Biography of James W. Ryan
Riverside County, CA Biographies





JAMES W. RYAN
One of the best known and most successful business men of San Jacinto was the late J. W. Ryan, who served for over twelve years as city treasurer and who also served as a notary public and carried on a thriving business in furniture, his executive ability enabling him to manage with ease the many duties that constituted his daily labors. He was born in Ireland, October 31, 1843, and was brought to the United States by his parents (both natives of that country) in 1851, settling in Warren, Ohio, where they died and where he attended the common schools and grew to manhood.

In July, 1861, Mr. Ryan enlisted in Company K, Sixty eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and with his regiment was assigned to the Seventeenth Army Corps. He participated in many engagements and skirmishes, among them the siege of Vicksburg, when the fort surrendered; the battles of the Atlanta campaign, Jonesboro, and was with Sherman in his march to the sea, through Richmond, Va., and, May 24, 1865, participated in the grand review at Washington, D. C. He was mustered out at Louisville, Ky., July 10, 1865, and honorably discharged at Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon returning to his home, Mr. Ryan took a business course and later opened a grocery store at Cardington, Ohio, successfully conducting the business for twenty years, and was united in marriage with Electa White, who died in California; they reared two adopted children. Upon disposing of his business in 1887, Mr. Ryan removed to San Jacinto, Cal., and, purchasing a furniture business from his brother, was engaged in that line and built up a very successful trade, until his sudden death from heart failure, April 17, 1912, since which time the business has been carried on by his widow and his son. As he prospered he erected a brick business block and later a frame building adjoining, now occupied as a telephone exchange, as well as two substantial residences, and materially aided in the general development of the community.

In 1892 occurred the marriage of J. W. Ryan and Miss Libbie Ackerman, a native of Pike, Wyoming county, N. Y., and who shared with him the esteem and good will of the community Their only son, Walter J., is a graduate of the San Jacinto high school, class of 1912, and is early adapting himself to a business career.

A Republican in politics, Mr. Ryan was a delegate to several county conventions, and for four years held the office of justice of the peace. He served continuously as city treasurer after the incorporation of San Jacinto, with the exception of the first six months. He was a member of the G. A. R. until the post disbanded, after which it devolved upon him to take charge of Memorial Day exercises. He was a member and past grand of San Jacinto Lodge No. 383, I. O.O. F., of which he was treasurer from its organization until his death, and was a member of the Rebekahs, of which lodge Mrs. Ryan is a member and has filled several offices in the order and is past noble grand. As a man and citizen Mr. Ryan was public spirited, eager and willing to aid all movements for the building up of the town and county and by his sterling qualities endeared himself to all with whom he had social or business relations, and at his passing San Jacinto lost one of her most energetic supporters and business men and his family a loving husband and father.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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