Ritzman Photo Collection


Floyd R. Ritzman (1885-1975) was a teacher and administrator in the DeKalb public school system. His passion was photography, especially of trains. When the Ritzman family traveled, Floyd always carried a camera. According to his son, Allyn, he and his father would take drives with the intention of photographing area depots, trains, bridges and events.

Through the generosity of Allyn, his father’s collection of photographs was donated to the Joiner History Room. The collection contains pictures of many railway trains including 400 pictures of the Chicago North Western Railway trains, and 135 pictures of the Chicago Great Western Railway trains. Allyn and Sue Breese spent many hours identifying and cataloging the photos. In addition, the Ritzman Collection includes timetables, schedules, maps, histories, and pictures of every depot that was located in DeKalb County.

The Joiner History Room also has available subject binders containing information on trains that operated within the county, including original ledger books for the Sycamore Woodstock Trolley Line.