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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



ALEXANDER BRYANT, a prosperous farmer and stockholder in the coal mines of Bloomington Township, is pleasantly located on section 6, where he owns 170 acres of valuable land, mostly under a good state of cultivation. Mr. Bryant has been a resident of the above-named township since 1865. He formerly lived in the city of Bloomington, where he was connected with the C. & A. R. R. for fourteen years as conductor.

The subject of this history was born in Lenawee County, Mich., Sept. 6, 1842. His father, John Bryant, was a native of England, and died in Lenawee County in 1854, when our subject was a lad of twelve years. The mother, Margaret (Watson) Bryant, is still living on the old homestead in the above-named county. This is comprised of 180 acres, which her husband entered from the Government more than fifty years ago. She is now well advanced in life, being in the eighty-second year of her age. The parents were married in Genesee County, N. Y., and their family included nine children, eight sons and one daughter, all living and married, with families of their own. Alexander was the fifth son and sixth child, and remained at home after the death of his father until he was twenty-one years old. Later he began work as a farm laborer, and in August, 1865, started west and landed in the Prairie State. He soon afterward engaged as a brakeman for the C. & A. R. R. and was thus employed just two years to a day. He was then promoted to conductor, which position he occupied, as before stated, for fourteen years. He took possession of his present homestead soon afterward, and five years later erected one of the best farm residences in the township. He has a fine barn and all necessary out-buildings and appliances required by a first-class agriculturist. Everything about the premises denotes the exercise of cultivated tastes and ample means.

Mr. Bryant was married in Bloomington, April 27, 1868, to Miss Bessie Holmes, who was born in the Province of Ontario on the Island of Knox, Feb. 21, 1844. She was the daughter of John and Susan (Dunn) Holmes, both natives of Cork, Ireland, where they were reared and married, and soon afterward emigrated to Canada. The father was a private in the British army, and they became the parents of seven sons and seven daughters. They afterward removed to Macon County, Ill., where the mother died in November, 1861, in her fiftieth year. The father is now living in Dale Township, this county, aged eighty. Mrs. Bryant was educated in Canada, and came with her parents to Illinois in 1861. After the death of the mother, the family removed to the city of Bloomington, in 1866.

Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have become the parents of nine children, all living except one, Howard C., who died Feb. 15, 1887; the others are Warren S., Mary Helen, Harry L., William A., Joseph B., Ralph E., Charles and Bessie L. Mrs. B. and all her children are members of the Episcopal Church. Mr. B. is Assistant Supervisor of Bloomington Township; he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and in politics is a solid Republican. A view of the beautiful residence and surroundings of Mr. Bryant is presented on another page of this work.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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