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Sunday, February 9, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #6 Hairston Albritton Bryan

I have taken Amy Crow's challenge to write about  52 ancestors in 52 weeks. Each of these posts will be about my father's Hairston family. This is week #6 and I have learned new facts about each person while putting together these posts. I love this challenge as not only does this give me an outlet for my research, but helps it me organize as well. 

For those of you who saw my earlier post today (I mistakenly clicked on "Publish" when this was far from ready to be posted.), I hope that you find this a big improvement. And if anyone using Blogger knows how to repair that situation, I would be happy to have some instructions. 

Hairston Albritton "Buster" Bryan was my father's older brother. Hairston was his mother's maiden name and Albritton was the maiden name of his father's mother. This is Buster's story.

Hairston Albritton "Buster" Bryan was born to Redic and Myrtie Hairston Bryan on January 24, 1906 in Baylor County, Texas.  He was probably born in the Levelview community as both his parents and mother's parents lived in that community. Buster was the third child and the first son born to Redic and Myrtie. 

Buster is the child on the bike, between his grandfather, Phillip Hairston and sister, DeRay Bryan. This is a copy of a photo shared with me by a Thompson/Hairston cousin. I have the identical picture but it is torn on the right and Buster is not visible. Floyd Thompson, nephew of Phillip Hairston, is behind the plowing team. 

Buster lived in Baylor County for almost all of his childhood. In June of 1907, the Bryan family moved to Big Spring in Howard County, Texas. Redic sold a farm of 140 acres in the Levelview community, known as the Cap Carter Place, to J. C. Arden for $33.00 an acre. Before he left, he also sold farm tools, four mules, two milch cows, hogs, chickens, turkeys, and guineas. It can be assumed that he did not purchase a farm in Big Spring. 

By November of 1909, the Bryan family returned to Baylor County and it was reported in the Baylor County Banner that they were looking for a home in Levelview near Buster's grandparents, Phillip and Lodema Criswell Hairston. The home pictured above is the Hairston home in the Levelview community. 

By the time that Buster entered high school, the family lived in Seymour, Baylor County, Texas. These are Buster's school pictures. The first was taken in 1919 and the second in 1920. 

The following was written under this picture of Buster in the 1923 Jackrabbit, his school yearbook:  If someone quietly slips up behind you and pinches you with the expression as innocent as a babe's - that's Buster. Doesn't study enough to mar what is called a "joy forever," but manages to get by with margin. Has a monthly attack of good intentions wherein he seeks to be worthy of our "glorious" nation. We don't know how he got by the Math. Prof., but we're glad that he did.

Buster sang in the glee club and played football at Seymour High. The 1923 Jackrabbit Class Poem states this about Buster - There are many things about Buster that one might say. One is that he is growing taller every day; On different tasks he never gives in, For he has the determination to win. 

Buster's graduation announcement - Seymour High School. Thank you to Carla's family for keeping this for so many years!

In 1924 and 1925, Buster was attending Simmons College where he belonged to the Philosophy Club and the Seymour Club. 

Juanita still had my
oak side-by-side when
I visited her in 2001.
Buster's mother passed away in 1927 and his father in 1929. Buster was the administrator of his father's estate. At that time of his father's death, he was living in Wichita Falls, Texas, working at  Kemp-Kort Drug Company. My 2nd cousin once removed, Juanita Thompson Gleghorn, wrote the following about Buster.

In 1929 our youngest sister was burned, and died in three weeks. It was a very sad time for us, so we were renting the farm at that time. Our landlord built a new house on the south side of her place and let us move there, the first new house we ever lived in. Buster would drive out once in a while to get some lye soap to wash his beautiful, black curly hair in. He said it kept the dandruff down.  He was a handsome young man . . . . .   As well as I remember, your grandmother and Redic had passed on. So Buster knew we were in a new house and he and Dad made some kind of trade I guess for Buster brought out some furniture to us, for we didn’t have anything pretty for our new house. 

Yesterday, I found Buster and Wanda's marriage record at
H. Buster Bryan and Wanda Land were married January 1, 1935 in Ector County, Texas.  Sometime that year, they moved to Lea, New Mexico along with Wanda's son Randall Dorman

In 1940, Buster was living with Wanda, his wife, and her 19 year old son, Randall Dorman in Seminole, Gaines County, Texas.  Buster had been working as a driller's helper in the oil fields in Seminole for two years, Wanda did not work, and Randall worked as an attendant at the "gasoline service station." 

Buster died on September 15, 1940 of Tetanus following multiple penetrating wounds suffered after an oil well blew on August 31, 1940. He was struct by gravel causing the wounds. 

Buster's grave is unmarked. Although both of his parents, grandparents, and baby brothers were said to be buried together, only his mother has a marked grave.  

Buster and his brother, Whit.
Many facts found in the obituary are incorrect. Buster was born on January 24, 1906 not December 21 - that was his brother's birthday.  Buster graduated from Seymour High school in 1923, not 1924. 

Buster did not have a step-daughter, but did have a step-son. His sister, Willie Mae (aka Willa Mae), was married to Jimmy Dudley, not Armstrong. 

As stated in the obituary, my father, Whit, was not told about the death right away. It's unknown as to when he learned of his brother's death. 


© 2014

Sources Texas, Select County Marriage Index, 1837-1977 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. iArchives, Orem, Utah.

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

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

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

Seymour High School.  "1919 Yearbook". The Jackrabbit.

Seymour High School.  "1920 Yearbook". The Jackrabbit. 

Seymour High School.  "1921 Yearbook". The Jackrabbit.

Simmons College. The Bronco, Yearbook of Simmons College, 1924. Abilene, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 9, 2014.

Simmons College. The Bronco, Yearbook of Simmons College, 1925. Abilene, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 9, 2014.

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