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Marsh and Ryan family papers

Identifier: MSS-133

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, business records, certificates, legal documents, genealogy research materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other records ranging from 1816 to 1988 documenting the history of the Marsh and Ryan families of Muncie, Indiana. The collection also includes genealogical research for John Clawson, an ancestor of the Marsh family,and genealogical research for Frances Elizabeth Pace Marsh's family, including documents on the Pace, Peck, Hopkins, and Menard families.


  • 1816 - 1988

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

John Weller Ryan was born on November 5, 1837 in Butler County, Ohio. Before he became a prominent Muncie attorney, J. W. Ryan was 1st Lieutenant of the 34th Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. After being accepted into the Bar Association, he partnered with the law firm of Joseph Buckles, and in 1870 the firm became Buckles and Ryan. Ryan was known for his knowledge in bankruptcy, specifically the practice of corporate and contractual law for industrial development. In 1876, the discovery of natural gas in East Central Indiana heightened Ryan's career. Ryan married Lida A. Jenkins at an unknown date and location. Lida was a recognized musician and artist regionally. During the late 1860s, the couple moved to Muncie from the Winamac, Indiana area. J. W. and Lida resided at 603 East Jackson Street in Muncie. They had four children, two daughters, Susan D. and Mildred V., and two sons, Thomas L. and Walter S. Ryan. At the age of 52, Lida died on August 24, 1893. In 1902, J. W. Ryan completed a story about his late wife entitled, "A Story of the Life and Character of Lida A. Ryan, 1841-1893." J. W. Ryan passed away on September 23, 1919. Susan Delaney Ryan Marsh was born in Winamac, Indiana on December 29, 1865. She moved to Muncie with her parents and was raised in the family home on 603 East Jackson Street. Susan was an aspiring artist, inspired by her mother, who gave her art lessons at their family home. She also studied with J. Otto Adams, a famed artist who also lived in Muncie. After attending art school in Cincinnati and New York City, she married John Rollin Marsh on August 5, 1889. John R. and Susan Marsh lived on 616 East Adams Street. The couple's American Four Square home was built after their marriage circa 1904. J. R. Marsh was the son of a notable banker, John Marsh. After his marriage to Susan, he took up candid photography as a hobby. In Muncie, his photography detailed interiors and exteriors, families, street scenes, and picnics. J. R. Marsh and the Kimbrough family became founders of the Indiana Bridge Company in Muncie. J.R. was employed with the company for over 50 years as chief engineer, director, secretary, and treasurer, 1887-1947. He was also active in the community serving on several committees and boards. Susan Marsh was a prominent artist, clubwoman and civic worker for over 50 years within the Muncie community. She was a founder of the Muncie Branch of the National League of American Pen Women, the Muncie Art Association, and the Matinee Musicale. She was also one of the first members of the Art Students League. As past president of the Pegasus Poetry Club, she furthered the work of the organization as well as the membership of the Woman's Club. At the age of 94, Susan died on December 12, 1959. J. R. and Susan Marsh's three children, Mildred, Rodney, and Carleton Marsh are heavily documented within this photograph collection.

Susan's sister, Mildred Veronese Ryan Beatty was born on April 14, 1868. Mildred was an accomplished harpist within the family. She married Ross J. Beatty in mid-September 1894 in Muncie. Ross was born on August 12, 1854 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. While the couple lived in Muncie, he was president of the Midland Steel Company and Manufactors Gas and Oil Company, and vice president of the Muncie Belt Railway. During the late 1890s, he was also involved in the purchase of Inland Steel Company. The couple had three children, two sons, and one daughter. Ross and Mildred moved to Highland Park, Illinois for career reasons. Mildred passed away on December 29, 1962. She is buried in the Lake Forest Cemetery with her husband, Ross. Thomas Leicester Ryan was born in 1872 in Muncie. He attended Muncie High School and was later employed as chief draftsman at the Indiana Bridge Company. After finishing his high school education, Ryan completed a course in engineering at the Hoboken Institute of Technology and studied law under his father. He joined his father's firm, which became Ryan and Ryan, in 1898. He worked several years as a consulting engineer and patent attorney. He was also president of the Highlands Manufacturing Company. Thomas married Lenora Highlands of Clinton, Iowa at an unknown date. The couple had three children, a son, and two daughters. Ryan was heavily involved with civic engagements, including the Muncie Artists Association, Pegasus Poetry Club, Muncie Commercial Club, Delaware Country Club, the Indiana Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and was president of the Muncie Bar Association until 1940. Thomas passed away on December 27, 1962.

Walter Scott Ryan was born in 1875 in Muncie. He married Edna Woodruff of Bridgeton, New Jersey during the 1890s. The couple had two known children that are featured within this photograph collection. Walter was active in the Navy as 1st Assistant Chief Electrician. He practiced electrical engineering in New York and later patented useful improvements for the flashing sign on October 28, 1912. Walter passed away in 1941.

The Pace family can be traced back to Joseph Hopkins, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. At the war's completion, Hopkins married Ruth Gilbert and had a son, Gilbert Hopkins. Gilbert Hopkins married Betsy Sherman, and together they had a son named Gustavus Hopkins. Gustavus married Julia Peck and they had a daughter named Mary Hopkins. Mary would later marry Nathan L. Pace, a veteran of the American Civil War. Nathan was one of eight children born to David Pace and Sarah Cooper Pace. Nathan and his brother Isaac enlisted together into the Civil War and were both injured by the same artillery shell in battle. Isaac eventually died of his injuries and Nathan was discharged with disability. After his discharge, Nathan became a school teacher for Delaware County, Ohio and other surrounding counties. Nathan and Mary had three children: Charles H. Pace, Florence Pace Carahoof (alternatively Carahoff), and Maurice Pace.

Charles H. Pace was born on April 3, 1872 in Harlem, Ohio. He moved to Muncie sometime in the early twentieth century to take a job at the Ball Brothers Company where he worked for nearly 40 years. His first marriage was to Mary Alice Menard and together they had two children: Charles Kenneth Pace and Frances Pace Marsh. Mary Alice passed away on March 21, 1914 at the age of 31. Six yeas after Mary's passing, Charles married Mary Ann Young on June 3, 1920. He had two children with Mary Ann: William J. Pace and John R. Young. Charles passed away on February 27, 1945 at the age of 73.

Charles' sister, Florence Pace, was born in 1879. She later married Orion Carahoof and had two children: Frances Carahoof Wetherill and Carroll Carahoof. She passed away in 1979 at the age of 100. Frances would eventually marry Dr. J. Cliff Wetherill of Ohio.

Frances Elizabeth Pace Marsh was born on September 19, 1903 in Muncie, Indiana. Despite the distance between her and the other Pace family members in Ohio, Frances frequently corresponded with the Pace family, especially with Frances Carahoof Wetherill, her first cousin. On April 6, 1924 Frances married Carleton Jenkins Marsh in Muncie, Indiana and had three children: Thomas, David Rollin, and Anthony Menard. Much like her mother-in-law Susan, Frances was deeply invested in the arts and was a member of the Muncie Art Students' League. She passed away on August 1, 1988 in Muncie, Indiana.


2.7 Cubic Feet (8 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Marsh and Ryan family papers, 1837-1987

Series 2: Pace family papers, 1849-1988

Series 3: Family bibles, 1816-1865

Series 4: Photographs, 1860-1980

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Ned Griner and Alida Marsh Smith on 1986/08/13. Additions were received from Ned Griner on 1991/12/19, from John and Mary Marsh on 2012/09/11, and fromJoyce Marsh on 2016/06/10 and 2017/03/02.


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Some materials from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository:

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

MSS.345: Beatty-Atkins-Ryan family papers

MSS.127: Ryan-Stradling-Shirey-Puntenney-Tuhey families papers

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1994/02/18 by M. Sears. EAD finding aid created 2012/10/05 by Julie Hausknecht. EAD finding aid revised 2013/10/07 by Lindsey Vesperry and 2014/10/17 by Brandon Pieczko. Addition processed 2016/08/02 by Lindsey M. Vesperry and Audra Butler. Addition processed 2017/03/31 by Lindsey M. Vesperry. Addition processed 2017/06/09 by Rebecca Marangelli.

Marsh and Ryan family papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA