WILLIAM B. RIDGELY, of Illinois, the eleventh Comptroller of the Currency, was appointed by President Roosevelt, to succeed Charles G. Dawes, October 1,1901, and served a period of six years and six months, having been reappointed at the expiration of his first term. He resigned March 30, 1908.
Mr. Ridgely was born in Springfield, 111., July 19, 1858. Several generations of his ancestors were bankers. His grandfather, Nicholas Ridgely, was employed in the St. Louis branch of the Bank of the United States, and afterward organized the Ridgely National Bank of Springfield. His father, Charles Ridgely, was also a banker and was president of the Ridgely National Bank, in which the former Comptroller obtained his early banking experience.
Mr. Ridgely attended the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y., for several years, taking a degree of Civil Engineer in 1879. Subsequently he engaged in mining, manufacturing and banking in Springfield, particularly in the coal and iron industries, and was vice-president of the Ridgely National Bank.
He was postmaster at Springfield from April 13, 1897, to June 15, 1899. He was elected secretary and vice-president of the Republic Iron and Steel Company and removed to Chicago.
He resigned as Comptroller to accept the presidency of the National Bank of Commerce of Kansas City, Mo. This bank failed and was placed in the hands of a receiver December 5, 1907. It was subsequently restored to solvency by its directors and principal stockholders, and after reorganization of the board of directors, was allowed to resume business March 30, 1908, with Mr. Ridgely as president. Mr. Ridgely resigned the presidency of this bank in November, 1909, and returned East to look after his private business interests. He was also connected with several manufacturing enterprises. He died at the Baltimore Protestant Infirmary on May 1, 1920, after undergoing an operation.