Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
RYAN, CHARLES JAMES, a successful young farmer of Sangamon County and a stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator Company, of Chatham, has spent his entire life on the farm he now owns in Section 18, Ball Township, where he was born November 12, 1878. He is a son of Michael and Anna (Curran) Ryan, natives of Ireland and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father was born in 1835 and died in February, 1880, and the mother, who was born in 1855, died in October, 1879. Michael Ryan came to American from County Tipperary, and spent some time in farming in Morgan County, Ill. Later he came to Sangamon County, where both he and his wife died. His father died in Ireland and his mother was killed on the Wabash Railroad at New Berlin, Ill., in 1883. The parents of Annie Curran were born in Ireland and both died in Sangamon County. Michael Ryan and his wife were married at Auburn, Ill., by Father Hickey, of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, and settled on a farm in Ball Township.
Charles J. Ryan was reared on a farm and educated in the country schools of the neighborhood. He was fond of hunting and playing ball in boyhood and has always been fond of horse racing and other sports. He is an enterprising and progressive farmer and his land is in a high state of cultivation. He owns 240 acres of land, where he resides.
November 20, 1901, Mr. Ryan was married at Auburn, by Rev. Father O'Conner, to Monica Gertrude O'Conner, born in County Kerry, Ireland, September 8, 1878, daughter of Daniel and Hannah (Hagerty) O'Conner, both natives of Ireland, where the mother still resides, the father being deceased. Her grandparents spent their entire lives in Ireland. Five children were born of this union: Annie G., born October 19, 1904, died in 1905; Monica, twin of the preceding, born October 19, 1904, died three weeks later; Gertrude, born in 1907, died at the age of three weeks; Mary Josephine, born May 1, 1902, at home; Julia, born September 9, 1905. Mr. Ryan is one of the best known farmers of Ball Township and has many warm friends. He is well acquainted with Father Hickey and James M. Graham, both prominent citizens of Springfield, who have a warm regard for him. Left an orphan at a tender age, he early learned the lessons of industry and self-reliance. He is a devout member of the Catholic Church and belongs to St. Benedict's Parish, presided over by Father Ryan. In political views he is a Democrat, but votes for the man and principle rather than for the party. He is affiliated with the Court of Honor No. 25, of Springfield, of which his wife is also a member.