John A. Ryan, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John A. Ryan

JOHN A. RYAN, M. D. A resident of Porter county for the past thirty-three years and for virtually a quarter of a century engaged in the active practice of his profession in the city of Valparaiso, Dr. Ryan is recognized as one of the able and thoroughly representative physicians and surgeons of northern Indiana, as a citizen of marked progressiveness and as a man whose character has measured up to the full demands of the gauge of popular approbation. In his professional work he gives special attention to the diseases of the eye and ear, though his practice covers a general range and is of extended and important order. He is a scion of one of the honored pioneer families of St. Joseph county, this state, where he was born on a farm near the city of South Bend, on the 23rd of September, 1852. He is a son of John L. and Eliza (Nixon) Ryan, the former of whom was born in Rhode Island and the latter in the state of New York.

John L. Ryan was left an orphan when a child and was early thrown upon his own resources. He proved well his powers as one of the world's productive workers and won independence and a fair measure of prosperity through his own well directed endeavors. About 1830 he established his home in Cass county, Michigan, where he became a pioneer farmer of that commonwealth, which was still under territorial government. In 1849 he joined the hegira of gold-seekers who made their way across the plains to California in that ever memorable year, and the journey was made with ox teams. He remained on the Pacific coast about three years, and upon his return to the east he again established his home in Indiana, whither he had removed from Michigan about the year 1848. He became one of the representative agriculturists of St. Joseph county, this state, where he continued to reside until his death, at the venerable age of eighty-one years. His devoted wife was summoned to the life eternal at the age of fifty-one years, and both were zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They became the parents of two sons and five daughters, all of whom are living except one and concerning whom the following brief record is entered: Mary E. is the wife of George Betcher, of North Liberty, St. Joseph county; Miss Elizabeth A. remains on the old homestead, near the village of Granger, that county; Dr. John A., of this review, was the next in order of birth; Emma is the widow of William Grimes and resides at LaPorte, this state; Nixon A. is a resident of Mishawaka, Indiana; Miss Lina maintains her home in Valparaiso; and Caroline, who became the wife of Hiram Dille, died in Valparaiso in 1907.

In his native county Dr. Ryan was reared to the sturdy discipline of the home farm and after availing himself of the advantages of the district schools he was accorded those of the high school at South Bend, in which he was graduated. He was thereafter a successful teacher in the public schools of northern Indiana for a period of five years, and in the meanwhile he determined to prepare himself for the medical profession. With this end in view he entered Bennett Medical College, in the city of Chicago, where he continued his studies for two years. He then transferred to the Eclectic Medical College, in the city of Cincinnati, but he returned to Bennett Medical College to complete his course. He was graduated in the latter institution as a member of the class of 1887 and duly received his degree of Doctor of Medicine. For the purpose of fortifying himself still further for his chosen vocation he later did effective post-graduate work in Bellevue Hospital, in New York City, besides which he took a special post-graduate course in the Chicago Eye and Ear College.

On the 1st of October, 1887, Dr. Ryan initiated the practice of his profession in the city of Valparaiso, where he has continuously devoted his time and attention to the exacting and responsible labors of the physician and surgeon, except for an interim of about three years, and where his success has been on a parity with his recognized ability. In 1904, on account of impaired health he removed to Canton, Mississippi, in which state he remained three years. During this interval he not only continued his professional work but also gave personal supervision to a farm of one thousand four hundred and sixty acres which he had there purchased and of which he is still the owner. He returned to Valparaiso in 1907 and here has since followed his profession in a general way, with specializing practice in the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases of the eye and ear. He is a member of the Porter County Medical Society and the Indiana State Medical Society. In the Masonic fraternity the Doctor has attained to the chivalric degrees, in connection with which his affiliation is with Valparaiso Commandery of Knights Templers. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian church and both are held in high esteem in the social circles of the community which has long represented their home.

On May 20, 1870, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Ryan to Miss Caroline Margaret Wood, daughter of August Wood, who was an early settler of Lake county, Indiana, and who passed the closing years of his life at Hobart, that county. Mrs. Ryan was born at Michigan City, LaPorte county, Indiana, and has been a resident of this state from the time of her nativity. Dr. and Mrs. Ryan became the parents of three children, of whom the first born, Claude Augustus, died at the age of ten years. The two surviving children, Mabel Blanche and Glenn Wood, still remain at the paternal home.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 437-439

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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