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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

James J. Dolphin




     James J. Dolphin, president of the Ryan State Bank, is one of the most prominent men in the financial circles of his locality and a man of excellent business judgment. He was born in Prairieburg, Iowa, July 14, 1884, a son of John and Elizabeth (Keegan) Dolphin. John Dolphin was born near Cascade, Iowa, May 6, 1858, a son of James and Mary (Grogan) Dolphin, and was educated in the country schools and in the Monticello high school. After reaching maturity John Dolphin farmed in Linn county for some time and also held title to a tract of farm land near Ryan. When about twenty six years of age he was married to Elizabeth Keegan, a daughter of Keeran and Margaret (Smith) Keegan. Mr. and Mrs. John Dolphin became the parents of five children, namely: James J., Margaret, Mazie, John K. and Opal. The father was the first mayor of Ryan and throughout his life manifested a great interest in public affairs. In 1896 he came to Delaware county and located in Ryan. being made cashier of the Ryan State Bank. He later became president of that institution and proved equal to all of the demands made upon his business acumen and energy. His political belief was that of the democratic party, to which he was always loyal. He was a communicant of the Catholic church and was a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. His demise occurred on the 7th of December, 1910, but his widow still survives.
     James J. Dolphin received his elementary education in Prairieburg and subsequently attended St. Joseph's College of Dubuque. Early in life he became connected with the Ryan State Bank and is now the president of that institution, which was organized in 1900 with a capital stock of twenty five thousand dollars. The name of the first stockholders are J. A. Thomas, John Dolphin, E. C. Pound, John Reilly, W. B. Robinson, Alexander Robinson, C. C. Barry, H. T. Hicks, Vina Brazelton, F. L. Houston, Margaret and Malcolm Dickey, Patrick and William Donnelly, C. A. Foley, Bessie E. Howe, James Keegan, S. S. Squires, Mike McDonald, Rev. P. II. Ryan, J. H. Beacom and P. P. Curtis. The first officers were: President, J. A. Thomas; vice president, E, C, Pound; and cashier, John Dolphin. Subsequently John Dolphin became president, P. L. Houston, vice president, and J. J. Dolphin, cashier. Another change in the officers was made when J. J. Dolphin became president and F. M. Foley, cashier; F. L. Houston remaining as vice president. The officers at present are: J. J. Dolphin, president; F. M. Foley, vice president; F. L. Houston, cashier; and John K. Dolphin, assistant cashier. The bank is a progressive institution but the first care of those who control its policies is to safeguard the interests of stockholders and depositors, all investments being made only after careful consideration and excellent security being demanded before any loan is made. James J. Dolphin has been a dominant figure in the manage­ment of the affairs of the bank and its continued prosperity and steady growth are in large measure due to his wisdom and foresight.
    Mr. Dolphin was married July 23, 1913, to Miss Lela Donnelly, a daughter of Dr. William and Emma (Klonus) Donnelly. A son, Joseph William, was born to their union, his natal day being May 25, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Dolphin belong to St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church at Ryan and gladly give to its support. Mr. Dolphin is very active in municipal affairs and is at present town treasurer. He gives the same minute attention to all matters pertaining to his office that he does to the affairs of the bank, and his fellow citizens, appreciating his commendable civic spirit, hold him in the highest regard.


~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 301-302.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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