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                                         JOHN RYAN
                                    Cook County, Illinois


Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Sherri Hessick, added May 2001.


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County,
Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended
(Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 439-440

JOHN RYAN, Assistant General Yard Master of the Chicago,
Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, with headquarters at Blue
Island, has long been connected with that corporation, and
is one of its most trusted and faithful employes [sic].  A
native of the Emerald Isle, he was born in Cashel, County
Tipperary, Ireland, on the 1st of November, 1843, and is a
son of Michael and Mary (Ryan) Ryan.  He attended school
part of the time until eleven years of age, when, his
parents having died, he and his twin brother Michael crossed
the broad Atlantic to America.  The voyage was made in a
sailing-vessel, and was a long and tempestuous one of
thirteen weeks, during which their supply of water and
provisions was nearly exhausted and they were threatened
with starvation.  On the 1st of April, 1854, the brothers
reached Kalamazoo, Mich., where Michael is still living.
The subject of this biography there secured work as a
brick-mason, being thus employed [sic] until 1859, which
year witnessed his arrival in Chicago.

On his removal to the city, Mr. Ryan was employed [sic] by a
physician, with whom he came from Kalamazoo to Chicago.  He
was afterward employed [sic] by James M. Walker, an attorney
at law, and in 1862 he entered the employe [sic] of the
Illinois Central Railroad, working in the Chicago freight
house.  Three years later he went to St. Louis, where he
worked for the Northern Missouri, now the Wabash Railroad.
In 1872 he returned to Chicago and secured a position with
the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, with which he
has been employed [sic] for twelve hours per day regularly
since, except for a few weeks when sickness detained him at
home.  During the past three years he has been Assistant
General Yard Master, and since January, 1893, he has resided
in Blue Island.
Mr. Ryan was married in 1860 to Miss Johanna Cumming, of
Chicago, a native of Neneh, County Tipperary, Ireland.
Their union has been blessed with four children: John P. and
James M., who are now employes [sic] of the Chicago, Rock
Island & Pacific Railroad, and Mary and Ellen, who are still
at home.  The parents and children are all members of the
Catholic Church, and Mr. Ryan belongs to the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and the Yard Masters' Association,
which includes all yard masters of the United States and
Canada.  In his political views, he is a Democrat, having
supported that party since casting his first Presidential
vote for Stephen A. Douglas.  He has, however, never sought
political preferment, giving his entire time and attention
to his business interests.
Soon after his removal to Chicago, Mr. Ryan made plans to
sail for Milwaukee on the ill-fated excursion steamer, "Lady
Elgin," but fortunately was detained and failed to embark.
That was the "Lady Elgin's" last voyage, for during the trip
the vessel went down with several hundred passengers on
board.  Mr. Ryan twice witnessed the breaking down of the
Rush Street bridge.  During his early residence in Chicago,
Fr. Dearborn and the Marine Hospital were still familiar
landmarks in that neighborhood, and the principal hotel and
business houses were all located on Lake Street.  He has
witnessed the greater part of the growth and development of
the city, being familiar with its history from early times.
Mr. Ryan is an affable, genial gentleman.  In business he is
distinguished for punctuality, regularity, and his just
treatment of those under him.  His long service and
experience have made him practically indispensable to the
corporation with which he is connected, and he is equally
popular with employes [sic].

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