Charles Bryant, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles Bryant

CHARLES BRYANT. He whose name initiates this review is one of the native sons of Porter county who has here found abundant opportunity for successful endeavor in connection with the line of industry under whose benignant influences he was reared, and he stands as one of therepresentative farmers and stock-growers of the county, with a finely improved homestead of 107 acres, most eligibly located one and one-half miles south of the village of Hebron, in Pleasant township. Mr. Bryant is known as a man of distinctive thrift and enterprise and as a loyal and progressive citizen, the while he has so ordered his course as to retain the inviolable esteem of the people among whom he has lived from the time of his nativity. He is a scion of one of the honored pioneer families of this section of the state, and thus there are many considerations which make consistent his representation in this history of a county with the development and upbuilding of which the family name has been long and worthily associated.

Charles Bryant was born on the old homestead farm of his father in Boone township, Porter county, Indiana, on the 22nd of .March, 1856, and is the younger of the two children of Robert and Mary J. (Merris) Bryant, the elder son, Daniel, being now a resident of Oswego, Kansas, where he is engaged in agricultural pursuits. Both Robert Bryant and his wife were born and reared in Ohio, where the respective families were founded in the pioneer epoch of the history of that commonwealth. Robert Bryant came to Indiana in an early day and numbered himself among the pioneer settlers of Porter county, where he purchased three hundred and ten acres of land in Boone township, and set himself to the herculean task of reclaiming a farm from the wilderness. The Indians were still much in evidence in this section at that time, and a number of their tepees were to be found on the land which he acquired. They were in the main peaceable, but when they were supplied with liquor they became somewhat unruly and quarrelsome, with the result that on such occasions Mr. Bryant was compelled to abate the kindly treatment, which he customarily accorded to them. When under the influence of liquor the Indians would at times make their way to the Bryant home and peremptorily order its mistress to provide them with biscuits and honey, and on one occasion a turbulent chief visited the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Bryant, an aunt of the subject of this review, and threatened to kill her. In great alarm she called upon her shepherd dogs for aid and they came nobly to the rescue by attacking the Indian and driving him away, with the result that the life of Mrs. Bryant, who was alone at the time, was spared. Robert Bryant and his family lived up to the full tension of the hardships, privations and vicissitudes of pioneer life, and they well played their part in laying the foundations for the substantial civic and material prosperity of the present day. Robert Bryant was a man of sterling character, indefatigable industry and progressive ideas, and he ever did his part in the furtherance of those objects which conserved the advancement and general welfare of the community. With the passing of years prosperity attended his well directed efforts in connection with the great basic industry of agriculture, and he and his wife passed the gracious evening of their lives under conditions of grateful order -- with "smiling plenty and fair, prosperous environment," besides which they so lived as to merit and receive the unqualified confidence and esteem of the community in which they so long maintained their home. Robert Bryant continued to reside on his old homestead until his death, in the year 1906, at the age of seventy-nine years, and his cherished and devoted wife was summoned to the life eternal at the age of twenty-nine years, the names of both meriting a place of honor on the roster of the sterling pioneers of Porter county. Both were adherents of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Bryant was first a Whig and later a Republican in his political allegiance.

Charles Bryant was reared to the wholesome discipline of the home farm and has never wavered in his loyalty to the fundamental industries of agriculture and stock-growing, through the medium of which, by the application of energy and good judgment, he has gained substantial and well merited success. He was afforded the advantages of the public schools of his native county. Mr. Bryant continued to be identified with the work and management of the home farm until his marriage, in 1878, and thereafter he remained on the large family estate and continued to be associated with his father in its various operations. When his parents had attained to advanced age and were in failing health he and his wife removed to the old home and thereafter cared for the parents with all of filial solicitude until those honored pioneers were called from the scene of life's mortal endeavors. Mr. Bryant has resided in his present attractive home, one and one-half miles south of Hebron, on the old Wilson farm, and here a gracious and cordial hospitality is ever in evidence, the while the home is a favored resort of the wide circle of friends whom Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have gathered about them. The landed estate of Mr. Bryant comprises 107 acres, and in the supervision of its various affairs he finds ample demand upon his time and attention. He and his wife are zealous members of the United Brethren church at Hebron and are liberal in the support of the various departments of its work. In politics he is a staunch advocate of the principles and policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor, though he has had no desire for the honors or emoluments of public office.

On the 15th of October, 1878, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bryant to Miss Eudora Dilley, who was born and reared in Lake county, Indiana, and who is a daughter of David and Adaline Thankful (Ellithorpe) Dilley, the former of whom was born near Buffalo, New York, and the latter in Trumbull county, Ohio. David Dilley was a child at the time of the family removal to Ohio and when he was eleven years of age he came with his widowed mother to Indiana. The devoted mother, a woman of great courage and strength of character, faced imperturbably the problems and hardships of pioneer life, and she settled in Lake county at a time when that section was little more than a frontier wilderness. She secured a tract of government land and instituted its reclamation. By energy, careful methods and good business judgment she so managed her affairs as to develop her farm to cultivation and to provide well for her children. She was one of the noble pioneer women of northern Indiana and her name and achievement should not lack record in the history of this now favored section of the Hoosier state. David Dilley was reared under the conditions and influences of the pioneer days in Indiana and after attaining to years of maturity he removed to La Porte county, where he improved a tract of land which had been secured by his mother. Mrs. Bryant's grandmother, "Aunt Polly" Dilley (as she was familiarly known), was one of the typical pioneer women who loved to record the scenes and incidents of the pioneer epoch. She related graphically the following adventure. A Mr. Holmes was the husband of "Aunt Polly's" niece. It seemed that the family was adverse to the marriage. The Dilleys and their families were churchgoing people and the niece was anxious to attend worship, but the husband, Mr. Holmes, did not approve, so he hid his wife's clothing to prevent her from attending, consequently she was forced to remain at home, as the ladies in those days did not have the changes of raiment their descendants have today. One day "Aunt Polly" heard a voice for help, from the edge of the forest and she, with her big dog and another large dog belonging to a neighbor by the name of McCord, who was with her, wended her way to where the alarm had been given and behold she saw Mr. Holmes treed on a fence by a catamount and was in great danger of his life from the wild beast. She saw the predicament he was in and at once exclaimed -- "Holmes, if you will promise that you will never secrete or hide your wife's clothes again to keep her from attending church, I will rescue you." He at once agreed, and the two large dogs soon disposed of the catamount, thereby saving his life. "Aunt Polly" Dilley was one of the pioneer teachers in the log cabin school houses, in Lake county, Indiana, and with a pen-knife she made the pens from the goose quill, for the children to write with. She was renumerated for her services by subscriptions. David and Adaline T. (Ellithorpe) Dilley became the parents of the following named children: William, Samuel E., James, Eudora, John, Susan, Mary, David, Thomas, Jennie, George, Adaline and Emma. Of the number six sons and three daughters are now living. Samuel E. Dilley was for a long time one of the successful and popular teachers in the public schools of Lake county, and in one of the schools over which he presided he had as pupils eight of his own brothers and sisters.

In conclusion is given brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant: Robert Floyd and David Ray are engaged in the dredging business upon an extensive scale, their operations having been principally in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska; Charles Roy died in infancy; Earl Winfred is associated in the work and management of the home farm; William Sterling died in early childhood; and Mary Adaline, the only daughter, is now a member of the class of 1914 in the high school at Hebron, all of the children having accorded good educational advantages.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 391-394

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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