Descendants of Scotch or Scotch-Irish ancestry in America are to be met with in every state of the Union and it
is to their credit that they rank among the most intelligent and progressive people on the continent. Of this number
was John Ronald (the name in the early days was spelled Ronalds and in various other ways), who arrived in Indiana
in 1820 and for fifty years was actively connected with the development of the west: He was born at Ryegate, Caledonia
county, Vermont, July 12, 1799, a son of George and Elizabeth (Smith) Ronald, the former of whom was born in Sterlingshire,
Scotland, and the latter in New Hampshire. George Ronald emigrated to America in 1786 and located at Ryegate, Vermont,
with Robert Brock, Sr., and his wife and Jean and Elizabeth Miller. Elizabeth Miller was the third wife of James
Nelson, of Ryegate, and married Edward Miller about 1789. Mr. Ronald worked for Deacon Andrew Block at Brook's
Mills in Newbury and afterward bought a part of Joseph Smith's farm at Ryegate. In 1789 he married Elizabeth Smith,
a daughter of Joseph Smith.
In 1795 Mr. Smith sold his farm to Ezekiel Manchester, of Barnet, Vermont, and took up his residence at West Bath,
New Hampshire, where his descendants are now living. In 1820 Mr. Ronald came west with his family and settled on
Garrison creek, ten miles west of Connersville, Indiana. There he died September 5, 1821, being then in the sixty
first year of his age.
John Ronald, of this review, received his early education in the public schools of Vermont and removed with his
parents to Indiana when he was twenty one years of age. He learned the wagon maker's trade after arriving in Indiana
and also devoted his attention to farming, applying himself with an energy that produced highly satisfactory results.
He was a man of excellent ability and was thoroughly capable in everything he undertook. He was greatly respected
by his friends and neighbors and became recognized as one of the progressive and useful men of the community.
On October to, 1822, Mr. Ronald was married to Miss Martha Killough, a native of South Carolina and a daughter
of James and Jane (Hayes) Killough, the former of whom was born in Scotland and the latter in Ireland. They were
married in Ireland and came to America, locating in South Carolina, where the mother died. In 1810 Mr. Killough
moved to Ohio with his children and he died in that state about two years later. Mr. and Mrs. Ronald became the
parents of ten children, three of whom are now living: Mrs. McDill, the eldest, who was born February 23, 1825;
Emely, who was born December 3, 1836, and is the wife of J. P. Walker, of Grand View, Iowa; and Caroline, who married
Dr. Lilly, of Chicago, Illinois.
Mr. Ronald, whose name introduces this sketch, died February 22, 1872, his wife being called away seven years later,
in December, 1879. He was a member of the Reformed Presbyterian church and in all the relations of life attempted
to perform his whole duty to his family, his associates and his fellowmen. He found in his wife a loving companion
and a willing assistant and as parents of a large family they set an example of patience, courage and self denial
well worthy of imitation. Their memory is warmly cherished by all who came within the circle of their influence.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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