THOMAS C. RYALL, SR., a prominent retired citizen of Bedford County, was born April 19, 1809, in Trenton N. J., his parents being natives of New Jersey, and of English descent. He read law and at the age of twenty-one began the practice of that profession, which he continued in New Jersey for five or six years. He then, on account of his health, accepted an offer from Post Capt. David Deacon, United States Navy, who was ordered to command of the United States Frigate “Brandywine,” to accompany him on a cruise three years to the Pacific Coast. In this expedition he served as captain’s clerk, judge advocate on court martial and officiated pro tempore as secretary to Com. Wadsworth, the commander of the squadron. On his return, in reward for his services, he was presented with a written request signed by all the officers of the squadron to the proper authorities, to procure a partnership in the naval service, but in New Jersey he met Miss Elizabeth Scudder, of Nashville, and granddaughter of Dr. John Scudder, the famous East Indian missionary. He soon came to Nashville and married her.
He has ever since lived in Tennessee and followed farming until about 1880, when, on account of his age, he retired from active business life. He owns about 800 acres of land and a very fine fruit orchard. Mr. Ryall’s married life was blessed in the births of nine children; six of whom are living, viz.: Johnston S., a farmer and merchant in Alabama; Dr. A. P. Ryall, a physician, of this county; Walter, growing oranges in Florida; Thomas C., merchandise broker, of Shelbyville; Henry C., lumberman, of Shelbyville; and Juliet, wife of Brom R. Whitthorne, cashier of the National Bank of Shelbyville. Mrs. Ryall departed this life August 13, 1857. Politically, Mr. Ryall was a Whig, but is now a Democrat. He is now one of the prominent and highly respected citizens of the county.
Transcribed by Kathryn Hopkins
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminescences [Sic], Observations, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1988.