Monday, December 13, 2010

Judge Joseph Francis Bryant

History of Northwest Missouri pages 973-5

One of the veteran members of the Northwest Missouri bar is Judge Joseph Francis Bryant of Bethany, who has lived in Harrison County more than sixty years, was admitted to the bar soon after the beginning of the Civil War, and in connection with private practice and varied business affairs has given service in judicial offices. Judge Bryant during his long career in Bethany has been identified with many phases of the community's growth. Many houses and business buildings have been erected through his instrumentality, and at the same time he has practiced law, has been a merchant, and always more or less identified with farming. He has also been an aid to the promotion of banks, both in his home town and elsewhere, and his dealings in real estate have been a large source of his material prosperity.
Joseph Francis Bryant was born January 21 1841 in Bartholomew County, Indiana. He comes of old American stock and his family was distinguished both in Virginia and Kentucky. Tracing the ancestry back as far as possible, we come to John Bryant, great-grandfather of Judge Bryant. John Bryant was a Virginian who was born in Cumberland County, January 1 1760 and died in Garrard County, Kentucky, in 1833. He first enlisted for service in May 1780, being at that time a resident of Powhatan County, and gave fifteen months of service as private and sergeant under Captains Hughes and Porter and Colonels Nelson Randolph and Good. The principal battle in which he was engaged was the battle of Guilford Courthouse. In that same engagement were his father, James Bryant, Jr., his brother William G. Bryant, and his uncle Thomas Bryant, who was a lieutenant and was killed, while another uncle, Isaac Bryant, was wounded in the head. John Bryant recieved a pension from the United States Government for his Revolutionary services in August 1833. He married Mary Ousley, an aunt of Governor Ousley of Kentucky. In 1783 John Bryant came out to Kentucky and was a civil engineer with an appointment signed by Patrick Henry, secretary of state for Virginia. He was commisioned by General Washington to survey Kentucky, and was an associate of Daniel Boone, the first white man to set foor on Kentucky soil.
James Bryant, grandfather of Judge Bryant, was born in Garrard County, Kentucky and died in that county. His children were John, James G., William, Moses, George, Simeon, Benjamin, Archibald, Isaac, Joseph, and Louise, who married Allen Matthews.
Judge Bryant's father was Stephen Bryant, who was born in Garrard County, Kentucky October 1 1811 and married Elizabeth Hancock, who was born in Mercer county, Kentucky about 1820. Their children were Judge Joseph F.; Jane, who married John Endlsey of Harrison County; Mary, who married Columbus Thomas F. Walton of Harrison County; William Scott, who died in Oklahoma; and Martin L., who died in Harrison County, leaving two children.
Joseph Francis Bryant was about ten years of age when his parents came to Missouri and located four miles east of Bethany in Harrison County. He had been educated back in Indiana in private schools, and after coming to Missouri attended the college at Trenton for a short time. Reared on a farm, he taught school the winter he was seventeen, and after teaching began work at Bethany as deputy in the county circuit clerk's office, and in the meantime studied law privately. Judge Bryant was admitted to the bar in 1862. During the war between the states, he joined the State Militia, but poor health caused his discharge. Politically he has always been a republican, adn was a delegate to the state convention which nominated Fletcher for governor in 1864. His county claimed his services for a number of years, and in 1862 he was appointed school commissioner, and in 1864 elected county attorney, an office to which he gave four years. In 1870 came his election to the office of presiding judge of the county court, where he served five years, and in 1878 he was elected probate judge of the county. Judge Bryant has been a member of the Christian Church since 1868, and has been affliated with the Masonic Order for more than half a century.
Judge Bryant's first wife was Miss Rhoda Manus. She died in 1877, leaving the following children: John and Ora, both of Bethany; Cora, wife of T.D. Neal of same city. On August 7 1879 Judge Bryant married Annie Robinson, a daughter of Colonel W.P. and Rachel (Sims) Robinson. Colonel Robinson, who died in Bethany, came from Kentucky. Besides Mrs Bryant the other children in the Robinson family were Mrs Fannie Grenawlat, who spent her life in Harrison county; Mary, wife of Charles Barber of Manhattan, Kansas; Lute, wife of Frank Simmons, of Springfield, Illinois; George Robinson, of Stocks, Canada; Lizzie, wife of George Williams of McPhearson, Kansas; and William, of Kingman, Kansas.
Judge and Mrs Bryant have the following children: Pauline, of Alton, Kansas, wife of T.N. Martin; Elizabeth, wife of George Reid, of Globe, Arizona; Joseph F. , Jr. of Bethany; William, who lives in Bethany and married May Linville; Elsie Louise, at home; George W.; Bertram; and Howell, who are still in school.

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