Eliza Ann Ryan Sires

Contributed by LeRae Phillips


Mrs. Tillie Murray received word the last of the week of the death of her aged mother in Montana. Over a year ago Mrs. Sires fell and injured one of her hips, since when she had been an invalid. Last summer she was taken to the home of her son John at Helena , Mont., where she was cared for until her suffering were relieved by death. Mrs. Sires was past 92 years of age and had been a resident of Humbird for many years.


The Humbird Enterprise, Saturday, 10 May 1919, Front Page.

Received from Mary Woods, Jackson County History Room, Black River Falls Public Library

Former Helena Woman Dies At Advanced Age of 101!

Special to the Independent.

Anaconda, April 24.–There died in the state hospital for the insane at Warm Springs today Mrs. Eliza Stires, aged 101 years, the oldest patient in the institution, and quite likely one of the oldest persons in the state.

Mrs. Stires was born in Indiana in 1818. She came to Montana in 1916, residing with her son, John B. Stires, in Helena, until November 19, 1918, when she was committed to the asylum. She suffered senile dementia. Mrs. Sires was the mother of 12 children according to the records at warm Springs. Her son, John B. Stires, now lives in Spokane, at 2628 Boone avenue. He has been notified by wire of the death of his mother.

Helena Independent Front page.


Death Calls Mrs. Eliza Stires, aged One Hundred and One Years.

Anaconda Bureau.

Mrs. Eliza Stires said to be the oldest woman in Montana died yesterday at Warm Springs aged 101 years. She was the mother of 12 children, some of whom survive. Mrs. Stires was born in Indiana in 1818 and 1916 came to Montana to make her home with her son John Stires of Helena. Last year physicians found her suffering from senile dementia and she was sent to the state hopital at Warm Springs.

Butte Miner 4/26/1919
note: Most likely Eliza was b. Nov 1827 in Morven Twp., Ohio


The Family of William and Eliza Ann (Ryan) Sires


William Sires (1824-Abt1893), Eliza Ann Ryan (Nov 1827-24 Apr 1919)




i. Matilda "Tillie" Sires (27 Sep 1847-2 Mar 1937) Matilda was born in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana. She married first William Biron on March 6, 1864. The 1870 census of Oak Grove, Eau Claire, WI shows Matilda with William Biron and their three children, Willie, Delia, and Isabel. The 1880 Census record, Garden Valley, Jackson, WI, shows Matilda married to Dell Murray, (or Murry) with her daughter Isabell and son Lewis Murray, age 1. She is the head of household in the five census records 1895 through1930, all in Mentor Township. The 1900 census shows her with her fifth child, Earl Murrey.


ii. Mary Elizabeth Sires (18 Jun 1849-9 Jan1905) Mary was born in Rock Creek Township, Carroll County, Indiana. She married Joseph Bowman 26 Oct 1865. The 1880 census of Baldwin, St. Croix, Wisconsin, shows Mary and Joseph with Frank, Jennie, Albert, and Jesse, four of their seven children. The fifth surviving child was Maud M, who was staying in the household of her uncle, J. B. Sires (John) in 1900. Mary’s residence was Cleveland, Jackson, Wisconsin in 1900 and 1905, and she died and was buried in Merrillan.


iii. James Sires (About 1852-Before 1900) James married Mary Jane Smith 31 Dec 1871 in Jackson Co., WI and by 1880 James, whose occupation was railroading, and Mary, both 29, were living in Hewett, Clark, WI.


iv. David Anderson Sires (1854-After 1929) David m.1 Ellen Webster 11 May 1872, child: Asa, and m.2 Julia Simpson 8 May 1887. He was mentioned in newspapers as being in Clark County in 1889 and 1900. In 1910 in Neillsville, Clark, WI, the census shows David Siras, 57, widowed, was a Saloon Keeper and owner. It also states he had one child, who was living. He was a railroad conductor in 1920 at age 67, when he (transcribed David Siver) lived in Houghton, Houghton, Michigan. He was mentioned in his brother’s obituary as living in Florida in 1929.


v. Francis Morton Sires (1856-Before 1900) In the 1860 census, Morton is 4. In the 1870 census, instead of Morton, there is Francis, a male, 13. He may have been named for William's sister Sally's husband, Francis Morton Stewart.


vi. Israel Sires (1859-3 Mar 1929) Israel married Lena about 1881. They lived in Altoona for many years, as did their surviving sons Lee and Emblem. They had five children; one infant of theirs, born July 14, 1897, apparently died the same day and was given the name "Skip," his father’s nickname. Israel was a railroad conductor. One of his obituaries is posted on this website, and two others appeared in the Eau Claire Leader.


vii. Jeramiah H. "Jerry" Sires (1860-23 Dec 1950) Jerry m. Tena (1864-1919) about 1884 and

had two children, Norine and Ruth. He worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad for many years but was a saloon keeper in 1910. He lived in Helena and Butte, Montana, where by 1930 he owned significant real estate.


A lengthy news article in The Helena Independent, December 23, 1932, tells of Jerry’s adventures as a railroad conductor, when his train was robbed in 1904. The robber shot at him, but luckily the bullet missed and passed through his coat. The article, titled "Former Helena Trainman Gives a Correct Version of that Bearmouth Story," reveals much about Jerry’s life. He was often the conductor on trains where his brother John was the engineer. He was in Fargo, June 15, 1881, "when they brought Sitting Bull in." And in 1932, he was an Idaho rancher, living west of Sand Point and near Sagle. He died in Sandpoint, Bonner, Idaho.


viii. John B. Sires (1862-11 Oct 1943) John married Emma Mae Shaw about 1889, and had two daughters, Vivian, and Bonita or Nina. He was a locomotive engineer throughout his career. Although he was located in Altoona, Wisconsin in 1900; Helena, Montana, where he was during the 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses, must have been his home base for most of his career. He also lived in Spokane, Washington in 1919, and in Livingston, Montana in 1932. Widowed in 1928, John died 11 Oct 1943 in Billings, Montana, and is buried in the Mountview Cemetery in Yellowstone County.


ix. Alexander "Edward" "Ed" Sires (About Aug 1864-After 1910) Alex (listed Elix) m.1 Matilda Cook on 5 Nov 1883; Alex m.2 Anna Crobar on 26 Aug 1886, children: Frank, Lila. He lived in Fairchild and in Humbird during those years.

He married third Elizabeth "Mae" Wabben 13 Nov 1892 and had six children: Eland "Charley," Ruth "Jewel," Pearl, Verna, Lee, and Lucille. They lived in Antigo, Wisconsin from 1900 to 1910 and were shown in 3 censuses, including the 1905 State Census, and three city directories during that time.


x. Orlando "Orley" "O.D." Sires (May 1867-After 1936) Orley married Allida Alderman 19 May 1888. Their four daughters, Morine, Vera, Musa, and Eunice, are shown with them in the 1900 census of Humbird, Mentor, Clark, WI.

By 1910, they had a son, Homer, and moved to St. Croix County. Orley worked for the railroads, mainly as a station agent. Before 1920, they had migrated again, this time to Dighton, Bristol, Massachusetts.

Some time before 1930, he married Caroline, who was born in Denmark. As of 1936, he was still listed as a railroad station agent, in the Tauton, Massachusetts directory.


xi. Nora D Sires (1873-Bef 1900)


xii Eliza stated she had 12 children. The unknown child must not have lived to any census date.


Census records for William and Eliza:

1850 Washington Twp, Green County, WI p 293

1860 Henrietta Twp, Richland County, WI, p 204

1870 Town of Garden Valley, Jackson, WI, p 360 (13)

1880 Census Hewett, Clark, WI, p 4

Additional census records for Eliza:

1895 Wisconsin State Census Mentor Township, Clark, p. 7 text: Mrs. Wm Sires

1900 Elizah Sires, Mentor, Clark, WI, sheet 6, Head of household

1910 Eliza Sino, Humbird Village, Mentor, Clark, WI, sheet 2, Head of household

note: In 1900, 8 of Eliza’s 12 children were living; In 1910, 7 were living.


  • Bio: Sires, Alexander and Mary Ann (Spencer) Children

  • Bio: Sires, Asa Lester

  • Bio: Sires, Dave (21-Mar-1900)

  • Obit: Sires, Eliza Ann Ryan

  • Obit: Sires, Emma Jane (1856 - 1932)

  • Obit: Sires, Emma Jane (1856 - 1932)

  • Obit: Sires, I.A. (1858? - 1929)



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