Samuel Simms Ryan is a native of Pulaski County, Virginia, and was born April 12, 1822. His father, John Ryan, was a native of Virginia, and, his mother, Catherine Ryan, nee Fizzier, was born in Pennsylvania. His parents moved to Clinton County, Tennessee, in 1837, and in 1839 to Campbell County, Tennessee. His father was a blacksmith by trade, and about one half of the time our subject attended school, and the other half was spent in his father’s shop learning the trade. When Samuel was about twenty-one years of age his father moved to Jacksburg, Tennessee, and here Samuel spent several terms in the academy, and as he was a diligent and apt student he received a liberal education. On September 7th, 1861, he enlisted in his country’s service as a member of the Second Regiment of East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. He had, prior to this, been colonel of militia, and being well qualified and universally esteemed was immediately elected captain of his company, and, served gallantly with his regiment in many hard-fought engagements until his discharge in the winter of 1863. At that time being so emaciated and worn out from active service that his life was almost despaired of.
After returning from the service he remained in Kentucky until 1866, when he had partially regained his health. He has been twice married, first, to Miss Kitty Hollingsworth, of Campbell County, Tennessee, on April 1st, 1854. By this marriage they had two children: John Wesley, born March 13, 1855; and James, born March 28, 1857, died September 15, 1857. Mrs. Ryan died April 4, 1858. On November 11th, 1866, Mrs. Bathsheba Harmon, whose’ maiden name was Creekmore, became his second wife. She was the widow of Valentine Harmon and was born in Whitley County, Kentucky, February 15, 1824. She was a daughter of Horatio Creekmore, who was quite a prominent man in Kentucky. By her first marriage she had five children; viz., Adolphus. Horatio, Jacob, Millard F. and Mollie S. Adolphus, the eldest, was married to Miss Flora H. Ryan, a sister of the subject of this sketch. They have two daughters who make up apart of this family circle; viz., Laura M. Harmon, born October 9, 1868; and Frances E. Harmon, born February 20, 1870. They are more than usually bright and intelligent, and are fine musicians, both vocal and instrumental, and are the pride and joy of this pleasant household. In 1869 this family located at Civil Bend, Daviess County, Missouri. Mr. Ryan has served a long time as justice of the peace; he also exhorts in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a member; but his great fort is in lecturing and stump speaking, at which he is a success, and as he is a strong temperance man his voice is always heard in its favor. He is often called to a distance to lecture both in the Sabbath and day schools. At all public meetings for good he is called upon to speak, and is always ready to respond. As a politician he is a strong Republican and a power in a political campaign.