Biography of Bryant Family of Bureau County, Illinois

The progenitor of the Bryant family was Stephen Bryant, who immigrated from the west of England to America in 1643. He settled in Plymouth County, Mass., where his son, Stephen Bryant, Jr. was born February 2, 1657. The latter’s son, Ichabod Bryant, was born July 5, 1699, in Plymouth. He was a farmer by occupation, and a man of great physical powers. He died of apoplexy, away from home, aged sixty years. His son, Philip Bryant, was born December, 1732, in Plymouth County, Mass. He was a physician, and died February 7, 1817, in North Bridgewater, Mass. He was married to Silence Howard, born 1738; she died June 1777. She was the mother of eight children, viz.: Oliver, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary war; Ruth, Daniel, Bazaliel, Peter, Cyrus, Mrs. Anna Kingman, and Mrs. Silence Bryant and Charity Bryant. Her grandfather, Ephraim Howard, was born in 1666. He died August 11, 1750, in Bridgewater, Mass. Her father, Abiel Howard, M. D., died January 10, 1777, in Massachusetts, aged seventy-three years. Her mother, Silence (Washburn) Howard, was born 1713; she died August 17, 1775. Peter Bryant, son of Philip and Silence (Howard) Bryant, was born August 12, 1767, in North Bridgewater, now called Brockton, Mass. Early in life he became imbued with a desire to fit himself for the medical profession. He read medicine with his father, and also had a French surgeon named La Preliet as his preceptor for two years. For one year he was on board on one of Uncle Sam’s me-of-war. After that he followed his profession in Cummingham, Mass., to which place he came in 1792, and where he died in 1820 of consumption. His professional career was one of activity and usefulness. He was the preceptor of forty pupils, and the author of many articles to medical journals. He was married to Sarah Snell, who was born December 4, 1768, at North Bridgewater, Mass. She died in Princeton, May 6, 1847. Her parents, Ebenezer and South (Packard) Snell, were also natives of North Bridgewater. The former was born October 1, 1738. He was a farmer by occupation, and removed to Cummington in 1774, where he died August 2, 1813. The latter was born September 30, 1737; she died March 8, 1813. She was the mother of five children, viz.: Abigail, Samuel, Sarah, Ebanezer, and Thomas, who was a doctor of divinity, and was a minister in North Brookfield, Mass., for nearly sixty years. Mrs. Sarah Bryant was the mother of seven children, viz.: Austin, William Cullen, Cyrus, Mrs. Sarah S. Shaw, Arthur, Mrs. Louisa C. Olds and John Howard Bryant. The boys were all farmers, except William Cullen. Of the above, John H. was married near Jacksonville, Ill., June 7, 1833, to Miss Harriet E. Wiswall, born September 14, 1808, in Norton, Bristol Co., Mass. She came to Illinois in the summer of 1820, accompanied by her parents, Elijah and Elizabeth (Verry) Wiswall, who were large farmers. Mrs. Harriet E. Bryant is yet living, and is the mother of two children, viz.: Henry W., born April 17, 1835, he died April 26, 1854, of typhoid fever; and Elijah W., born December 2, 1836. He is working the old homestead, and was married here June 6, 1865, to Laura Smith, born March 27, 1846, daughter of Sidney and Laura (Doolittle) Smith, the former a native of Massachusetts, and the latter of Oneida County, N. Y. Mrs. Laura Bryant is the mother of the following children: Frances E., born May 17, 1866; Kate, born March 12,1869; John H., born November 19, 1870, he died March 1, 1872; William C., born November 8, 1871; Laura S., born March 18, 1875, and John Howard, Jr. born May 27, 1876.

Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885

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