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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday’s Obituary: Reddick Bryan

My father, Whit C. Bryan, next to Reddick Bryan's grave at the
Bryan Cemetery in Bienville Parish, Louisiana - 1981

Reddick Bryan, my great-great-grandfather, must have liked adventure and the unknown. He left his home in North Carolina to settle in the frontier in Georgia and later to settle in newly owned federal lands in Louisiana. Both times, he gave up his home where he had family and established churches, schools and community. In Louisiana, Reddick was a slave owner and had a plantation where he grew cotton and lived in a two room dogtrot log cabin.  When Reddick died, at age 71 on January 12, 1864, two of his sons were away, fighting for the Confederate Army. His estate, valued at $27,500, included Confederate money and numerous slaves. 

According to the obituary, Reddick was a member of the Methodist Church for more than 40 years. This leads me to believe that he became affiliated with the Methodist Church about the time that he married Elizabeth Regan in 1821. Information about Reddick’s family and other genealogical or historical information is not found in this obituary. The newspaper and author are unknown.

Reddick Bryan, along with other family members, is buried in the Bryan Cemetery which is south of Ringgold on Highway 7 in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.


Died at his residence, on the 12th ult, near Ringgold, Bienville Parish, La., Mr. Reddick Bryan age seventy {paper torn and not ledgible}. It is painful indeed to record the death on one whom we have known so long and who was bound to us by the strongest ties of friendship’s affection- painful to know that one has gone who has been with us so long. By this community, he will be sadly missed and the announcement of his death will send an anguish to the hearts of all who knew him.  To his Christian Friends and Brethren, a light has gone out that will never on earth glow again, a pillar is broken and crushed that will never be replaced.  But we should be resigned to know and consider that Death is an instructive mentor as well as a mournful messenger; that the grave is the common lot of all, the great leveler of all distinctions.  But at the same time we are taught, in one sense the good and great can never die for the memory of their virtues and bright example will live through all coming time into an immortality that blooms beyond the grave.  The consolation of this thought should calm our sorrows and cause us to exclaim, in the language of a poet,

“Why weep ye, then, for him who having run
The bounds of man’s appointed years at last,
Life’s blessing all enjoyed, life’s labors done,
Serenely to his final rest has passed?”

The subject of this notice has long enjoyed the blessings of religion.  For more than forty years he has been a strict and useful member of the Methodist church.  Possessing all the attributes of a Christian Man, he was a kind and affectionate husband, an indulgent parent; as {illedgible} his servants displayed their attachment to him in tears of anguish over his grave.  For several months his health was bad, and he often spoke of death, but calmly, as if he would be ready to obey the summons when it pleased God to call him.  Let this thought comfort her, the partner of his bosom, whose heart is now crushed and bleeding.  Let her feel that it is good in the sight of God for this affliction to come on her, for by the power of Christ’s resurrection we joyfully anticipate the prospect of seeing that broken staff erect and that beautiful rod clothed with celestial grace and blossoming in undying life in the paradise of God.
Ringgold, La.
A. P. J.

Copies of this obituary and transcriptions were sent to me by two Bryan/Regan descendants. Another transcription was found in The Wimberly Family History compiled by Vera Meek Wimberly in 1979. Mrs. Wimberly wrote that she found the original obituary in the scrapbook of Josie Bryan Cook, a granddaughter of Reddick Bryan. All three transcriptions differed. This is my transcription of the copy of the clipping sent to me by E. Regan Pruitt.  


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

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