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Friday, June 20, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #24 Redic Eli Bryan, My Grandfather




Undated tintype of Redic found in the Bryan Family Bible


Redic Eli Bryan was born in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on August 2, 1870. He was the son of Terrell and Harriet Albritton Bryan. He left Bienville Parish for Texas in 1878 with his family. 


Undated photo of Redic E. Bryan


Redic earned a first grade teaching certificate and taught school for five years in Erath County. He was teaching at Sims Valley during the 1895-1896 school year and received $50.00 each month. In the 1896-1897 school year, he was found teaching at the school in Center Grove. The Center Grove School is now a part of the Stephenville Historical House Museum. 


Redic, wearing a Woodmen of the World convention ribbon


By 1898, he was working in a bar owned by Lon Latta, his brother-in-law, and by 1899, he appeared to have his own business and was called "the popular caterer of Dublin" in a local newspaper. 






Redic Eli Bryan and Johnie Myrtlene "Myrtie" Hairston were united in marriage on February 7, 1900 at the home of Myrtie’s parents, Phillip and Lodema Criswell Hairston.  Redic was 10 years older than Myrtie and it was said that he first met her when he purchased a horse from Phillip Hairston. 


In 1905, Redic, his wife and daughters, and his in-laws, relocated to Baylor County. Two years later, Redic sold his farm of 140 acres at a profit of $13.00 an acre. He and his family moved to Big Spring in Howard County, Texas. His Hairston in-laws remained in Baylor County. Less than 18 months later, Redic and family returned to Baylor County where they settled in the Levelview area.




In 1910, Redic successfully ran for Tax Assessor of Baylor County with 154 votes over his opponent.  He served for two terms as Tax Assessor from 1911 to 1915.  

My dad said that his father was a truck farmer. Well, Redic didn't appear to grow his own fruits and vegetables. He sold all of his farm implements prior to moving to Big Spring. However, as early as 1912, he was purchasing produce to resell. 




Redic served two terms in the Texas Immigration Information Bureau. During that time, he continued with his produce business. In 1916, he opened a store in Seymour, Texas where he sold ice and eventually some produce.  

I don't know how long Redic kept the store as in April 1919, the following article was found in the Baylor County Banner.  

Mr. R. E. Bryan is down at the oil fields with his teams.   In fact, a number of our people have been there lately.  Messes L. H. and C. M. Casselberry of Plainview have been among the number.  There is good money in the work, but the kind of weather we have been getting lately is not favorable for work.

And, on January 8, 1920

Lost: Somewhere between Porter well and Seymour a 10ft. hose, steel lined, with yellow cloth.  Had been used for loading fuel oil.  Reasonable reward to finder.  R. E. Bryan  14-15pd


In a letter written by his wife, Myrtie, their financial situation was described as good in 1920 - much better than in previous years. Is this because of the work in the oil fields or maybe an inheritance from Myrtie's mother, Lodema Criswell Hairston?



Thought to be Myrtie and Redic sometime after 1920.


Myrtie died in 1927, leaving Redic with three young adults and two young children in his care. 





Redic took his own life, at the age of 60, only three years after his wife's death.  Financial problems and lack of work were thought to be the reason.


Diana

© 2014

Sources

Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.


Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 19 Nov. 1909: Microfilm.

Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 3 Apr. 1919: Microfilm.

"County Election Returns." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 5 Nov. 1912: Microfilm.

"Levelview." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 11 Oct. 1912: Microfilm.

"For Sale." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 13 Apr. 1907: Microfilm.

"Local News." Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 24 Jul. 1896: Microfilm.

"Lost." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 8 Jan. 1920: Microfilm.


Letter from Myrtie Hairston Bryan to Amy Criswell Barton courtesy of Lena Criswell.  

"R. E. Bryan in Business." Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 29 June. 1916: Microfilm.

Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 25 Aug. 1898: Print.

Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 9 Feb. 1899: Print.

Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 11 Nov. 1905: Microfilm. 

The Erath Appeal, Vol. 2, No.29, Stephenville, Texas, Feb. 8, 1900: Print 




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