RAYMOND J. RYAN, generally known as "Ray" proprietor of the Ryan Auto Company of Oak Hill, is one of the sound business men of his community, and he is one of those who proves the broadness and sincerity of his character and his sense of the heavy responsibility devolving upon him both as to his private interests and his relation to public affairs in everything he undertakes, so that his success is lasting and well deserved. Preparedness and efficiency for whatever life brings are valuable assets in the formation of character and the accumulation of material prosperity. Without a sane, sound outlook on life no man can hope to produce on others that impression so desirable in order to firmly establish permanent prosperity, a fact early learned by Mr. Ryan. Therefore from the first his career has been filled with big accomplishments and public-spirited actions that lend themselves to producing the light in which the community regards him. His probity is unquestioned, and his standing has been long an accomplished fact.

Mr. Ryan was born at Saint Martins, Ohio, February 18, 1883, a son of Dennis J. and Mary Frances (Root) Ryan, and grandson of Thomas E. Ryan, who came to the United States from Ireland in 1822, and, after a stop at New Foundland, Nova Scotia, located at New Orleans, Louisiana, and there lived for twelve or fifteen years. Later he moved to Ohio, took up a section of land in Brown County in 1841, and engaged in farming, continuing to reside on his farm until his death in 1895, when he was eighty-seven years old.

Dennis J. Ryan was born and reared in Brown County, Ohio, and there he attended public schools. A farmer and stockraiser all his life, he died in 1921 at Cincinnati, Ohio , where the last four years of his life had been spent, he going to that city when he retired, and there he is buried. His wife was born and reared at Saint Martins, and educated in the Ursuline Convent of that community. All her life she has been a devout member of the Catholic Church, and is still active at the age of sixty-eight years, and resides at Cincinnati. There were fourteen children born to the parents, of whom the first two died in infancy. Annie and William, twins. The others were as follows: Raymond J., whose name heads this review; Gertrude; Cora, who is deceased; Rose and Lilly twins, Rose being Sisters of Mercy Superior in Wisconsin and Lilly is deceased; Florence, who is living; Clara Maud, who is deceased; Edward and Catherine, both of whom are deceased; the others are also deceased.

Raymond J. Ryan attended the public schools of Saint Martins and the Hayden, Indiana, High School, and was graduated from the latter in 1901, and he was also a student of Saint Edwards parochial school of Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon leaving school he entered the employ of the William S. Merrill Chemical Company of Cincinnati, and remained with that concern for eight years, and during the summer seasons played professional baseball at Newark, Ohio, and Ashland, Kentucky, being in 1903 and 1904 at Greensburg, Indiana and Sydney, Ohio and at Welch, West Virginia. in 1905. He was at Greensboro, North Carolina, Wheeling, West Virginia, Lima, Ohio Auburn, Indiana, Lancaster, Ohio, in 1906, and he caught in 136 games. In 1907-1908 he was with the team of Danville, Virginia; and in 1909 was with that of Roanoke, Virginia, and helped the team win the pennant, catching in 124 of 126 games played that season. In the fall of 1909 he was drafted by the Chicago Americans, and was with them in 1910, and made training trips with them to California. In 1910 he went with the team of Birmingham, Alabama and in 1911 was with the Youngstown, Ohio, and the Meridian, Mississippi, and the Charlotte, North Carolina teams. In 1912 he became manager and catcher of the team of Chillicothe, Ohio, but left, July 1, 1912, to go with the team of South Bend, Indiana, and Springfield, Ohio. In 1913 he was with the Wheeling, West Virginia team as catcher and manager, and later served in similar capacities with that of Norfolk, Virginia. In 1914 he was manager and catcher of the Richmond, Virginia, team; and in 1915 and in 1916 and a part of 1917, was manager and catcher of the team of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, but in the latter part of 1917 he became manager and catcher of the team of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

From 1918 to 1920 Mr. Ryan was an automobile dealer at Welch, West Virginia, and in 1921 became part owner and manager of team of Richmond, Virginia, and was so connected until 1922, when he became catcher of the team at Syracuse, new York, and scout for the Cleveland, Ohio, teams of the American League. In 1923 he resumed business as an automobile dealer, establishing himself at Oak Hill, where he now has a very modern garage, and is the agent for the Chrysler automobile in this territory. In connection therewith he has a well-equipped shop, and carries a full line of accessories and supplies, and operates an oil and gas station, as well as the Minden-Oak Hill & Lochgelly Bus Line. Mr. Ryan also owns a farm in Clairmont County, Ohio. He is a valued member of the Oak Hill Chamber of Commerce, and has been one of its directors since it was organized. In politics he is a Democrat and in religion, a Catholic.

On June 14, 1911, Mr. Ryan married at Versailles, Ohio, Miss Cora Emeline Dapore of that community, educated in its public and parochial schools, and Antioch University, Oxford, Ohio. For three years she was engaged in teaching in the public schools of Versailles, leaving the schoolroom to be married, and is now a very important factor in the community life of Oak Hill, her education and general knowledge being of great value. She is a daughter of Frank and Mary Alice (Pequinot) Dapore, the former of whom was for many years a prominent merchant of Versailles, but he died in February, 1922, and is buried at Versailles, where his widow is still living. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ryan; Frank Raymond, who died at the age of three years; Romaine Paul, who is a student in the Dayton, Ohio, University; Joseph Edward, who is attending the Oak Hill public schools; Mary Virginia, who died at the age of six years and six months; Robert John, who died at the age of five years and six months; Rose Jeanette, who is four years old; and James Dennis, who is a baby. In addition to their own children Mr. and Mrs. Ryan are rearing Cornelia Ramsey with the same care and affection, and she is a student of Oak Hill public schools.

Mr. Ryan is a wholesouled, kind-hearted man, who has made friends wherever he has been located, and at Oak Hill he is held in the warmest affection, not only by his business associates, but in the different organizations with which he affiliates, including the Kiwanis Club.


WEST VIRGINIA In History, Life, Literature and Industry, The Lewis Publishing Company 1928 - Volume 5