James Bryan (mining executive)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

James Bryan (1789–1822) was a mining entrepreneur whose efforts in concert with others brought economic development to Missouri.[1] Bryan was a mining executive of his time. Bryan operated "Bryan's Mines" on Hazel Run, north of Big River, in SW 1/4 of Sec. 33, T. 37N. 5E. in 1806; this location is also known as "Hazel Run Lead Digging."[2]

Bryan also attained significance when the United States Supreme Court recognized details of a land transfer from Moses Austin to Bryan in Bryan v. Kennett, the Court's ratification of the Louisiana Purchase. Bryan also donated land to the public so public buildings could then be constructed in Missouri.[3] Bryan was also a significant land owner in Arkansas too and was recognized in a book published by the Arkansas History Commission.[4] James also owned a plantation in Missouri.[5]

The city of Bryan, Texas is named for him.

Family and Legacy Impact on Development of Texas[edit]

Paternally, James Bryan began a family which had a unique and dramatic impact on the early Anglo development of Texas. James was the first husband of Emily Margaret Brown Austin, brother-in-law of Stephen F. Austin, son-in-law of Moses Austin, and father to several early Anglo settlers of Texas including William Joel Bryan, Moses Austin Bryan. and Guy Morrison Bryan. The Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas deems James Bryan historically significant in that they maintain writings as well as communications that pertain to him under the heading "Bryan, James"[6] such as: "Austin Papers, 1676, 1765-1889" and *Bryan (James) Papers, 1799-1822. Moses Austin send Bryan a memorandum at or about 1819 and this is found in the collection at the University of Texas.[7]

Family and Life Cycle[edit]

James was born October 18 in Haycock Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.[8] He died on July 16, in Hazel Run, Missouri.[9] Emily and James married on August 31, 1813, at Durham Hall, in Mine au Breton,[10] Washington County, Missouri. The two lived with Emily’s parents at their home called Durham Hall, in Missouri, from 1813 to 1814. In 1815, they moved to Hazel Run, Missouri, and also later to Herculaneum, Missouri. Emily and James Bryan had five children:[11]

  • Stephen Austin Bryan was born on July 17, 1814 in Durham Hall, Missouri. He died on August 12, 1814 in Durham Hall, Missouri.
  • William Joel Bryan was born on December 14, 1815 in Hazel Run, Saint Genevieve, Missouri. He died on March 13, 1903.
  • Moses Austin Bryan was born on September 25, 1817 in Herculaneum, Jefferson County, Missouri. He died on March 16, 1895 in Brenham, Texas.
  • Guy Morrison Bryan was born on January 12, 1821 in Herculaneum, Jefferson County, Missouri. He died on June 4, 1901 in Austin, Travis County, Texas.
  • Mary Elizabeth Bryan was born on July 5, 1822 in Herculaneum, Jefferson County, Missouri. She died on August 4, 1833.

Moses Austin died at Bryan's home in 1821. James Bryan is buried in Hazel Run, Missouri.

Descendants of James Bryan meet each year in Jones Creek, Texas at the Austin-Bryan-Perry reunion in recognition of the achievement of these three families.[12]

There are some historical unknowns about James Bryan including whether he had a middle name, and the names of his parents and where their parents were from. Accordingly the Bryan name association with Texas begins with James Bryan.


  1. ^ Schroeder, Walter A., Opening the Ozarks: A Historical Geography of Missouri’s Ste. Genevieve District, 1760–1830, Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2002. p. 284. ISBN 0-8262-1398-7
  2. ^ Zimmer, Gertrude M. "Place Names Of Five Southeast Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1944
  3. ^ http://www.communityalmanac.org/Herculaneum-MO/Timeline
  4. ^ "The highlights of Arkansas history By Dallas Tabor Herndon, Arkansas History Commission", p. 32, ISBN 0-548-31290-7
  5. ^ http://www.carrollscorner.net/HendersonHistoryOfSoutheastMissouri.htm
  6. ^ http://www.cah.utexas.edu/services/finding_items/archives_index.php?manuindex=b
  7. ^ http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/00359.xml
  8. ^ http://www.bchm.org/gene/d0000/g0001736.html
  9. ^ http://www.bchm.org/gene/d0000/g0001736.html
  10. ^ http://www.mogenweb.org/washington/mabhs.html
  11. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~challis/index/pafg96.htm#1719. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  12. ^ http://www.texasheroes.net/THEHISTORYOFTEXASHEROES.htm