Captain John Ryan Memorial Park
John Ryan was born in West Newton Massachusetts August 25, 1845, a town whose very beginnings go back to King Phillip’s War and the American Revolution. Although John’s father, the first Irishman to live in Newton wanted John to follow in his footsteps as a carpenter, John heeded the “call to arms” and at the age of 16 joined the Frontier Army in the newly organized 28th Massachusetts Irish Brigade. John Ryan was thirty one years of age when he joined the police force, but what makes him an interesting figure is his prior military record. His military record reads like a what’s what of American combat experience: Battle of Second Bull run, 1862; Battle of Antietam, 1862; the Siege of Petersburg, 1864; the Battle of Washita, 1868; the Yellowstone Campaign, 1873; the Black Hills Expedition, 1874; and finally the Battle of the Little Big Horn, 1876.
Among the 7th Cavalrymen fighting at the Little Big Horn, Ryan stands out as the sole member who also took part in so many other classic engagements, campaigns or expeditions. His only rival for such renown would have been George Armstrong Custer himself, who, ironically, he located and buried after the Battle of the Little Big Horn June 25, 1876.
Indeed, between his Civil War and Indian War experiences, Ryan took part in more than 40 engagements and was wounded many times. Yet, after surviving the perils of so much combat, he moved on to carve out a fascinating career as a high ranking officer in the Newton Police Department.
On January 21, 1878 John Ryan, was appointed as patrol officer. He would retire 35 years later with the rank of Captain of Police.
John retired on December 31, 1913 with wide acclaim and praise as a popular and highly-respected member of the Newton Police Force.
John “M” Ryan died in his home town of West Newton on October 14, 1926. This park was dedicated to him in 1993.
Engraved on a stone in the park is the following:
“A kind and decent man of courage whose life exemplified service to family and country”
Credit for the above biography to “The Past Times" and “The history of the Newton Police Force”.
You get extra credit if you can find out what John's middle initial stands for, and the name of General Custer's horse!
A little FTF prize and little room for much else.
BYOP and please replace exactly where found. Thanks
EXTRA CREDIT TO DR. MORO FOR ANSWERING THE BONUS QUESTIONS!