APPANOOSE COUNTY — © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.
June 25, 1926: It was the 50th anniversary of Custer’s Last Stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn. History says there were no survivors. But in 1955, on Chicago’s’ NBC Blue Variety Breakfast Club, on the Garry Moore TV show and on Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life” 97 year old Ed Ryan told the nation he was the sole survivor. Furthermore, Ed Ryan announced he was born In Centerville, the son of Patrick Ryan and he’d been baptized in St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Jesse Beck contacted Centerville’s Catholic Rectory. He was told there are no records going as far back as Ryan’s baptism. In the 1950’s, Centerville’s then oldest continuous resident, T.L. Allen, said the name, Ed Ryan was familiar; Mrs. Karl Nilsson of 520 East Clark said she’d visited the Custer Monument in Montana and found the name Ed Ryan on it; and Felicia Mathews of Cincinnati said Ed was born in Centerville: Edward Francis Ryan and was the son of Patrick Ryan and Anna Scanlon Ryan. When the movie “Little Big Man” came out in 1970, the actor Dustin Hoffman, tells the story of the battle from an old man named Jack Crabb. Crabbe was actually Ed Ryan. Local genealogist Gary Craver has repeatedly researched the local Catholic records. He received the same answer as Jesse Beck. Rumors persist that those early records do exist … “somewhere in Missouri.” (99/multiple Iowegian articles/ interview: Gary Craver)
© 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.