From History of Reedsburg and the Upper Baraboo Valley, by Merton Edwin Krug, Publ. February 1929 by the author. Printed by Democrat Printing Company, Madison, Wis., Page 457
Mr. and Mrs. O. R. Ryan. Oscar R. Ryan, for many years a prominent resident of this city, was born Jan. 1, 1854, at Deering, N.H., son of John Wesley and Fanny (Chase) Ryan, his parents natives of New York. His boyhood was spent in the East, but about 1865 he came with his parents to Baraboo, Wis., and shortly after became a member of the family of C. E. Ryan, an uncle and jeweler, who had an establishment in that place. In 1874, at the age of twenty, he came to Reedsburg and established a jewelry store, which he conducted with more than usual success for many years. About 1885 he became associated with Towle Manufacturing Company of Chicago, and the next fourteen years were spent on the road, but he retained his Reedsburg interests, and made the city his home. While on one of his business trips to Oshkosh, he was suddenly stricken and his death occurred the same day, Friday, Nov. 10, 1899. He left his wife, nee Jesse Barnhart, whom he married Nov. 14, 1877, and one daughter, Ferne.
Jesse Barnhart, daughter of Jeremiah and Martha L. (Rosekrans) Barnhart, was born at Lyons, Sauk County, Wis., Sept. 18, 1856. Her father, one of the early settlers of Reedsburg, was born at Greenbush, Rensselaer County, N.Y., March 25, 1825. The name of Barnhart was first introduced in America by Johann Barnhart who came from Germany about 1685. His wife was Anna Eulalia, and his son Hans Jurgen Barnhart, was next in the line of descent. This man married Joachimina, daughter of Cornelius and Maria (Demarest) Cornelison. Their son Cornelius Barnhart was born in 1752, and Jeremiah Barnhart, Mrs. Ryan's father, was his son.
Jeremiah Barnhart grew to manhood in his native place. At the outbreak of the Mexican War he was employed in the Arsenal at West Point. With a group of young men he embarked for Galveston, and while enroute a storm off the Louisiana coast drove the ship astray. It was stranded on a sand reef, but the passengers were rescued by a passing ship and put ashore at New Orleans. In that city he apprenticed himself to a wagon-maker, learned the trade, and returned to Troy, N.Y., where he married Dec. 31, 1849, Martha, the daughter of Henry and Larie (Cary) Rosekrans. She was born May 10, 1825, at Albany, N.Y. In 1854 Mr. and Mrs. Barnhart came to Rockford, Ill., and two years later located at Baraboo, Wis. Remaining in Baraboo two years, in 1858 he came to Reedsburg and established a wagon-shop, which he conducted for many years. Early in the Civil war he was engaged in the making of Government wagons, and spent some time at Chattanooga, Tenn. Later he was discharged because of ill health, and, returning to Reedsburg, resumed his business which he continued with some irregularity, until his death. His wife died in Reedsburg June 18, 1867, leaving these children: Ida, who married Robert Cottington, Bloomer; Jesse, widow of O. R. Ryan, our subject; Mrs. P. Kloppel, of Miami, Florida; and J. F., deceased, of Clayton, N.M. Two others died in infancy. On Nov. 4, 1868 he married Miss Mary A. Hine of Columbus, Wis., and their union was blessed with three children: William Claud, deceased, of Clayton, N.M.; Watson E., Tomah; and Walter E., of Reedsburg.
Mr. Barnhart was one of Reedsburg's most energetic businessmen during his lifetime. About 1872 he became a partner with E. F. Barker, in a furniture store in Reedsburg. In 1876 he sold his Reedsburg interests, and went to Milton Wharfs, Richmond Co., Va., but returned in 1883, and continued his residence here the rest of his life. He died Dec. 21, 1910.
Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Ryan has had continuous residence in this city, where she has always enjoyed a position of social prominence. She is a charter member of the D.A.R. and the Woman's Club.
Ferne Ryan was born to Oscar and Jesse Ryan at Reedsburg, Wis., Nov. 14, 1878. She grew to womanhood in this city, graduated from the Reedsburg High school and the U. of W., and for several years was a prominent teacher of the state. She married Phillips S. Allen, Oct. 9, 1906. Widowed, she took up librarying and received a B.S.S. degree, N.Y. State Library School. She continued the vocation of librarian with marked success in the states of Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota and New Jersey. During the World War she worked in the map department of the War College of Washington, D.C. She married Judge Evan A. Evans of Chicago, June 8, 1926.
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