinnert and they are the parents of six children, Gertie, Edward, Cora, Roy and Ray, twins, and Earl. All are living and in good health. Mr. Ditman is at this time (1904) one of the county commissioners of Mesa county. In politics he is a Republican, taking an active interest in public affairs. In the fall of 1901 he was elected county commissioner, for a term of three years, and is now chairman of the board. He is a charter member of Mesa Lodge, No. 55, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Grand Junction, now retaining his Masonic membership in Plateau Lodge, No. 101, at Mesa, being a charter member of this lodge also. He also belongs to the Odd Fellows at Mesa and the Elks at Grand Junction.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.