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Thomas J. Ranahan
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Birth: Nov. 28, 1839, Ireland
Death: Dec. 27, 1926
Ada County
Idaho, USA

Boise, Idaho
December 28, 1926
Front Page

Pioneer Is Dead



Pioneer Succumbs After Long Illness: Rode Pony Express

Thomas Ranahan, picturesque pioneer figure on the Boise streets for years, died Monday morning at a Boise hospital after an illness of several months. Mr. Ranahan was one of the early pioneers of Idaho and at the time of his death was the last survivor but one of the old Ben Holliday express. Although 87 years old at the time of his death, it was only since last fall that Mr. Ranahan has been too ill to enjoy his regular jaunt down to the hotels to visit with his old time friends.

The rosary will be recited for Mr. Ranahan at the Schreiber & Davis Chapel this evening at 8 o'clock and the funeral mass will be said at St. John's Cathedral at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning. The body will be taken to Kansas City for burial.

Mr. Ranahan was born in Ireland, November 28, 1839, and was brought to America by his parents when he was two years old. His early home was in Vermont. The family moved to Kansas in 1855, where his father took up a homestead. In 1860 Tom entered the employ of Ben Holliday as an overland stage driver, continuing until 1866, when the line was sold to the Wells Fargo Express Company. Part of the time he was a guard over the paymaster of the Denver section. In 1868 he became an Indian scout and was under General Forsythe in campaigns in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. He participated in the famous battle of the Arickaree, and went through the Beecher Island massacre. For many years, in fact up until 3 years ago, it was Mr. Ranahan's custom to attend the anniversary meeting of the survivors of this massacre at Beecher's Island each summer, when the old days were reenacted by the few that were left.

Comes to Idaho.

He came to Idaho in 1872, locating first at Boise and then Weiser, where he had a sub contract on the building of the Union Pacific road. He was married in Boise in 1877. His bride was the housekeeper for the parish priest. They made their home in Boise for several years before going to Weiser. After the death of his wife in 1914, Mr. Ranahan came to Boise where he has made his home ever since. His only surviving relatives are 2 nieces, Miss Katherine Kallen (Callam) of Providence, R.I., and Miss Mamie Dunn of Kansas City, M.O., who visited him in Boise a few years ago.

Mr. Ranahan was a stickler for what he believed were "facts" relative to early day history, and he took exception to the picturization of Jim Bridger in the "covered wagon", writing his objections to James Cruz. At the celebration in Napa last spring of the opening of the P.F.E. shops, Mr. Ranahan had planned an exact representation of an early day stage holdup and great was his disappointment when the stagecoach provided failed to measure up to the specifications of the old Concord coaches.

Although Mr. Ranahan and Henry Dunn of Blackfoot were the only surviving early day stagecoach drivers, they never met and it was Mr. Ranahan's ambition sometime to have an opportunity to talk over the early days with him.

On several occasions during the past half dozen years Mr. Ranahan had dictated some of his pioneer experiences to shorthand reporters and these, when compiled, will form a picturesque chapter of early western history.  
Family links: 
  Michael Ranahan (1810 - 1893)
  Hanna McCormick Ranahan (1812 - 1870)
  Mary Callum Ranahan (1850 - 1914)
  James Ranahan (1833 - 1900)*
  Thomas J. Ranahan (1839 - 1926)
  Mary Ranahan Boggs (1841 - 1904)*
  Margaret Ranahan Shea (1846 - 1919)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Saint Marys Cemetery
Kansas City
Jackson County
Missouri, USA
Plot: C. lot 160 Graves E6 -11
Created by: Old History Buff
Record added: Jun 01, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14471530
Thomas J. Ranahan
Added by: Old History Buff
Thomas J. Ranahan
Added by: Anonymous
Thomas J. Ranahan
Cemetery Photo
Added by: SMG
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- Heidi
 Added: May. 26, 2016

- GravRidr
 Added: Sep. 28, 2009
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptat...(Read more)
- James Ranahan
 Added: Sep. 14, 2009
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