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John Newton Ryan, M. D. The first or certainly one of the first physicians and surgeons to locate in the community of Sulphur was Dr. John Newton Ryan, who did his first practice in that locality fully twenty years ago. Doctor Ryan has not lived continuously at Sulphur, but for a number of years was an early physician and also a homesteader at Frederick, but has now returned to Sulphur and enjoys an extensive general practice there. He is a physician of fully thirty-five years’ experience, and did his first work in the profession in Indian Territory, so that there are few medical men of the present State of Oklahoma whose position as pioneer doctors is based upon a wider and longer experience.
An Alabama man by birth, John Newton Ryan was born in Morgan County, January 28, 1852, a son of W. S. and Mahala (Oden) Ryan. His ancestors came originally from Ireland and settled in Virginia in colonial times, and the Odens were of similar origin and early settlement in America. W. S. Ryan was born in Northern Alabama in 1814 and was reared and married there. In 1870 he moved to Texas, locating at Paris, and in 1875 went to Red River Valley of Northern Texas, and acquired a tract of school land in the vicinity of Henrietta, where he followed stock raising for five years. In 1880 he moved to Jimtown, Indian Territory, but about three years later returned to Texas and lived in Montague until his death in 1899. Most of his career was spent as a farmer and stock man, though he had stores at Jimtown and Montague. He was a democrat and an active member of the Primitive Baptist Church. His wife was born in Northern Alabama in 1861 and died at Montague, Texas, in 1901. They became the parents of a large family of children, ten in number, noted briefly as follows: Annie, who died in infancy, Mary, first married Redman Roberts, who was a farmer and lost his life while a Confederate soldier during the war, and she is now living at Sulphur Oklahoma, the widow of W. T. Nations, who was a stockman; W. J. Ryan is now retired and living with his brother, Doctor Ryan; Nancy is deceased; Doctor Ryan is the fifth in order of birth; Cynthia Annie, living at Sulphur, is the widow of J. M. Webster, who was a merchant at Sulphur until his death in 1913; C. T. was a merchant and died at Ardmore, Oklahoma; J. A. is a real estate owner living at Oklahoma City; G. L. died at Manitou, Oklahoma, where he was a physician and surgeon; Ellen is the wife of Charles Hall, living at Altus, Oklahoma, where Mr. Hall for a number of years was a merchant but recently took up the business of traveling salesman.
John Newton Ryan acquired his early education in his native state and lived on his father’s farm until eighteen years of age. About that time his father came to Texas, and after some experience as a mercantile clerk took up the study of medicine and continued it until admitted to practice in 1880. In that year he came into Indian Territory and located at Lebanon, in which community he had his home and practice until moving to Sulphur in 1895. In both places he did much of the work of the pioneer. He quickly established himself in the confidence of the people as a skillful and conscientious physician, and he answered calls which necessitated riding for many miles over the rough and sparsely settled districts, and there are few members of the Oklahoma medical fraternity who have done a larger share of the really hard work of their profession than Doctor Ryan.
In 1901 Doctor Ryan left Sulphur and went to the new town of Frederick at the opening of that section of Southwestern Oklahoma to settlement. He drew a homestead of 160 acres, and lived on it long enough to prove his claim. Five years later he sold out, but continned to practice in Frederick until 1911, when he removed to Wellington, Oklahoma, for eight months, and in 1912 again located at Sulphur. Here his offices are in the Meadoes Building and he has a fine practice. He also enjoys a high standing among his fellow physicians, and is a member of the County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association. He owns a comfortable residence in Sulphur. Fraternally he is identified with the Woodmen of the World, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Sulphur Lodge No. 144, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and Frederick Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. In politics he is a democrat.
At Lebanon, Indian Territory, in 1880, soon after going to that community as a young physician, he married Miss Mattie L. Duncan. Her father was the late M. M. Duncan, a farmer and stockman. Doctor and Mrs. Ryan have a fine family of eight children: James L., who has taken three courses in medicine at the Forth Worth University and one course at the Memphis Hospital Medical College in Tennessee, and is now practicing at Nebo, Oklahoma; Blanche, who died in childhood; W. M., a farmer, and living with his father; Maude, who died young; Alice, wife of W. C. Ryman, a farmer and stockman at Manitou, Oklahoma; Charles E., a grocer at San Antonio, Texas; John B., a student in the Sulphur High School; and Ruth, who is in the public schools at Sulphur.