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Delaware County, Iowa  



History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People

History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume I.

Captain John F. Merry Supervising Editor. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914



Chapter XXV




     Since Ryan was incorporated the following persons have served as mayor and clerk: 1901 --John Dolphin, mayor; John Hazelrigg, clerk; 1902 -- C. E. Worley, mayor; A. G. Duncan, clerk; 1904 -- P. W. Beacom, mayor; . A. G. Duncan, clerk; 1906 -- August Feilebein, mayor; John Tarleton, clerk; 1908 -- George C. Johnston, mayor; John Brayton, clerk; 1910-12 -- E. E. McCloud, mayor; A. O. Thompson, clerk; 1914 -- W. T. McElliott, mayor; Joseph Cody, clerk. Ryan has a population of 511, of which 370 live in the part situate in Adams township, and 141 in Hazel Green.


     The Bank of Ryan was the first financial concern established here in 1896 and the company was made up of J. A. Thomas, John Dolphin, John Reilly and E. E. McCloud, they having purchased the brokerage interests of J. A. Thomas, who had been in business about one year. The Bank of Ryan maintained its identity until 1900, when, on June 19th of that year, the Ryan State Bank was incorporated by J. A. Thomas, E. C. Pound, Patrick Donnelly, John Reilly, Charles Barry, W. B. Robinson and John Dolphin. This institution began doing business in July following in its present home, which is a brick building, purchased of Mrs. J. A. Thomas. The bank was capitalized at $25,000, and had for its first officials: J. A. Thomas, president; E. C. Pound, vice president; John Dolphin, cashier. Mr. Thomas died in 1906, when the position vacated was occupied by John Dolphin, and at the same time his son, J. J. Dolphin,  succeeded him in the presidency, retaining the office of cashier until June, 1911, when J. M. Foley was elected to that position. Mr. Foley resigned about April 1, 1914, on account of ill health, and F. L. Houston was elected in his stead. At that time F. M. Foley was elected vice president. The present officials are: J. J. Dolphin, President; F. M. Foley, vice president; F. L. Houston, cashier; John K. Dolphin, assistant cashier. Capital, $25,000; surplus, $25,000; undivided profits, $20,000; deposits, $310,000.


      The Ryan Creamery was built in 1903 by the Palmer-Hubbard Company, of Independence, Iowa. It was bought in 1906 by E. E. McCloud, George Emery and John Dolphin, and since that time has been known as the Ryan Creamery Company, which has been under the management, since April, 1914, of A. W. Dickinson. This is a large concern which makes a grade of butter that always finds a ready market. During the years 1911, 1912 and 1913, the average output of butter was 500,000 pounds per year. The building is a two-story brick, 44 by 54 feet, ground dimensions. It has a one-story addition 28 by 44 feet for furnaces and coal. The original cost was $9,000.



      St. Patrick's Catholic Church of Ryan is an outgrowth of a church established in Adams Township. Here the first mass was said by Father Farley in June 1882, at the home of Dennis Magirl, who was then living on section 24 of Adams Township. Among those present on this occasion were Patrick Donnelly, Thomas and James Keegan, Patrick Kinley, Ed Reilly, Newton Fuller, Clark and Michael O'Hara. In the parish were seventeen families.


      The first house of worship was built in the summer of 1882 on section 19, in Hazel Green Township. The cornerstone was laid by Rev. Fathers M. J. Farley and Brady on the 18th of July of that year. The building was of brick, 40 by 60 feet. A steeple was attached some time after the church was finished. The original cost of this building was between seven and eight thousand dollars. Some years later $5,000 on improvements was expended.  The ten acres of land upon which the church stood was purchased of Mrs. Harger, with the proviso that the building should be finished within three years from the day of purchase. This was accomplished just before the time limit. Part of the land was devoted to burial purposes and the property was known as Belmond Church and Cemetery.  Dedicatory exercises were held in the summer of 1883 by Rev. P. H. Ryan and others.


     After the Town of Ryan began to grow and assume proportions this church was practically transplanted to that village about sixteen years ago. A frame church building was erected, 40 by 50 feet, a short distance from the present edifice, which cost five thousand dollars. Services were held here until February 12, 1912, when the present new building was occupied. In the fall of 1907 the priest's house , a two-story frame building, 32 by 36 feet, was moved from Belmond to Ryan, a distance of two miles. The parochial school, a three-story brick building, with basement, having ground dimensions of 40 by 60 feet, was built a few years ago at a cost of $12,000. This school has an attendance of 140 pupils and is taught by six Presentation nuns of Dubuque. The property of this church is easily worth $75,000.


     The first pastor of St. Patrick's who succeeded Reverend Farley was Rev. Fr. P. H. Ryan, who came in 1882 and remained until October, 1906. He was followed by Fr. Patrick Lahey, who was here three years and then came the present pastor, Rev. Fr. John Maloy.



      During the summer of 1888, Reverend Hansen, of Earlville, Iowa, visited a small group of German Lutherans, living in Hazel Green Township, near Ryan, and gathered them under the influence of the word and sacraments of God. Services were held for some time in different schoolhouses. Then these people were organized in August, 1888, as a congregation which adopted the name Friedens Gemeinde (Congregation of Peace), having adopted the conditioner of Evangelical Lutheran congregations recommended by the Iowa Synod.


      Reverends Romberg and Foedisch served the congregation for a short time and the Reverend Melchert was called in 1892 as resident pastor of this small flock, and has since served as their pastor. At that time the congregation was in very poor condition, but it was developed by God's blessing and by earnest German diligence and perseverance into a fairly strong congregation.  At the time the Reverend Melchert took charge  it had hardly a dozen members; now it has a strong voting membership of seventy, with 400 souls. Though some differences of opinion arose in the first years of the church, the faithful God helped and all difficulties were overcome and under the influence of God's word and sacraments the congregation has steadily increased in membership and strength.


      In 1893 a church was built as a permanent home of the congregation. In 1895 the parsonage was built and later on it was remodeled and enlarged. In 1903 the steeple of the church was remodeled and a bell was purchased; for this purpose about one thousand dollars was raised. Finally a cemetery was acquired. The actual value of the property amounts to $6,000 with no debts.



     Some time before the year 1891 the Methodist established a society and held services in the schoolhouse at Tower Hill. Rev. Frank Loveland, who was pastor of the church in Coggon, ministered to the spiritual wants of the congregation and in the summer of 1891 through his efforts a house of worship was built of Ryan, at a cost of $1,600, on a lot donated by J. A. Thomas. Among the first members here were J. H. Preston and wife, Q., Searight and wife and George Walkup. The first pastor was Rev. Frank Loveland, but since his time the church usually has had a student pastor. Among the resident pastors were Revs. H. C. Culver and Edward Lee. There is now a membership of about fifty and the attendance at Sunday school averages forty. The Epworth League also was a good attendance.




      The Village of Ehler was laid out on the southwest part of section 26, and is a small station on the Illinois Central Railroad. General stores are supported by a good trade from the rich country surrounding it. The place was named in honor of Henry Ehlers, who located near by in the spring of 1855. A postoffice was established August 9, 1888, and F. P. Ryan commissioned postmaster on the same date. His successors were: James Henderson, March 20, 1891; Alexander McDonald, may 21, 1902; William H. Ehler, September 7, 1906; N. F. Patton, October 4, 1907.




    Robinson is the youngest town in Delaware County and is a sprightly village for its age, especially in this part of the state. The place was laid out in 1912 and now has a bank, two general stores, one under control of the Robinson Mercantile Company, and the other owned by the firm of White & Stebbins. A. P. Burrows & Sons and W. D. Hoyt & Co. have hardware stores. Peter Kiene has a lumber yard. There are also a blacksmith shop, harness shop, restaurant, barber shop and a pool hall, an elevator and last, but not least, the Robinson Herald, a busy, newsy little sheet, that sat itself down in the new town as soon as it could secure a roof to cover machinery and the head of its editor.


     The postoffice was established and Mary Irene Robinson commissioned post mistress, April 5, 1913.


     The Robinson Bank was incorporated August 27, 1913, by W. B. Alexander and J. W. Robinson, Arthur McEnamy and W. H. Swindle.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume I. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago.  Page 289-295.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m.


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