Eminently successful as a grower of tobacco, and with a range of activity in the tobacco field wider than that of almost any other man in the region, John Charles Ryan is well known in Hatfield, Massachusetts, and its vicinity, not only for his agricultural enterprise, but for his public-spirited interest in local affairs. Mr. Ryan is the son of John B. and Mary (Kennedy) Ryan, both of Irish birth, who lived in Hatfield for many years.
Michael Ryan, Mr. Ryan’s grandfather, was born in Ireland, but came to America, and died in Hatfield in the eighties at an age of nearly one hundred. He married, in Ireland, Ann McGrath, and they were the parents of John B., of further mention; James, and Bridget.
John B. Ryan, son of Michael and Ann (McGrath) Ryan, was born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1836, died in Hatfield, Massachusetts, October 1, 1903, at the age of sixty-seven. He received his education in his native town in Ireland, and in 1854, at the age of eighteen, came to America. He went first to Whately, where he worked in the employ of others, and later came to Hatfield and purchased a farm on North Street, which is now owned by his son, John Charles Ryan. Here he was one of the first growers of tobacco, and was very successful. He married, in Whately, Massachusetts, Mary Kennedy, born in Ireland, died in Hatfield, November 14, 1912, at the age of seventy-four. They were the parents of the following children: Michael, drowned on July 12, 1876, when fifteen years old; Annie, married William T. Boyle; Edward; Margaret, died young; Nellie, married John Donelin; Elizabeth, married J. W. Kiley; and John Charles, of further mention.
John Charles Ryan, son of John B. and Mary (Kennedy) Ryan, was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts, January 8, 1873, and was educated in the public schools and in Smith Academy, Hatfield. Until he was twenty-five, he worked with his father on the farm, and for the next five years was with Major Shattuck, but since that time has been in business for himself. He is a large grower of tobacco and onions and has some sixty-five acres under cultivation, for the cultivation of which he employs many men. Mr. Ryan has made a specialty of shade grown tobacco, and has been very successful in this, as in his other undertakings. For many years he has not only been extremely active on his own estate but has been agent for the American Sumatra Tobacco Company, engaged in buying and selling tobacco. Mr. Ryan and his wife live on the old Carl homestead which was left them by his wife’s family. It adjoins the old Ryan farm where Mr. Ryan was born, and which he now owns, and the two pieces of property together make one of the most valuable tracts of land in Western Massachusetts. Mr. Ryan has laid out large sums of money on his home, which is fitted with every modern convenience. As a citizen of Hatfield Mr. Ryan takes an active interest in local affairs, and gives his support to civic movements. He has served on the Board of Selectmen for several years, and is otherwise prominent; he is a member of Local No. 997, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of Northampton; and of the Hampshire Sportsman’s Club.
Mr. Ryan married, on June 6, 1917, Lilla A. Carl, daughter of Frederick and Mary (Partenheimer) Carl of Hatfield. Christian Carl, grandfather of Mrs. Ryan, was born in Germany, and came to America in 1855; he died in Hatfield, Massachusetts, at the age of sixty-two. He married Maria Hirsh, and they were the parents of Catherine, Dorothy, Jacob, Margaret, Minnie, Frederick, Philip, and John. Of these, Frederick Carl was born in Waldorf, Kingdom of Saxony, Germany, in 1840, came to America in 1854 at the age of fourteen and settled in Hatfield, where he died in 1913 at the age of seventytwo. He became a successful tobacco grower and dealer and was agent for Elias Bach & Sons for many years. He married Mary Partenheimer, and they were the parents of Lilla A. Carl, who married John Charles Ryan, as related above.