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 • Lexington
 • Lafayette County
 • Missouri
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Judge John Ferguson Ryland
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Birth: Nov. 2, 1797
Death: Sep. 10, 1873

He was appointed in March 1849, Judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri

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Lexington Weekly Caucasian, September 13, 1873 IN MEMORIAM Hon. John F. Ryland This venerable and distinguished citizen of Missouri, died at his residence in this city, at half past eleven o'clock p.m., on the 10th day of September, in the 76th year of his age. Although Judge Ryland had long been in feeble health and for the past ten days confined to his room, still, the tidings of his death were, in a measure, unexpected, and will be received with deep sorrow by a wide circle of friends throughout the entire state. His father and mother, (Joseph and Rosanna Motley Ryland) at the date of his birth, Nov. 2, 1787, resided in the county of King and Queen, Virginia, (their name is still numerous and influential in that section of the state,) removed while he was yet a child, to Essex county; and subsequently, in 1811, to Jessamine county, Kentucky. Very soon after their settlement in Kentucky, his father died, leaving a widow and seven children, of whom he was the oldest son; thus devolving upon him in his early youth, cares and responsibilities far beyond his years. In spite of the burdens thus providentially laid upon one so young and inexperienced, (and which doubtless had much to do in forming those habits of patient study and investigation, for which he was remarkable through life), Judge Ryland spent several years at Forest Hill Academy, at that time one of the best classical schools in the state, where he was the associate and classmate of boys who, afterwards, became leading and distinguished men in their state, among them the Breckenridges, the Harrisons, the Todds and others. He continued to reside with his mother till 1820, when he came to Missouri and settled at Franklin, Howard county. It was at that time and place, that he became acquainted and professionally associated with that brilliant array of men then composing the Franklin bar--they were men of a high order of talent--some of them young; but many of them lived to fill with distinguished ability, the highest positions at the bar, on the bench and in the legislative halls of the nation. Among them were George Tompkins, Mathias McGirk, John Brickley, Peyton R. Hayden, Cyrus Edwards, Dabney Carr, Wm. J. Redd, Abiel Leonard, Hamilton R. Gamble, Cornelius Burnett, Armstead Grundy and Chas. French. The first court at Franklin, was held in July 1820; Hon. David Todd, Judge, and Hamilton R. Gamble, Circuit Attorney. In addition to the resident lawyers, many were present from St. Louis;--Thos. H. Benton, Joshua and David Barton, Edward Bates, Henry S. Geyer, Geo. F. Strother and others. Among the names mentioned, many reached high professional eminence; some were on the Circuit Court bench; five of the number, including Judge Ryland, were on the bench of the Supreme Court, three in the Senate of the United States, one Governor of Missouri, one in Congress and afterward Attorney General of the United States. Of that long list all, have passed away, and Judge Ryland had for many years been the solitary survivor. Within the last few years, the writer of this humble tribute, accompanied Judge Ryland to St. Louis. The boat lay several hours at what was once the landing of the flourishing town of Franklin. He proposed to take a walk over the place where the town once stood, and during the walk pointed out various localities, streets, residences, etc., and after a silence of many minutes, I observed that he was weeping. "Sir," said he, "upon this desolate common, when I was a young man, fifty years ago, I have seen a busy, thriving town, with a population of 2,000 people; and of all the lawyers who were then here, buoyant with youth and hope for the future, I alone am left." To record the incidents of Judge Ryland's life would be to write a history of the state; for his life here commenced before Missouri ahd an existence as a state. He witnessed her first struggles for admission into the Union; he was here before the foot of civilized man had pressed the soil on which we stand; when St. Louis was a French village of 4,000 inhabitants; and long before the keel of the first steamer had plowed the dark waters of the Missouri. Some one more competent to the task, must do more ample justice to his memory. They will tell, (and it will be an instructive lesson to the young men who are to hill his pale in the future history of the country) how, in the youth, he bravely struggled against adverse fortune, and by his own unaided efforts, rose to professional destination; how, as a Judge of the Circuit and then of the Supreme Court, he sternly, honestly and justly discharged his high duties. How, as a man, by his genial kindness and open handed liberality, he endeared to him most those who knew him best. And how, at last as a Christian, he met death as calmly and peacefully as the child falls asleep upon its mother's breast. He has gone to his grave in the fullness of age and of honors, but his memory will be cherished for long years to come, by those whom he has left behind him. They will remember that venerable form to whom all paid respect and reverence, as belonging to an age that has passed away; and as furnishing a model for the present generation to imitate. They will remember the kindly smile which always gave a hospitable welcome to his home and fireside; they will remember the instructive conversation, flowing from a rich mine of classical learning which he had amassed through a long life of study. They will remember that he was not less distinguished by inflexible justice and uprightness as a Judge, than by the kindness of his heart and the grace and gentleness of his manner. And they will have reason to be thankful, if in reviewing their own past lives, they can accuse themselves of no act unworthy of those who were honored with the friendship of such a man as Judge Ryland. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Martha M Barnett Ryland (1797 - 1833)*
  Elizabeth Gabriella Buford Ryland (1815 - 1884)*
 
 Children:
  Juliet Virginia Ryland Findlay (1822 - 1911)*
  John Erwin Ryland (1830 - 1905)*
  Elizabeth Ryland McKean (1838 - 1904)*
  Simeon T. Ryland (1839 - 1905)*
  Rosa Motley Ryland McKean (1841 - 1926)*
  Xenophon Ryland (1844 - 1920)*
  Gabrie Ella Ryland Miller (1845 - 1910)*
  Manville Cass Ryland (1847 - 1918)*
  Carrie G. Ryland Sharp (1853 - 1915)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Machpelah Cemetery
Lexington
Lafayette County
Missouri, USA
 
Created by: Margaret Ayres
Record added: Nov 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31154767
Judge John Ferguson Ryland
Added by: Mal
 
Judge John Ferguson Ryland
Added by: Margaret Ayres
 
Judge John Ferguson Ryland
Added by: Mark Frazier
 
 
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