Iowa Old Press
Emmetsburg, Palo Alto Co, Iowa
Thursday, Jan 19, 1928
The Late Thomas J Ryan Left Estate of $1,500,000
Built Our Packing House 38 Years Ago.
Daily Capacity, 600 Hogs, 50 Beeves. Ran But Two Years.
Dubuque, Jan. 14 - The will of Thos. J. Ryan, former
Dubuque man, who died recently in Washington, D.C., was filed in probate court
in New York City last month.
Provisions were made in the will for a life interest in the fortune of several relatives, who have since died. The fortune aggregates about $1,500,000. The death of the heirs is expected to make St. Clara's college, Sinsinawa, Wis., the principal beneficiary.
Mr. Ryan was the son of the organizer of the Ryan Packing company, now defunct. The packing company at one time was one of the largest packing plants in the country, and one of Dubuque's principal industries.
The news that the Dominican Sisters college at Sinsinawa will receive the bulk of the Ryan estate is not surprising to Dubuque people, as the elder and younger Ryan were instrumental in the building of the college and always maintained an interest in it.
Mr. Ryan came to this city and made a proposition to our
citizens that he would build and operate a packing house providing our people
would raise a subscription of $20,000. The matter was thoroughly discussed by
our business men and others and his proposition was accepted providing the
amount could be raised. Strong and influential committees were organized and a
drive was made. Many of the solicitors visited the outside townships in the
county. Values were low at that time and a $50 subscription, which was really a
gift, meant considerable to the donors. In fact $20,000 some 38 to 39 years ago
was harder to secure than $200,000 would be at the present time. However, the
amount asked was finally raised. Mr. Ryan was not as willing to accept the
subscriptions for their face, but insisted on the notes being guaranteed by a
number of our more well-to-do citizens. It took considerable persuasion and tact
to carry out this part of the proposition but the signatures were finally
secured. Among those who signed the blanket note were two of our bankers,
several of our merchants, a few of our lawyers and real estate dealers and a
number of our farmers. In winding up the collections, there were, as usual, some
who were not able to make good and the guarantors had to put up the shortage.
The packing house, a well planned, finely equipped structures, which was strictly modern, was built about 80 rods east of the junction of the Rock Island and the Milwaukee railroads. The capacity was 600 hogs and 50 beeves per day. While the receipts did not always justify 100 per cent operation, the plant was run very successfully for two or three years. At times it gave employment to 90 of our working people and the meat shipments to the Chicago and other markets were regular. The house had a wonderful cooling room. There were two or three side tracks and steel carriers made it easy for the employes to push the dressed hogs, suspended on racks, from the cooling room into the refrigerator cars, which carried the pork to its destination. T.j. Duffy, of this city, who, for 16 or 17 years, had experience in the Ryan packing house of Dubuque, finally ???ing the foreman, was manager of the local plant. Mr. Ryan opened a second packing house at St. Ansgar, which he bought, and Mr. Duffy was ??? to St. Paul by Mr. Ryan where he conducted a distributing office for the firm. He and Mrs. Duffy made their home at that place for a year, leaving Emmetsburg in 1890. The St. Ansgar plant was not so large as the one in this city.
After operating for a couple of years, Mr. Ryan commenced speculating heavily on the board of trade in Chicago. He ran up against the strong Cudahy firm in a big deal in short-ribs and in return he got a mighty punch in the ribs. He sustained very heavy losses and had to close his house. In the absence of the interstate commerce commission rules that now govern rates, the railroads by discrimination in favor of certain cities and packers were able to practically kill off the smaller packing companies. This, with the burdensome losses sustained, made it impossible for Mr. Ryan to continue the Emmetsburg plant, and in a few years it was torn down. The material was sold. This was a great disappointment to our people, who had come across generously to put the plant on its feet. Mr. Ryan continued his operations on the board of trade in Chicago, finally deeming it best to turn his attention to other matters. We have not learned much about his subsequent activities but we are informed that he gained a new financial foothold and that he became interested in railroad properties in the east. The filing of his will shows that he was unusually successful. Mr. Duffy sustained a hard blow personally through the failure of the Ryan plant in this city. He died a number of years ago. It is surprising that Mr. Ryan did not try, in some way, to recompense Mrs. Duffy for the heavy financial misfortune sustained by her husband when the plant closed.
This article will be surprising to many of our residents who have settled in our county during the past 30 to thirty-five years. Perhaps 70 per cent of our people never knew that we had a fine packing plant 38 to 39 years ago. At the time it was built, Sioux City had gained a firm foothold in the packing line and there was a house at Cedar Rapids, but there were none at Sioux Falls or Mason City. The Hormels had started at Austin, Minnesota. Had it not been for Mr. Ryan's costly speculations, the house our citizens gave $20,000 to build would have since been a wonderful help to our community. Mr. Ryan was provably not over 28 to 30 years of age when he first came to Emmetsburg. He as a single man. He had a great deal to learn but, judging from his will, he evidently profited by his losses early in life.
The father, Wm. Ryan, who founded the Dubuque Packing plant, had several sons and daughters. They were given the best of educational opportunities in the colleges of Dubuque and Sinsinawa. Mr. Ryan left an estate of perhaps $2,000,000, which was a very large amount 35 to 38 years ago. A brother of Wm. Ryan had a plant at Galena, Illinois. One son of Wm. Ryan, William Jr., did not care much for business. He wanted plenty of money but he was not thrifty and did not keep it very long. Another son, Douglas, started out for himself but his packing plant was not very successful. One of the daughters, a highly educated young lady, became a member of a religious house in Washington, D.C. She gave her share of the large estate to the order to which she belongs. She was probably instrumental in having her brother, Thos. J., do likewise. The reports do not state that he was ever married.
Jack Scott of Emmetsburg was in the employ of the St. Angsar house and traveled for it for some time.
The writer contributed his share towards the Emmetsburg packing house and is familiar with most of the facts as stated. However, in order to refresh his memory he has called on Mrs. T.J. Duffy and also on Thos. Carmody of Whittemore, who was in the employ of the company before he went to Whittemore in 1892. Mr. and Mrs. T.J. Duffy lived in Dubuque before coming to this city. Mr. Carmody says that Mr. Ryan seemed to some as a high-hatter but he was generally conservative and careful in what he did. His blunder was in trying to buck the board of trade. In doing so, he picked up with company that was too fast for a man of his years. He finally showed good sense in turning his attention to other matters.
First Was Won by Ardith Weigand
Miss Margaret Laughlin Was Second in the Dramatic Class
The first division of the preliminary Lakes Conference
Disciplinary contest was held at Spencer January 11.
In the oratorical class, Miss Ardith Weigand took first with the selection "The Sword or the Cross." Spencer won second.
In the dramatic, Miss Gladys Larson of Spencer was first in "Music Master", and Miss Margaret Laughlin of his city second with the reading, "The Lost Word." Kittie Bower of Storm Lake took first in the humorous with "Jimmie Studies Geography." Spencer was awarded second and Miss Eunice Vedder of Emmetsburg, third.
Another preliminary lakes conference contest will be held at Spirit Lake. Those awarded first and second will compete for honors in the final contest.
Ruthven Man in Nicaragua.
Major R.E. Rowell is Taking Active Part Against Rebels.
Ruthven, A., Jan. 18.
(Special) According to press reports, Major R.E. Rowell, a former Ruthven boy, is taking a prominent part in the military operations against the rebels in Nicaragua.
H.H. Sample Sells Farm for $155 Per Acre.
The H.H. Sample farm of 161 acres this side of Laurens was sold a few days ago to J.M. McNee for $155 per acre. Mr. Sample was for many years one of the experienced, successful farmers of our county. He made a fair sale considering present conditions.
Ray Joynt Killed Leading a Horse
Base of His Skull Hit Hard Ground. Never Regained Consciousness. Funeral Today.
Ray Joynt, who lived a few miles west of Emmetsburg, was so seriously injured Tuesday afternoon while bringing home a couple of horses from the Hugh Mackey sale, that he died a couple of hours later. he and Mrs. Joynt and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Donahue drove to the Mackey home and, in returning home, the gentlemen were leading the horses. They had not been full broken. On reaching Union grade, Ray decided that he would ride his horse. He tried to mount the animal but was thrown onto his hunkers. He had the rope in his hand. The horse lunged backwards and Mr. Joynt was thrown onto his back, the base of his skull hitting a hard chunk of ground. Mr. Donahue, who was ahead with the other horse, picked him up and found that his condition was serious. In a few moments, Earl Brown and John Allen happened along in an auto and brought the suffering man to Dr. Cretzmeyer's office. Upon examination the Doctor requested that he be taken to his home at once. He examined him hastily but did not consider him in a particularly serious condition. Later he was summoned, but, on reaching the Joynt home, learned that Ray was dead.
The funeral was held this forenoon. Services were conducted in St. Thomas church. Father McNerney officiating in a solemn requiem high mass. He was assisted by Father Murtagh and Father Kelly. There was a large attendance of relatives and neighbors. The burial was in St. John's cemetery. The pall bearers were Len Sherlock, Joe Donahue, Andrew Grace, Chas. Kane, John Bough and Verne Ball.
Raymond D Joynt, the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Joynt, was born in Emmetsburg township February 11, 1892. He was within a few days of 36 years of age. He attended the local schools and grew to manhood in his home community. He was married at Minneapolis January 12, 1914, to Miss Nellie Donovan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Donovan. Mr. and Mrs. Joynt subsequently made their home on their fine farm west of Emmetsburg. Mr. Joynt's death is mourned by Mrs. Joynt and three sons-Richard, 10, Dan, 9, and Gerald, 8. There are five brothers and seven sisters. The brothers are John and Joe of Spencer, Charles of Algona, and David and Thomas of Emmetsburg. The sisters are Mrs. Chas. Slagle of Cylinder, Mrs. Joe Heisler and Mrs. Gus Heisler of Farley, Mrs. Robert Kinsella of Emmetsburg, Sisters Mary Joseph and Mary Thomas of Chicago and Sister Mary Ambrose of Los Angeles. A sister, Miss Winnie, died a number of years ago.
Mr. Joynt was the youngest of the family of 14 sons and daughters. Their true worthiness as members of society was recognized in the various communities in which they resided. Ray was a quiet, modest, frugal, industrious, dependable young man. He was a princely Christian gentleman. He built a fine home for his wife and loved ones and he heartily enjoyed it with them. Providence had given them health and strength. They were in comfortable circumstances and their future was more than hopeful. Neighbors respected and honored them and confided in them. Mr. Joynt's unusually sad taking off is hard indeed on Mrs. Joynt's and their three bright, hearty boys as well as to the large family of brothers and sisters, now grown up men and women. General and profound sympathy goes out to them in the gloomy hours that have come to them.
Iowa Old Press
Palo Alto County