History of Northwest Missouri pages 1381-2
One of the younger men of Harrison County who have shown successful ability in business affairs and have also made themselves useful in a public way is John Brown Bryant, a son of Joseph F. Bryant, a prominent Northwest Missourian whose career is sketched at length on other pages of this work.
John Brown Bryant was born in Bethany August 20 1870 and has spent most of his life either in the town or close vicinity. His education came from the city schools, supplemented by attendance at Woodland College in Independence, Missouri and a commercial course in the old Stanberry Normal. His practical business career began at the age of twenty in the Cottonwood Valley National Bank at Marion, Kansas, where he remained two years. He then returned to Harrison County to take up farming, and it was as a substantial farmer that he was known in this community for fifteen years.
While on the farm, in 1904, he was elected a member of the county court from the south district as successor to Judge Taggart, and was re-elected in 1906. Judge Miller was presiding judge and his associates in the administration of county affairs were Judges Alley and Tucker. During those four years the board busied itself besides the routine affairs with repairing bridges of the county destroyed or damaged in the noteable flood of that time. They also improved the county farm, adding more land and constructing a substantial barn. Mr. Bryant's successor on the county board was Olin Kies. Besides his work as a county official Mr. Bryant also was a member of the Bethany school board a number of years.
Having given up farming in the meantime and moved into Bethany, Mr. Bryant became interested in merchandising as a grocer three years, and then became a partner in the firm of Walker, Bryant, & Company until they soldout to Chambers & Davis. Since then his business has been real estate and insurance, and he is also secretary and director of the Bethany Savings Bank. Since leaving the county board he has taken only a nominal interest in politics, but still classifies as a republican, the political faith in which he was reared. His fraternities are the Masonic, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias.
In Harrison County on December 23 1891, Mr Bryant married Miss Carrie E. Howell. Her father was the late Judge John C. Howell, who died while on the circuit bench including Harrison County. Judge Howell was born in Morgan County, Illinois, August 18 1833 and died at Bethany September 29 1882 and had been identified with Northwest Missouri since childhood and for many years was a notable figure in law and politics. His father was a Kentuckian, but settled in Illinois, and on moving to Missouri first lived in Clinton County, but in 1847 went to Gentry County, where Judge Howell grew up. He completed his education at old Bethany College in what is now West Virginia, an institution founded by Alexander Campbell. After entering law, he found himself rapidly promoted in favor and success, and as a democrat was elected to the circuit bench before the formation of the district in which Harrison county is now included. He was a Mason and a member of the Christian Church. Mrs. Bryant is the only child of Judge Howell's marriage to Belle Brown, who was born near Monroe, Wisconsin, and died at Bethany. Mr and Mrs Bryant have two children; Marie, who graduated from Bethany High School in 1913; and Helen, now in one of the grades of the Bethany Public Schools.