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Pat Cain

In memoriam

By Dr. E.D.Russell Submitted by Connie Soto


James J. Ryan, the present efficient treasurer of Webster County, belongs to one of the early families of Cooper Township. His father, John Ryan, was a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland, were he grew to manhood and married Mary Phelan, a native of the same county. In 1847, they sailed for America from Liverpool, in the old passage ship, DeWitt Clinton, and after a tedious voyage of three months landed in New York. They first located at Rondout, a small town on the Hudson River, where Mr. Ryan was employed about a year. They then moved to McHenry County, Illinois, where they lived until 1856, when they moved to Webster County and bought 160 acres of land on section 9, Cooper Township, and thenceforth the fatherís time was spent in farming and stock-raising. His death occurred June 15, 1872, after a lingering illness of several years, the result of a sunstroke. The children were all too young to assume any responsibility and the care of her family and the estate devolved on Mrs. Ryan. Since the death of the father they have added 160 acres to the homestead, which now contains 320 acres, about half being under cultivation. Mr. Ryan was a representative man of his township. He was well educated, excelling in mathematics of which he was very fond. He began life a poor boy and by industry and good management secured for his family a fine farm. Fie was affable and genial in his disposition, and made friends wherever he was known. He was ever a strong opponent of the liquor traffic and a warm advocate of the temperance cause, and it might here be remarked that all his sons have inherited this virtue of their father, not one of them ever touched liquor. There was a family of eleven children, three of whom are deceased. Those living are Margaret, Anna, Mary, Catherine, James J., Elizabeth, Michael arid Edward. Mary is the wife of Morris Welch of Badger Township; Catherine is the wife of Thomas B. of Fort Dodge. The rest with the exception of James, are on the homestead with the mother. The famiLy are all members of the Catholic church. James J. Ryan born in Cooper Township, June 8, 1861. He was educated in the public school at Fort Dodge, and for many years was engaged in buying stock. In politics he is a Democrat, and in 1887 was elected by his party county treasurer, succeeding D.A. Weller who was his opponent and had been an acceptable official. Mr. Ryanís election was due to his energy, ability, and popularity with the young men, and his administration of the affairs of the office fully confirms the confidence imposed in him, and has won for him the respect of the opposing party.


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