On July 17, 1890, Ritzville incorporates as a fourth-class city. The vote to incorporate was held a few days earlier, on July 12, and passed 30 to 7. In the same vote, R. J. Neergaard is elected mayor. The town comprises 440 acres and is the county seat of the recently formed Adams County.
This was actually the second time that Ritzville had been incorporated. The city was incorporated in late 1888 by order of the district court, with N. H. Greene as mayor, but this was achieved under the laws of the Washington Territory. When Washington was granted statehood in 1889, Ritzville and a number of other towns had to reincorporate under the new state laws.
One of the requirements was that at least 300 people must live within the boundaries of the proposed incorporation. A government enumerator certified that Ritzville's petition met those requirements, although this count may have been optimistic. Only 37 people voted in the election, which carried easily.
In the same election the following city officers were elected: R. J. Neergaard, mayor; P. L. Kretzer. treasurer and D. A. Darling, clerk. The councilmen were N. H. Greene, C. E. Hershberger, J. W. King, W. C. McAllister and S. H. Watkins. The first city council meeting was held shortly afterward.