JOHN H. RYAN.
In any review of the progress of events in Solano county and particularly in that section of the county comprised
within the interesting Benicia settlement, the name of John H. Ryan surely should be included, for he was one of
the first permanent settlers here and proved himself an important factor during the development of this section
of California, for many years having been one of the best known persons here.
Mr. Ryan was a native of Ireland, and he came to California in 1852, coming around the Horn and up the coast to
the port of San Francisco, which was then but little more than a sand hill. He was a skilled blacksmith, and after
arriving here he became employed in the blacksmith shop on the Benicia docks of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company,
later being made foreman of the blacksmith shop at the Benicia government arsenal, a position of responsibility
he long maintained. On December 28, 1854, something more than two years after his arrival in this state, he married
Miss Mary Fitzsimmons, also a native of Ireland, who had come here by way of the Isthmus, and they established
their home in Benicia, where they spent the remainder of their lives, his death occurring in 1899 and hers in 1876.
Of the children born to this pioneer couple but one now survives, Mrs. Mary Massie, widow of the late Richard Massle,
who is now living at her home on First street in Benicia, and who has the distinction of being one of the oldest
native born residents of that city.
Mary Ryan was born October 30, 1856, in Benicia, and was there reared. In 1885 she married Richard Massie, a native
of the Saxon city of Wittenberg in Germany and who had not long before that time become a resident of Benicia,
prior to his location here having been engaged in the retail meat business at Martinez. Upon taking up his residence
in Benicia Richard Massle became engaged in the brewery business in partnership with Gus Gnauck, the pioneer brewer.
He also operated a brick yard in that city, and the bricks entering into the construction of the old Masonic temple
there were made by him. Richard Massle died in 1903, he then being fifty two years of age. Mrs. Massie has an adopted
daughter, Miss Esther Stanley Massle, and she also has a niece, Mrs. Frank Wassmann.
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Solano County, CA
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium