A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for William Clement BRYANT

From Our County and its people, A descriptive work on Erie County, New York. edited by Truman C. White, The Boston History Company, Published 1898: William Clement Bryant, Buffalo, son of Reuben Bryant, was born in Holley, Orleans County, N. Y., December 21, 1830, and is a lineal descendant of Abraham Bryant, who came from England and was married in Reading, Mass., in 1664, to Mary Kendall. His grandfather, Nathan Bryant, born in Concord, Mass., in 1761, was the first prisoner of the Revolution, being taken by the British at Concord; between his father's house and a neighbor's they threw the cannon, etc., into a well to conceal them from the enemy. Mr. Bryant read law at Clarkson, N. Y., with Judge Selden, and in 1854 came to Buffalo and was admitted to the bar. Since then he has successfully practiced his profession in Buffalo, becoming a leading lawyer and a citizen widely respected and esteemed. In 1863 he was elected second vice-president of the Young Men's Christian Association. He was twice elected to the Common Council and served as president of that body in 1865. He was a law partner of William H. Greene from 1867 to 1872, and since the latter year has been the attorney of the Western Savings Bank. He is a life member and in 1876 was president of the Buffalo Historical Society. He originated the movement which resulted in placing the remains of the Indian chieftain, Red Jacket, and his compatriots, in Forest Lawn Cemetery, and was prominent in causing the erection of the present monument over his grave. Mr. Bryant is an adopted member of the Seneca Indian tribe under the name of Di-gis-ta-ga-na (The burning fire) and also of the Mohawk as Ky-o-wil-la. He was for many years president of the Thomas Orphan Asylum for Indian children, was a founder and from 1891 to 1895 president of the Archaeological Club (a branch of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences), and has been a lifelong member of the Central Presbyterian church. He has made an extensive study of the North American Indians, has published a number of valuable pamphlets and is a recognized authority on that subject. June 24, 1865, he married Helen Catharine Barnum, daughter of George G. Barnum of Buffalo. She died in February, 1897, leaving two children: Helen Marcia, who married Albert C. Spann, a lawyer of Buffalo, and died January 16, 1896; and William Letchworth Bryant, born January 3, 1871, who was graduated from the Buffalo High School in 1889, read law with his father, was admitted to practice in 1893, and since 1895 has been his father's law partner; married Gertrude Benson, daughter of Oscar P. Benson, of Buffalo, in January, 1898.
From the Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, NY, September 3, 1898: William Clement Bryant, one of the best known of the older citizens of Buffalo, died at his home at 180 Linwood Avenue last night, after a lingering illness from heart trouble and general debility. Mr. Bryant was born In Orleans County and was 68 years old. He came to Buffalo when a young man and began the practice of law. For many years he was associated with the late William H. Greene. When Mr. Greene died he formed a partnership with his son, William L. Bryant, and since then they have had offices in the Western Savings Bank building,. Mr. Bryant was a public-spirited man and a historian. In 1865 he was elected a Republican Alderman from the old Tenth ward and served four years. In 1867 he was elected the president of the Board of Aldermen. He was one of the organizers of the Buffalo Historical Society and served as trustee and its president. He was well informed on the Indian lore of Erie County, and it was through his efforts that the monument to Red Jacket was erected. He was also a trustee of the Western Savings Bank and had been its attorney since 1871.
Mr. Bryant is survived b y one son, William L. Bryant, his wife and daughter having died some time ago. The funeral will be held Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock.

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