Politician. Republican. Born: November 25, 1837, Oxford, New York. Died: April 5, 1914, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Served in U.S. House of Representatives, 4th District: March 4, 1877, to April 4, 1889.
Thomas Ryan was born in Oxford, Chenango County, New York, on November 25, 1837, and moved with his parents to Bradford County, Pennsylvania. He attended Dickson Seminary in Williamsport, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1861, and during the Civil War served in the 141st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness, Lieutenant Ryan mustered out of the service in August 1864, and removed to Topeka in1865, where he served as county attorney of Shawnee County (1865-1873) and assistant United States attorney for Kansas (1873-1877), before his election as a Republican to the Forty-fifth (Ryan soundly defeated the Independent Greenback candidate, former Governor Samuel J. Crawford, and T. L. Davis the Democrat in the November 1876 election). Successfully elected to the six succeeding Congresses, Ryan served his Kansas district(s) from March 4, 1877, until April 4, 1889, when he resigned to accept appointment as minister to the Republic of Mexico (1889-1893). Ryan was appointed first assistant secretary of the Interior by President William McKinley in 1897 and reappointed by President Theodore Roosevelt, serving in that capacity until 1907 when he was sent to Muskogee, Oklahoma, as the personal resident representative of the Secretary of the Interior. He died in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on April 5, 1914; his remains were returned to Topeka for burial.
Entry: Ryan, Thomas
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2011
Date Modified: May 2012
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