Edward J. Ryan

EDWARD J. RYAN. It is somewhat remarkable, when the fact is considered, that nine-tenths of the prominent men of the country were reared on a farm and with very many a love of out-door life continues with them ever after. In Edward J. Ryan, mayor of Lincoln, Kansas, is found a livestock dealer, and a man who understands agricultural matters as thoroughly as he does the insistent needs of the municipality he governs. Mayor Ryan is of Irish ancestry and parentage but was born at West Union, Iowa, November 30, 1859.

The pioneer settler of his family in America was his grandfather, Patrick Ryan, who was born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1800, and died at McGregor, State of Iowa, in 1869. His wife, Ann Garrett, was also born in Ireland. They married in their native country. John C. Ryan, father of Mayor Ryan, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1832 and was a boy when his parents brought him to the United States. They settled on a farm near Elgin, Illinois, and there he remained until 1854, when he went to California as a prospector. In 1856 he returned and was married at West Union, Iowa, where he conducted a hotel for a time and afterward engaged in farming. He came to Lincoln County, Kansas, with the pioneers of 1871, buying a relinquishment claim and also secured a homestead of 160 acres, on which he lived until 1882 and then removed to Ogden, in Riley County, Kansas, where he bought a farm. He conducted that farm until 1897, and then retired and since then has resided at Lincoln, one of the city's most respected citizens.

John C. Ryan married in Iowa Miss Ann Crow, who was born in 1836, on the Isle of Man, and died at Lincoln, Kansas, in June, 1916. They became the parents of the following children: Robert William, formerly a state livestock commissioner, died at Kansas City, Missouri; Edward J.; J. B., who is a livestock commissioner at Kansas City, Kansas, Ann Nettie, who is the wife of Hugh Bowen, lives at Junction City, Kansas; Charles F., who is a livestock dealer, resides at Lincoln; Emma, who is the wife of Tapley Kent, a farmer near Ogden, Kansas; Minnie, who is the wife of Patrick Kelley, a farmer near Ogden; Frederick G., who is a horse dealer, resides at Lincoln; and Tillie May, who devotes herself to looking after her father's comfort.

Edward J. Ryan attended the public schools and in 1878 was graduated from the Lincoln High School. He was reared on his father's farm and continued with his father until he was twenty-three years old, when he married and then engaged in farming for himself in Lincoln County. He is the owner of one of the fine farms of this section of the county, containing 380 acres, and it is well managed by his second son, Thomas Ryan. It is a well improved property and to some extent is both a grain and stock farm. In 1907 Mayor Ryan erected his handsome modern residence, which is situated on School Street, Lincoln, and has occupied it since its completion.

Mayor Ryan has always been a consistent and loyal democrat and has been a political factor here for some years, and at times has been tendered many public offices. He served very usefully in the city council, and his election to the mayoralty in April, 1917, brought general satisfaction. He is a man of strength, character and good judgment and the city is having an admirable administration. He is one of the most active members of the Commercial Club.

At Manhattan, Kansas, in 1882, Mayor Ryan was married to Miss Ella Hannagan, who is a daughter of Thomas and Belle (Johnson) Hannagan, both of whom are deceased. The father of Mrs. Ryan was a pioneer settler of Ogden, Kansas, a blacksmith by trade and subsequently was a farmer and post trader. Mayor and Mrs. Ryan have six children, namely: George W., who is a graduate of the high school at Lincoln and also of the Western Dental College, Kansas City, Missouri, is a dental practitioner at Lincoln; Thomas, who is a graduate of the Lincoln High school, manages his father's farm; Leo, who is also a high school graduate, is a bookkeeper in the Saline Valley Bank at Lincoln; and Annie, Joseph and Mary, all of whom are high school graduates and reside at home, Joseph being agent for the Overland automobiles.

Mayor Ryan is a thirty-second degree Mason, belonging to Isis Consistory No. 3. Salina, his other Masonic connections being with Lincoln Lodge No. 154, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Isis Temple at Salina. He belongs also to Center Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is past noble grand, and to Lincoln Camp No. 3457, Modern Woodmen of America.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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