Charles F. Richter

An Introduction

to Charles F. Richter


Charles Francis Richter may well be the most important resident to be born in Butler County, Ohio, and possibly the entire state of Ohio.

Richter’s name is associated around the world with earthquakes because in 1935 he developed the scale to measure them. But very few people, even those who have lived in southwest Ohio all their lives, are aware that this great man was one of our neighbors. Most people assume that since he lived and worked in California that he was most likely born there. Some may even attribute his interest in earthquakes to the Great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that he may have possibly experienced. But the actual facts are even more interesting.

Richter was born in 1900 on his grandparent’s farm on Wehr Road just south and west of the current Edgewood High School, the Richter Ohio History Connection Marker, and the Richter Roundabout. Richter’s parents were Lillian Richter and Frederick Kinsinger, who was the son of a prominent minister in the Amish Mennonite Settlement of Butler County.

Richter Day and the Society of the Friends of Charles F. Richter were established by Anne Koch Jantzen of the Friends of Chrisholm Historic Farmstead and Terry Stephens, an Earth Science and Physics teacher at Edgewood High School in April of 2011. The purpose of Richter Day and the Society was to make Charles Richter’s life and legacy better known in his birthplace of Butler County, Ohio. The Richter Day event, held annually on Richter’s birthday of April 26, is supported by both the Friends of Chrisholm and MetroParks of Butler County.

This site will assist you in learning more about the fascinating life and significant contribution of our native son, Charles F. Richter.