History of Bucks
County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
lawyer and referee in bankruptcy, Doylestown, was born in New Hope, Bucks
county, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1860, and is the son of John and Lydia (MOORE)
RYAN, both natives of Hunterdon county, New Jersey.
He spent his boyhood days in his native town, and attended the high
school there until 1878, when he accepted a position as clerk in the
office of the Lambertville Spoke Manufacturing Company, which he filled
until August, 1882. In
September, 1882, he entered the office of Hugh B. EASTBURN, Esq.,
at Doylestown, as a student at law and was admitted to the bar, of Bucks
county September 15, 1884, and located at Doylestown.
In 1887 he formed a law partnership with the late Hon. Robert M. YARDLEY,
member of congress from the Bucks-Montgomery district, which was continued
until 1890. In 1891 Mr.
YARDLEY was made receiver of the Keystone National Bank, Philadelphia,
and Mr. RYAN became assistant receiver; and in 1894.
Mr. YARDLEY having also been made receiver of the Spring
Garden Bank, Mr. RYAN became assistant receiver of that institution
and continued in the work of closing out the affairs of both banks until
1898. Returning to the active
practice of law at Doylestown, he was appointed referee in bankruptcy by
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,
in July, 1898, a position he still fills (1904).
He has been admitted to practice in the state and federal courts,
including the supreme court of the United States; is a member of the
County and State Bar Associations and of the National Association of
Referees in Bankruptcy. Mr. RYAN
stands high in the practice of his profession, and has acted as counsel in
many important cases. As chief
counsel he conducted the defence (sic) of Wallace BURT, the
half-breed murderer of the RIGHTLYS, in 1894, in connection with
Howard I. JAMES, Esq. He
represented the borough of New Hope in the important contest against the
Western Union and Postal Cable Telegraph Companies over an ordinance
imposing license fees on the telegraph companies for the maintenance of
Poles and wires within the borough limits, and carried the case through
the state and United States supreme courts.
The latter court sustained the contention of the borough, in 1903,
in the case of the Western Union Company, (187, U.S. 419), but to some
extent modified its decision in the case of the Postal Telegraph and Cable
Company, in 1904 (192, U. S. 55), though it sustained the contention of
the plaintiff, viz.: the right of the borough to enact and enforce such an
ordinance if the rates imposed be reasonable.
The cases were therefore important, involving a constitutional
question of great interest. Mr.
Ryan argued both cases in the several courts.
In politics Mr. RYAN is a Republican and has often taken the
stump in political campaigns. He
has also been frequently called upon to deliver addresses upon formal
occasions. In the practice of
his chosen profession, to which he is thoroughly devoted, he is active,
earnest and successful, both as a counselor and advocate, frequently
appearing before the courts in the trail of civil and other causes.
Mr. RYAN was married April 18, 1889, to Katherine GRIMES,
and has one daughter, Helen Lydia RYAN.
Test taken from page 476
Davis, William W. H., A.M.,
History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis
Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III
Transcribed August 2004 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html
October 2004 on the
Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/