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John Ronen
Born August 24, 1846


John Ronen, proprietor of stone quarries at Stone City, Iowa, is numbered among the men of foreign birth, to whom the opportunities of the new world have opened avenues of success. He was born in Ireland, August 24, 1846, his parents being Moses and Catherine (Cloak) Ronen, the former a native of County Wexford, and the latter of the city of Wexford, Ireland. In the year 1852, the father came with his family to America, settling in Buffalo, New York, where he arrived on the 24th of May. A removal was made to Kankakee, Illinois, and in 1857, the family became residents of Waterloo, Iowa. There they remained until 1880, when they went to Viola, Iowa. The father died February 20, 1898, at the age of eighty-six years, while the mother passed away in 1868 at the age of forty-eight years. By occupation the father was a stone cutter, giving his entire life to that work.
John Ronen whose name introduces this review, was a lad of six summers when the family left the Emerald isle and came to the United States. He accompanied his parents on their various removals, attending school in the different towns in which they lived, and at the age of nineteen years he engaged in the stone construction business at Waterloo, Iowa, where he remained for four years. In 1875 he removed to Stone City, where he leased a quarry from Dr. Natson and engaged in cutting out stone in this way for ten years. During that time he prospered and from his earnings saved sufficient capital to enable him to purchase the quarry which he now operates. It was formerly the property of Martin Heisev and since it has come into Mr. Ronen's possession he has continuously and successfully conducted the business, being now one of the leading dealers in stone in this part of the state. His quarry produces an excellent quality of stone for which he finds a ready sale on the market.
Mr. Ronen is entitled to wear the grand army button from the fact that on the 1st of September, 1864, when but eighteen years of age he responded to his country's call for troops, enlisting in Company F, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Sommer and General O'Conner. He saw service on the western frontier, fighting the Indians through the Yellowstone and the Wyoming. He fought the Sioux on the same ground afterward made famous by the Custer massacre. He also participated in other engagements along the little Big Horn, including one battle which took place on August 24, the anniversary of his birth. He continued in active duty until the regiment was mustered out and he was sent home. It was an arduous warfare for the tactics and military maneuvres of the Indians were unlike those practiced by civilized men, and the soldiers were, therefore, constantly on the alert.
On the 11th of September, 1869, Mr. Ronen was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Gleason, a daughter of Michael and Mary (O'Brien) Gleason. Seven children have graced this marriage: William, who wedded Prudence Hodgin and resides at Stone City; Carrie, at home; Mary, the wife of J. J. Green, a railroad conductor who was killed in an accident; John Moses, postmaster at Stone City; Charles, Anna and Walter, all at home. The family are well known in this part of the state, and the members of the household occupy an enviable position in the social circles in which they move.
Mr. Ronen is a member of Fred Steele Post, No. 4, G.A.R., at Anamosa, and thus maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party, which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war, and has always been the party of reform and progress. His religious faith is that of the Catholic church. He is known as a successful, enterprising business man, who owes his advancement in commercial lines to his own efforts. He has worked earnestly and persistently to achieve the prosperity which he now enjoys, and his labor and reliability have brought to him gratifying success.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910.

John Ronen Jr.
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