Adams Township was
September 29, 1855,
is congressional township 87, range
6. It lies in the extreme southwest
corner of the county, having Buchanan
County for its western boundary
County on the south.
Green Township is on the east
Buffalo Creek enters Adams on section 18
across the corner, leaving its
territory on the southeast corner of
section 32. This stream receives the
drainage from the
greater part of
in general is covered with a heavy
bed of drift, upon which is a soil
unexcelled in the Mississippi
Valley. This means
Township farms are
productive and in keeping
the general harmonious customs of the
people in Delaware
and progress on the part of
an Irishman, came to America in 1844 and to Delaware County in 1852. He married
Mary A. Gregg, in 1854, also of Ireland, and they were
the parents of twelve children. For
many years Mr. Robinson lived on section
8. John Robinson also came from Ireland and settled in the township in 1854. He
married Margaret Swindle in March of that year. She was also born in Ireland.
Their home was on section 5.
Burgess, an early settler of Adams Township, came to the county in 1855, and in
1859 married Ellen Haight, a native of Ohio. Mr.
Burgess was a good farmer and citizen.
Falconer, a native of Scotland, came to America in 1842,
and to Delaware County in 1855. He married Rebecca Pierce in 1857, and in 1864
enlisted in Company I, Fourth Iowa
Volunteer Infantry. He was with Sherman in
came to the township in 1855 and was one of its valued
By a strong effort he succeeded in having
Tower Hill Postoffice established,
which was the
in the township and was kept by him for
many years. He was one of
few who succeeded in
1858, when the first schoolhouse in the
township was erected.
Germany, whence he emigrated to Canada in
1854. Mr. Ehlers
arrived in this township in the spring of 1855 and in 1862 married Anna B.
Mangold, who was born in
Mr. Ehlers was a member of Company I,
Fourth Iowa Infantry
memorable march to the sea. He was a
member of the board of supervisors,
and the station on the Illinois Central near his farm was named Ehlers in his
was born in Ireland and immigrated to America in 1853. He found his way to
Delaware County in 1856 and the same
year married Jane Garman, also of Ireland.
Andrew De Woody
was born in Pennsylvania in 1820, married Rachel Bardue
in 1843, and with his family came to this county in 1856, settling in
W. H. Lenox came
from Ireland to America in 1832 and to this county in 1857, settling on section
27. He married Sarah Burgess in 1858. James McElligott
was also a son of the Emerald Isle. He crossed the Atlantic in 1848 and arrived
in this township in 1857. He married Ellen Behan in
1858, and for many years their home was on section 10.
One of the best business towns in Delaware County is
of Ryan, which was laid out August
28, 1888, by J. A. Thomas, Andrew E. Anderson and Arthur I. Flint.
Perhaps the first business enterprise in Ryan was started by Arthur Flint,
who opened a general store about
year 1886, in a one-story frame
now occupied by Worley's harness shop.
Some time in the year 1891 Lon Benninger and John
style of Benninger & Snyder, opened a store. In 1892
Nicholas Weiler had
meat market running and he is still in the business.
C. E. Worley was Ryan's first harness maker. He began business in 1893,
in the old Flint Building, and still holds forth there. Mr. Worley, active and
progressive, became Ryan's chief executive and during his administration a
splendid system of waterworks was established.
Shortly after Worley's arrival F. M. Foley engaged in general merchandising,
also J. A. Thomas. After a short while Thomas sold out to Charles Van
Anda and Will Sutton, who made up the firm of Van
Anda & Sutton. Their
successors were Connor & Smith, both surnamed Charles, who came two years
The next business concern to open its doors in Ryan was a department store,
stocked with goods by the Standard Lumber Company, of Dubuque. This has been
under various managements, since the initial one of Joseph
The first school was established in 1888, in a store building owned by Barney
and taught by Joseph Beacom. In the year 1892 the
district erected a
school building—one-story frame—on Union Street. The structure was remodeled
in 1901, by putting on another story, thus giving four rooms for
accommodation of 135 pupils, who are taught by four instructors. The school
has twelve grades.
Postoffice was established in 1884, with Dennis
Magirl in charge. The names of his successors
follow: A. I. Flint, May 3, 1889; J. A. Thomas, September 24, 1890; J. H.
Beacom, August 23, 1894; James Ireland, September 17,1897;
F. L. Houston, December 20, 1901.
Upon petition of
John Dolphin, C. E. Worley, John Reilly, J. Coakley, N. Weiler,
F. L. Houston and others, asking that the Village of Ryan be
separated from the townships of Adams and Hazel Green, and
empowered to formulate and maintain a government of its own, with
the rights and privileges of an incorporated town, the prayer was
granted and the court appointed John Reilly, E. C. Pound, Robert
M. Merriam, C. E. Worley and Fred Houston a commission to call an
election, to be held at Koehler's implement store, to vote upon
the proposition. In accordance and with directions of the court
an election was called and held on the 5th day of February, 1901,
at which time the electorate cast its voice strongly in favor of
In the month of
March, at the regular municipal election, John Dolphin was
elected mayor, and John Reilly, Gottlieb Heisman, F. M. Foley, O.
M. Wright, F. L. Houston, John Evart, trustees. The first meeting
of the council was held on the 13th day of May following and the
city government was in full running order. At that session the
officials qualified, who agree to act without pay the first year.
John Hazelrigg was appointed clerk, and J. P. Striegel,
treasurer. An ordinance was passed for the building of sidewalks
and Ed Pugh, at a special meeting, received the appointment of
The citizens of
Ryan early appreciated the fact that a system of waterworks was
necessary to give the people an abundance of water, both for
public and private use. They realized the virtue of being secure
against losses by fire and to these ends a special meeting of
council was held August 28, 1901, for the purpose of calling an
election, whereby the general sentiment of the community on the
movement could be obtained and made a matter of record. On
September 21, 1901, the election was held at Koehler's implement
store. Fifty votes were cast, of which thirty-nine favored the
building of waterworks, while only seven taxpayers voted against
the improvement. Four votes were mutilated and were not counted.
The judges of this important election were John Dolphin, John
Reilly, H. C. Koehler, John Hazelrigg and R. M. Merriam.
In 1902 council was
empowered to sell the corporation bonds to the amount of $3,000
at 5 per cent interest and a levy of 5 mills on the dollar was
made for the purpose. An 8-inch well was drilled, which produces
a splendid supply of good water. A one-story brick power and
pumping station was erected in the heart of the town, in which
was installed a vertical steel tank 9 by 9 by 36 feet, as a
reservoir, having a capacity of 16,000 gallons of water. The
pressure is sixty pounds and the water is driven into the
reservoir by a 12-horsepower gasoline engine. The power house
stands on a lot, purchased of P. H. Ryan, for $350. The total
cost of the waterworks, including the power house and 1,000 feet
of hose, was about five thousand dollars.
organized a fine body of men into a volunteer fire company in
1902, and this department of the town's utilities erected a brick
fire station at its own expense in 1913. The building is in the
form of a tower from the ground up and on the face of the
structure is a tablet, on which is inscribed the following names,
the owners of which contributed to the sum of $900, cost of the
station: C. E. Worley, chief; J. M. Brayton, W. H. Ward, G. C.
Johnston, N. Weiler, A. O. Thompson, R. A. Barry, T. P. Turner,
A. J. Keegan, S. S. McAreavy, J. M. Duncan, E. E. Coakley, J. A.
Lyness and J. J. Dolphin.