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Francis Everett Bryant
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Birth: Feb. 3, 1818
Cheshire County
New Hampshire, USA
Death: Jun. 24, 1889
Piatt County
Illinois, USA

HONORABLE F. E. BRYANT, June 24, 1889; Mr. Bryant died at 2:30 PM Monday, June 24, after a lingering illness of several months. The funeral occurred from the Presbyterian Church Wednesday, June 26th, at 2:00 PM Rev. Hunter conducted the services at the church and preached a brief sermon in which he referred to the noble Christian character and manly wealth of the deceased. After the exercises at the church, the Masonic Order of which the deceased was a member, took charge of the remains and proceeded to the Bement Cemetery where the remains were interred with the honors and ceremonies of Masonry. There were many members of the Order present from a distance and adjoining towns. Honorable F. E. Bryant was born in Nelson, New Hampshire the 3rd day of February, 1818 His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was at the Battle of Bunker Hill and several other distinguished engagements. The parents of Mr. Bryant moved to Ohio in 1833. Here Mr. Bryant studied surveying. He previously received a good education and was prepared to enter college; but he was imbued with pioneer spirit and in June, 1837, he removed to Schuyler County, Illinois, where he followed the occupation of surveying for six years. He resided in Schuyler County for nearly 19 years and was married there on the 4th day of July, 1840, to Miss Sarah E. Briscoe, who was the daughter of a distinguished Colonel Briscoe of the War of 1812 and the War with Mexico. Mr. Bryant was a very popular and influential citizen of Schuyler County, and he made the acquaintance of many prominent public men, among who were Lincoln, Yates, Baker, Turnbull, Oglesby, Lindner and Douglas. He enjoyed an intimate friendship with the latter, which lasted until the death of that celebrated statesman. In 1852 he was elected to represent his county in the 18th General Assembly. He was an active and prominent member of the body and assisted in the establishment of many of our laws. He declined reelection in July, 1856, he removed to Bement and engaged in the grain, lumber and mercantile trade. On the 18th day of May, 1857 he opened the first merchandise store at this place. Mr. Bryant was a successful businessman and by his industrious habits and strict integrity he gained the entire confidence of the public. Mr. Bryant was elected to represent the Counties of Piatt and Champaign in the 28th General Assembly. It will be remembered by the older inhabitants that through the personal efforts of Mr. Bryant a bill was passed in this legislation appropriating $60,000.00 for the establishment of the University of Illinois at Champaign. Mr. Bryant was the father of six children, one of whom, Mrs. E. B. Sprague, at the present of Riverside, California, is now living. Mr. Bryant's first wife died and he afterwards married Miss Mary Stewart of Winfield, Kansas, who survives him. Gov. Oglesby in 1866 appointed Mr. Bryant a member of the commission to establish the Soldiers' Home. He spent a greater part of the year, 1878, in Europe and spent the last two winters in California. Mr. Bryant possessed all the elements of a leader and there is no doubt that he devoted his life to politics, he would have become a renowned statesman. He had the manly sterling qualities without which success is impossible. His influence will be greatly missed and his virtues will be remembered by his host of mourning friends. Mr.Bryant hosted a meeting between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln in his cottage in Bement, Illinois in 1858 where the Lincoln/Douglas senate debates were discussed and subsequently scheduled. Mr. Lincoln had written a letter July 24 to Douglas formally challenging him to a series of nine debates, one in each congressional district. Douglas had not yet replied when the two opponents met five days later on the road between Bement and Monticello. Douglas had completed a speech at Monticello and was traveling to Bement with the Bryants when they encountered Lincoln about a mile and a half south of Monticello on present Route 105. Lincoln was scheduled to speak at Monticello seven miles away later in the day. The two men conferred briefly and agreed to meet that evening to plan a series of debates. It was in the parlor of Bryant's Bement cottage that, according to tradition, Lincoln and Douglas worked out the details of the debates. Lincoln then, it was said, took the midnight Great Western train to Springfield. The Bryant cottage is now a state historic site.

It is alleged, Mr. Bryant is a cousin to William Cullen Bryant. Still unconfirmed.

Clova Smith was the supervising caretaker of the Bryant cottage for 25 years.
Family links: 
  Francis Smith Bryant (1788 - 1856)
  Betsey Everett Sprague Bryant (1792 - 1865)
  Sarah Elizabeth Briscoe Bryant (1823 - 1883)*
  Sarah Ann Bryant (1841 - 1842)*
  Fidelia Everett Bryant Sprague (1841 - 1894)*
  Francis Briscoe Bryant (1845 - 1847)*
  Lewis Sidney Bryant (1848 - 1850)*
  Edward Everett Bryant (1851 - 1852)*
  Mary Eliza Bryant (1858 - 1874)*
  Eliza Ann Bryant Heazlit (1816 - 1864)*
  Francis Everett Bryant (1818 - 1889)
  William Sidney Bryant (1822 - 1856)*
  Palmer Bishop Bryant (1823 - 1889)*
  Betsey Sprague Bryant (1825 - 1832)*
  Theodore Porter Bryant (1828 - 1832)*
  George Barker Bryant (1830 - 1832)*
  Almira Sprague Bryant Strong (1833 - 1906)*
*Calculated relationship
Bement Cemetery
Piatt County
Illinois, USA
Maintained by: Sprague
Originally Created by: Max Turpin
Record added: May 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52563571
Francis Everett Bryant
Added by: Kevin Neil Crouch
Francis Everett Bryant
Added by: Sprague
Francis Everett Bryant
Added by: Sprague
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Francis Everett Bryant, a Mason :GOD Bless you and all which do and/or the ones which come here paying respect lay a prayer viewing this too!!!.............................."The true touchstone of civil liberty is not that all men are equal but that ever...(Read more)
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian
 Added: Feb. 13, 2015

- Sprague
 Added: May. 6, 2014
Your political service was observed and appreciated!
- Ancestors of Illinois
 Added: Jun. 20, 2011

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