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One of the younger men in Harrison County who have shown sucessful ability in business affairs and have also made themselves useful in a public way, 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 MO Aug 20 1870 and has spent most of his life either in the town or the close vicinity. His education came from city schools, supplemented by attendance at Woodland College in Independence MO and a commercial course in the old Stanberry Normal. His business career began at age 20 in the Cottonwood Valley National Bank at Marion, KS where he remained 2 years. He returned to Harrison County to take up farming, and was known as a substantial farmer for 15 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, 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 busied themselves beside 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. Besides his work for the county Mr Bryant was also a member of the Bethany school board for a number of years.
Having given up farming and moving into Bethany, Mr Bryant became interested in merchandising as a grocer for three years, and them became a partner in the company of Walker, Bryant, & Company until they sold out to Chambers & Davis. Since then his business has been real estate and insurance, he is also secretary and a director of 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 the Pythias.
In Harrison County on Dec 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, Aug 13 1833, and died at Bethany, Sept 29 1882, and has been identified with northwest Missouri since childhood and for many years was a notable figure in law and politics. He was one of two children, his sister being Mrs Carrie Carson. 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 located. 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 the Bethany High School in 1913, and Helen, now in one of the grades of the Bethany public schools.