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Bryan, John Neely

Born: 1810 AD
Died: 1877 AD

1810 – Born on December 24th in Fayetteville, Tennessee. Indian trader, farmer, lawyer, and founder of Dallas.

1833 – He moved to Arkansas, where he became an Indian trader.

1839 – Bryan made his first trip to the future site of Dallas, Texas.

1842 – He persuaded several families who had settled at Bird’s Fort to join him.

1843 – Bryan married Margaret Beeman, a daughter of one of these families, on February 26th. The couple had five children.

1844 – He persuaded J. P. Dumas to survey and plat the site of Dallas and possibly helped him with the work.

1846-1850 – Bryan was instrumental in the organizing of Dallas County and in the choosing of Dallas as its county seat in August.

         – He joined the California gold rush but returned to Dallas within a year.

1853 – He was a delegate to the state Democratic convention.

1855 – After shooting a man who had insulted his wife, Bryan fled to the Creek Nation. The man recovered, but although Bryan was surely informed of that fact within months of his flight, he did not return to his family in Dallas for about six years.

1860 – He traveled to Colorado and California, apparently looking for gold, and returned to Dallas.

1861-1862 – He joined Colonel Nicholas H. Darnell’s Eighteenth Texas Cavalry regiment and served with that unit until he was discharged because of his age and poor health.

1863 – He was a trustee for Dallas Male and Female Academy.

1866 – He was prominent in efforts to aid victims of the flood that occurred that year.

1871-1872 – He was one of the directors of the Dallas Bridge Company, the company that built the first iron bridge across the Trinity.

1874 – Bryan’s mind was clearly impaired.

1877 – He was admitted to the State Lunatic Asylum (later the Austin State Hospital) on February and died on September 8th in the Texas State Lunatic Asylum.