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Obituaries - Surnames beginning with R

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1837 - 1911

Mr. John Rapp died at 4:15 Monday afternoon after a long illness. He was 73 years of age. He is survived by his wife and six children, Mrs. Chas. Slater, W. F. Rapp and J. F. Rapp, of Warren, W. G. Rapp, of Pleasant township, and Mrs. Chas. Geisin [sic], of East Hickory and Chas. Rapp, of Youngsville. One brother, Theo. Rapp, of Erie.

Funeral, Wednesday at 1 o'clock at the home in Watson township. Interment Oakland cemetery.

Source: Tuesday August 1, 1911, edition of the Warren Evening Mirror, page 2, column 3.


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1850 - 1928


Lived Here Nearly Three Quarters of a Century

John Jacob Rapp, pioneer resident of Warren died at the family home, 423 Chesnut [sic] street at 9 o'clock Saturday evening following an illness of more than two years.

Born June 27, 1850, at Boftzheim, Alsace, France, he was brought to this country and to Warren when four years of age. His mother and father, Mary Salome and John Rapp, passed away 60 years age and a brother, Henry, was called in death in 1887.

Mr. Rapp spent some time in the lumber business later learning the machinist trade at Norristown, Pa. He was employed by a concern that did extensive work in South America and on the Panama Canal contract, spending 19 months in this work.

Returning to Warren he was united in marriage, March 19, 1876, and to this union nine children were born, four surviving besides his widow, Mrs. Anna Rapp, they being Harry and Wayne of Warren, Mrs. George Weaver, Ashtabula, O., and Mrs. D. J. Moore of Windber, Pa., together with ten grandchildren. A sister Mrs. Maggie Walters of Warren also survives.

Mr. Rapp was a valued employe [sic] of the Struthers-Wells company for half a century retiring a few years ago. He would have reached the 78th milestone in life's journey had he lived until Wednesday, June 27.

He was an active member of the First Presbyterian church until illness kept him from attendance. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from the family home, 423 Chestnut street, the Rev. H. E. Dornheim to officiate, owing to a vancancy [sic] in the Presbyterian pulpit. Interment will be made in Oakland cemetery. Friends are asked to please omit flowers.

Source: Monday, June 25, 1928, edition of the Warren Morning Mirror, page 12, column 5.


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Miss Clara Ricker, of Lottsville, 49 years of age, suddenly passed away at two o'clock Monday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Julia Hayhow at Sugar Grove. The cause of death was neuralgia of the heart. The funeral was held at the home of Mrs. John Younie Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Clara Watson, of Jamestown, N. Y., officiating. The interment was in the Lottsville cemetery. Miss Ricker leaves to mourn her death one brother, Edd. [sic] Ricker, of Lottsville and a neice, Mrs. Gerald Carr, of Sugar Grove and a host of near relatives and friends.

Source: Friday, October 23, 1908, edition of the Warren Evening Mirror, page 2, column 5, under SUGAR GROVE.


In the same SUGAR GROVE column, but above the notice of Clara Ricker's death was this:

L. E. Ricker and wife, of Jamestown, N.Y., was [sic] called here by the death of their cousin, Clara Ricker.

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Mrs. Winnie A. RICKERSON
1886 - 1953

Mrs. Winnie A. Rickerson, wife of Daniel Rickerson of Spring Creek, Route 1, died last Friday evening at the Clickett Boarding Home in Spartansburg. Mrs. Rickerson, ill for six months, had been taken to the Spartansburg home when her condition became critical three weeks ago.

Born July 17, 1886, at Brooks Rocks, Mrs. Rickerson had spent her entire life in the Spring Creek vicinity. She and her husband were married 24 years ago and had resided at their present address since that time.

In addition to her husband, survivors include four daughters, Misses Flora and Florence Reardon, Mrs. Ethel Heminger and Mrs. Edna Pierce of Corry; three sons, Mearl Rickerson of Spring Creek, John Rickerson of Spartansburg, Route 3, and Pvt. Donald Rickerson stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; three grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Mrs. Cora Ellis of Youngsville.

The funeral was held at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon at the Bracken-Keating funeral home in Corry. Rev. Bradley Lines officiated and burial was in the Spring Creek Cemetery.

Source: Warren Times Mirror, March 30, 1953, page 10, columns 3-4.


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1868 - 1895


Miss Lena Riddlesperger [sic] Dies This Morning at 2:15 O'clock.

This morning at 2:15 o'clock Miss Lena Riddlesperger [sic] died at the residence of her parents on Short street, of a complication of diseases, finally ending in heart failure, which was immediately induced by a general dropsical swelling of the organs of respiration.

Deceased had been ill for a period of some ten years and during that time every thing had been done to bring back her health which money or medical skill could do. She made two visits to California and was for several weeks at one time under treatment in Dr. Mann's private hospital in Buffalo and also was under the treatment of specialists in Cincinnati. Every effort was unavailing and her life has been cut short just when in the midst of young womanhood.

Mary Lena Riddlesperger [sic] was born in Stoneham and was 26 years old June 25th, last. She received her education in Warren and graduated from the High School with the class of '86. Deceased was a consistent member of the First Presbyterian church of this city and a regular attendant at all the meetings of the various church societies with which she was identified. Socially the deceased was popular with the young people of her acquaintance, and while her health prevented her mingling in social affairs as much as she would otherwise have done, her presence was always highly appreciated at those events at which she was able to be present. Her death will be sincerely mourned by all who knew her well and from those who did not know her intimately will also come those expressions of condolence arising from the sorrowful feelings caused by the death of so estimable a young lady just when the glorious possibilities of young womanhood were opening up so brightly.

Deceased leaves, besides her parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Riddlesperger [sic], two sisters, Mrs. Nora Sandborn, of Stoneham, and Mrs. C. H. Shurmer, of Perrysville; three brothers, W. D. Riddlesperger [sic], Clarendon, Henry P., Stoneham and L. M. of this city.

The funeral will be held at the house Saturday, the time to be announced later.

Source: The Evening Democrat, January 24, 1895, page 1, column 4.


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John Risley died at his residence in Pleasant at 10:30 o'clock Sunday evening at the age of 69 years. Mr. Risley has been seriously ill for some time. He was born in Germany and came to this country in 1851, of late years he has been in the employ of the Oakland Cemetary [sic] association. He is survived by his wife and several step-children.

The funeral will be held at his late residence in Pleasant at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. The interment will be in Oakland cemetary [sic].

Source: Monday, February 21, 1898 edition of The Evening Democrat, page 4, column 4.

[Warren County coordinator's note: According to Warren County death records, John was born in Elseso, Germany. He died of Bright's Disease at age 68 years, 3 months, and 14 days, on Bucher Mill Rd. Duration of his illness was 3 weeks. He was buried in the Oakland Cemetery on the 22nd of February and his death was registered May 28, 1898, in Book 1, page 106.]


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1878 - 1956

Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Jane Rosequist, Tidioute, were held at that place at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, with Rev. Nelson Horne, pastor of Tidioute Presbyterian church, officiating, and the following serving as bearers for interment in Warren County Memorial Park at Starbrick: K. William Johnson, Elliott Lanning and the following nephews - Judson Cubbon, Joseph Cubbon, Carl Rosequist and Maurice McCarthy.

Attending the service were friends and relatives from Cleveland and Warren, O.; Jamestown, N.Y.; Meadville, Titusville, Erie, Warren, Pleasantville.

Mrs. Rosequist, the daughter of John and Margaret Snyder, was born in Forest county July 1, 1878 and spent her entire life in the vicinity of Tidioute. She was married to Melvin Rosequist at East Hickory on June 22, 1898.

Besides her husband, she is survived by two children, Mrs. Margaret C. Downey and Junior L. Rosequist, both of Tidioute; one brother, Claude Snyder, Tidioute; three grandchildren, Greta and Gene Rosequist, Tidioute, and Lee Junior Rosequist, serving with the U.S. Navy in Newfoundland. Also surviving is a niece, Mrs. Jane Morrison, Tidioute, who came to make her home with the Rosequists when she was five years old, and has two daughters, Rebecca and Judith Morrison.

Mrs. Rosequist died suddenly at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, November 1, at Warren General Hospital, where she had been admitted Wednesday morning. She was a friend and helper to all who knew her. The many floral offerings at the time of bereavement was a testimony to her place in the community.

Source: Warren Times Mirror, Thursday, November 8, 1956, page 11, columns 1-2.


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1859 - 1906

A Great Performer,
The Late M. J. Ryan Had Been a Leading Acrobat in His Day.

Matthew Joseph Ryan, abt 1906
Photograph courtesy of Dan Shields
Photograph taken by J. R. Binder, Tidioute,
probably in 1906.

The remains of Matthew J. Ryan, the genial manager of the Hotel Kenwood, whose death was briefly noted last week, were removed to St. Mary’s church Saturday morning and blessed and then taken to Tidioute, Pa., where the funeral and burial occurred Monday.  Mr. Ryan’s brother, Wm. Ryan of Utica, and his sisters, Mrs. M. J. Ryan of Booneville, N.Y., Mrs. Johnson of Cleveland, O., and Mrs. Gould of Clarksburg, W. Va., arrived here Friday  and accompanied the funeral party to Tidioute.  Two other sisters, Mrs. Roach of Bradford, Pa., and Mrs. Killeen of Tidioute were also in attendance at the funeral.

* * *

The following sketch of Mr. Ryan’s life is taken from a Book of Biographies of Leading Citizens of the 37th Judicial District of Pennsylvania:

Matthew J. Ryan, the genial and hospitable manager of the “Ryan House” at Tidioute was born at Keysville, N.Y., and was one of a family of seven children.  When 12 years old he and his brother William began to practice acrobatic movements and became so clever and expert in the art that they gave public exhibitions of their skill the same year.  The following year they engaged with the Elliott Robinson show and were very successful, remaining with that company two years, during which time they were looked upon as wonders for their age.  Afterward they engaged with Thayer & Noyes, filling a contract covering three seasons.  They then spent one season with John O‘Brien, two seasons with the Trans-Atlantic Company and one season with Hilyard & Hunting.  During this period they had become expert acrobats and by their skill won great celebrity.  They performed most difficult feats of vaulting, tumbling and with triple bars.  The next season Matthew was alone with James Thayer as comic clown; he then appeared one year withe the Shelby, Pullman & Hamilton Circus as one of the “Three Ryans.”

Matthew Ryan
Photograph courtesy of Dan Shields
Matthew Joseph Ryan
Undated photograph taken in York, Pennsylvania

In 1882 our subject took the name of “Ricardo” and traveled with John L. Fritz.  The following year was spent with the Miles-Orton Show, after which he joined the Big U.S. show in San Francisco, Cal., as the great leaper and acrobat.  In 1884 he was with the Boston Novelty Troup;  in 1885 with the Pullman-Dingles Circus and in 1886 he engaged with Bob L. Hunting, with whom he remained through seven seasons;  after this he gave up his profession and retired.  Starting out as a mere boy, he grew to be one of the best and most successful acrobats, receiving the highest salary paid to men of his profession.  He visited all the principal cities of the United States during the course of his acrobatic career.  Though he was the victim of many accidents, such as broken limbs, ribs, etc., he was again at his post at the earliest possible moment.

After his retirement Mr. Ryan opened a restaurant in Tidioute, which he sold a little later, going to Clarksburg, W. Va., where he embarked in the grocery business for a couple of years.  On returning to Tidioute in 1894, he purchased his present hotel.  The subject of this sketch and his wife, who was formerly Miss Kate Cochener share alone the comforts and pleasures of wedded life, as no issue has resulted from their union.  Mr. Ryan is a member of the K. of P., the Elks and the A. O. H.

* * *

About three years ago Mr. Ryan purchased the Hotel Kenwood in this place and has since resided here and has been a very enterprising citizen.  He was always foremost in any movement for the growth or betterment of the village and contributed liberally to its institutions, amusements, etc.  His wide acquaintance with various circus managers had been the means of bringing to this place several first-class shows, thus furnishing variety and recreation to the inhabitants of this section.  His passing away in the prime of life is deeply regretted.

We understand Mrs. Ryan will assume the management of the hotel for the present.

* * *

Mrs. Ryan greatly appreciates the kindness of her friends and neighbors during her affliction and desires to heartily thank all for their assistance and sympathy.



At a special meeting of Div. No. 5, A. O. H., held Nov. 27th the following resolutions were adopted:

WHEREAS, It has pleased Almighty God to remove from our midst our esteemed brother, Matthew J. Ryan, therefore be it 

RESOLVED, That we deem it fitting that we should express our deep regret and sorrow at his death and extend our sincere sympathy to the bereaved wife, brothers and sisters and commend them to Him “who doeth all things well.”

RESOLVED, that in his death our order and the church have lost a loyal member and the community, a public spirited citizen, who did his utmost to build up our little village and improve its appearance.

RESOLVED, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the records of this lodge, published in the Silver Springs SIGNAL and a copy sent to the bereaved family.

J. E. FERGER, Secretary.

From the front page of the Thursday, November 29, 1906, edition of the Silver Lake Signal - transcribed and contributed by Dan Shields. View the actual newspaper clipping, also contributed by Dan Shields.

Dan also submitted another obituary, this one probably from the Tidioute newspaper:

Matt Ryan,” so called by his familiars, is dead. He died at Silver Springs, N. Y., Thursday, Nov. 22, after an illness of three days of pneumonia. He was born at St Mary, Ont., March 18, 1859, but had spent most of his life in Tidioute.  As a boy he took to athletics and for some years traveled as an acrobat. Later he was in the restaurant business, finally buying the Shaw House, in which he conducted a good hotel, obtaining a wide patronage. About three years ago he sold out to S. J. Bess, and went to Silver Springs, where he bought the Hotel Kenwood, and where he died.

Matthew Joseph Ryan, Dan Shield's great uncle,
owned the Ryan House Hotel from about 1894 to 1903.
wrote the tongue in cheek flier, below, to promote his hotel.
Ryan Hotel flyer
Photograph courtesy of Dan Shields
His brother "Pat" (William Patrick Ryan) worked at the Ryan House
along with most of their relatives including Dan Shield's grandmother,
Susie (Killeen) Shields
.  She is standing on the balcony in the picture.

Matt was a good hotel man, an good fellow – too good – genial, liberal and open-handed, ans his patrons will learn of his decease with regret. He leaves a widow.

The remains were brought to Tidioute last Saturday night and were taken to the home of his sister, Mrs. Timothy Killeen. The funeral was held Monday morning from St. John’s Catholic church, Rev. A. H. Wiersbinski, pastor conducting the service.

Among the relatives from out of town were his brother, Wm. P. Ryan of Utica, N.Y., and his sisters Mrs. Ellen Roach, Bradford; Mrs. W. H. Johnson, Cleveland, O.; Mrs. A. S. Gould, Clarksburg, W. Va.


[Warren County coordinator's note: Hotel keeper Matt J. Ryan, 41, and wife Catherine, 39, appear on the 1900 U. S. Federal census. They had been married 16 years. Matt was born in N. Y. in March 1859; Catherine in Pennsylvania in May 1861. Matt's parents were both from Ireland. At the time of the census, there were 13 boarders and 4 servants listed as living in the hotel.

Matthew Joseph Ryan and his wife were both buried in St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Tidioute.]


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