IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

John S. Ryan


John S. Ryan, the owner of Lilac Lawn Farm, comprising one hundred and forty acres and one of the finest agricultural properties in Jefferson township, is numbered among the earlier settlers in Allamakee county. He was born at Troy, on the Hudson river, New York, July 26, 1848, and later moved with his parents to Clinton county, where they resided until about the year 1861, when they removed to Iowa, settling at McGregor. There John S. Ryan engaged in teaming and in railroad construction work for several years, but afterward came to Allamakee county with his father, who located in Taylor township. He there purchased land and Mr. Ryan of this review then turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, aiding in the improvement and development of his father’s property. He afterward purchased his father’s interest in this farm and has since made his home upon it. In the beginning this was a tract of raw land, covered by a heavy growth of timber and brush, and John S. Ryan cleared a space upon which he built a small frame dwelling with lumber hauled from Lansing. With a five-yoke team of oxen he broke his own land and for some years thereafter did this work for his neighbors, also engaging in this business for some time during the breaking season. He also broke out a residence lot in Waukon. As a result of his unflagging labor through the years, he has his farm today in excellent condition, its neat and attractive appearance reflecting everywhere his careful supervision and practical labors. He has divided his one hundred and forty acres into convenient fields with fences and cross fences of woven wire, and has provided it with a large, neat, two-story house, a double barn, granaries, cribs and other outbuildings, including a buggy shed and a hog house. He has also sunk a good well, provided with a wind pump, and has neglected nothing which will add to the attractive appearance or the value of his place. He raises high-grade stock, cattle, horses and hogs, and has for a number of years been operating a large and well managed dairy, all branches of his enterprise proving important and profitable under his able supervision.

In Allamakee county, in 1871, Mr. Ryan was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Manning, who was born in Franklin county, New York, and who came to Iowa when she was twelve years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Ryan were the parents of the following children. The eldest, John F., owns and operates a farm near the family homestead. He is married and has three children. William is engaged in the life insurance business in Cedar Rapids. Edward owns a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Jefferson township; he is married and has one son. James is engaged in farming upon his father’s property. Thomas died at the age of twenty-five. Leo passed away when he was one year old, Margaret at the age of five, May at the age of six months, Irene at the age of thirteen years and Lizzie at age of fourteen.

Mr. Ryan gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and has held various important public offices, serving for two terms as township trustee, for a time as roadmaster, and for a number of years as a member of the school board. His hearty cooperation is given always to improvements of a character to advance the permanent interests of the community, and he is known as a progressive and public-spirited citizen, who during a residence of over fifty-one years in Iowa has done much to promote general development which advancing his individual interests.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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