Hon. Andrew Ryan
(Jul 1860 - 08 Apr 19251)
-As transcribed from the "COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF THE UPPER LAKES REGION"
by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, IL, 1905
pages 357 - 358
Hon. Andrew Ryan, publisher of the Washburn County Register, is one of
the influential citizens of Shell Lake. He is a native of Ireland,
where he was born in July, 1860, son of Martin and Mary (Griffin) Ryan,
who passed their lives in that country. For many hundred years
the Ryans have been farming people in Ireland.
Andrew Ryan attended the national schools in his native place, and in
1879 came to the United States. After spending six weeks with his
uncle, John B. Ryan, in Lafayette county, Wis., he became an employe of
the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, spending some time with
that road on construction work in Wisconsin, and in Iowa on the line
between Okoboji and Spirit Lake. Later he went to the Twin
Cities, where he found employment on the Chicago, Portage and Superior
Railroad - better known as the Air Line - as store keeper, for F. L.
Erickson, who had a twenty-mile contract, near what is now Superior
Junction. The failure of this concern left him, in common with
all the employes, penniless, but the ignorant laborers held him
responsible and threatened to mob him. The rioters, who attempted
to tear down the bridges on the Omaha road, took possession of "the
headquarters camp," where they lived on the stores of provisions, until
offered employment on that road, which was building a line to Superior
to compete with the defunct Air Line. For a number of years Mr.
Ryan was employed by the Omaha road, in various capacities; he was for
a time in the camp at Solon Springs, then store keeper for the same
contractor, and later he had charge of supplies for Mullen &
Prince, contractors, during the construction of the Rice Lake road, and
was located at Rice Lake and Shell Lake. He was subsequently
baggage man at Spooner for several years. In the autumn of 1888
he was elected sheriff of Washburn county, serving as such for two
years, and since that time he resided in Shell Lake. Meantime he
had studied law, and in 1890 he bought the Washburn County Register,
which had previously been published at Spooner, removing the plant to
Shell Lake, where he continued to publish it. This paper was
established in 1889, by Bert Pease, and published later by Bond &
Kitchen. Under the able management of Mr. Ryan it has become one
of the best local papers in Northern Wisconsin, and the printing
establishment includes facilities for doing all kinds of job
work. Soon after establishing his paper Mr. Ryan built the first
telephone line in Washburn county, and now operates a local exchange,
with long distance connection over the Bell telephone lines. In
1895 he started the Spooner Register, which he also printed in Shell
Lake and which was later printed and published by J. G. Adams, at
Spooner and is now merged in the Advocate of that place. He has
invested largely in farming and wild lands, and does considerable real
estate business. He has about 100 acres under cultivation, and is
introducing thoroughbred live stock. Since 1884 Mr. Ryan has been
justice of the peace, doing most of the business in that line at the
county seat now; and since 1884 has been a notary public, his first
commission being signed by Gov. Jeremiah M. Risk. Since coming to
Wisconsin he has been a Republican, though he has been elected sheriff
on the Democratic ticket.
In January, 1891, Mr. Ryan married Kate Rafferty, daughter of Patrick
Rafferty, of Rock Island, Ill.; they have one child, Roger.
1 - Editorial Note - Hon. Andrew
Ryan's death date is derived from his death record, which is on file at
the Washburn Co. Register of Deeds Office in Death Vol. 8, page 82.
Andrew and his wife are buried in the St. Joseph Catholic
Cemetery in Shell Lake. A transcript of her tombstone states that she
was born in 1861 and died in 1934.