Biographies and Obituaries
In loving memory
History of the Catholic Church in Indiana
Nicholas Ryan, one of the most prominent members of St. Michael's congregation, near Trainor, is a native of Daviess county, Ind., was born July 10, 1840, and is a son of Michael and Mary Ryan, of Bogard township. He was educated in the common schools, but his knowledge has been chiefly self acquired. He was married, May 7, 1867, by Rev. Father Piers, to Miss Mary A. Doyle, a descendant of one of the oldest Catholic families of this part of Daviess county, and to them fourteen children have been born, viz: Mary J., wife of Wm. Smith; Anna, deceased; Michael; Patrick; Anna (2nd), deceased; James; Katie; Martin, deceased; John; Maggie; Ella; Lizzie; Christopher; and Nicholas. They were all confirmed by Bishop Chatard.
The Ryan family has ever been one of the most energetic of the early Catholic residents of St. Michael's parish, and has probably done more than any other in promoting the progress of the church in this locality. The first mass in the parish was read by Father Piers in the dwelling of Michael Ryan, about the year 1851, and the homes of other prominent Catholics were later utilized for the same purpose, for instance that of Patrick Fitzpatrick in 1855 and 1856; of John Garland, in 1856, and that of Peter Daily in 1855 and 1856, and in the latter the marriages of two of his children were celebrated, and in the home of Michael Ryan the rite of baptism was administered to two others. In the brief biography of Father Matthews mention is made of the active part taken by the Ryan family in erecting the present church building and parsonage and ever since those early days Nicholas Ryan has been a factor and a powerful one, in the promotion of the progress of the parish.
Nicholas Ryan is today one of the most prosperous farmers of Daviess county, owning, in conjunction with his sons, 540 acres of farming land, while his residence is the most elegant in the parish.
Contributed by: John D. McMullen