John Neely Bryan
Cenotaph

John Neely Bryan

Birth
Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tennessee, USA
Death
8 Sep 1877 (aged 66)
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Cenotaph
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID
12537499 View Source

First citizen of Dallas, Texas.
Inscription on monument reads "Erected to the Memory of John Neely Bryan - First Citizen of Dallas".

Mr. Bryan died at the state insane asylum in Austin. The whereabouts of his actual gravesite are unknown.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, pages B1 & 2, November 27, 2005.

==================================

John Neely Bryan, Indian trader, farmer, lawyer, and founder of Dallas, son of James and Elizabeth (Neely) Bryan, was born on December 24, 1810, in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Attended Fayetteville Military Academy.Admitted to the Tennessee bar. Around 1833, he moved to Arkansas, and became an Indian trader.

According to some sources, he and a partner laid out the town of Van Buren, Arkansas.

John Neely Bryan made his first trip to the future site of Dallas, Texas, in 1839. He returned to Van Buren temporarily to settle his affairs. November 1841 he was back in Texas. He settled on the East bank of the Trinity River, not far from the present location of downtown Dallas.

In the spring of 1842 he persuaded several families who had settled at Bird's Fort to join him. On February 26, 1843, Bryan married Margaret Beeman.

John Neely Bryan served as Postmaster in the Republic of Texas.

Operated a ferry across the Trinity River where Commerce Street crosses the river today.

When Dallas became the County Seat in 1850, John donated the land for the Courthouse.

CSA: Joined Col. Nicholas H. Darnell's 18th. Texas Cavalry Regiment

1863: Trustee for Dallas Male and Female Academy

1871-72 John Neely Bryan is listed as one of the Dallas Bridge Company(builder of the 1st Iron Bridge across the Trinity River)
(Contributed by flgrl.)

~~~~~~~

From and old Dallas County History book - (citation at the end):

BRYAN, JOHN NEELY

John Neely Bryan, in addition to what has already been said, was not only the first settler of Dallas county, and the first man married on its territory, but also the first lawyer. He had been a licensed lawyer in Tennessee, and, soon after settling here, brought his library, respectable in extent, which was of great utility, and was used by many. He was also licensed in Texas, and did some practice, but was too much engrossed with other cares to follow the profession regularly. His legal training, however, was of great benefit to others in drafting titles and other legal papers, and as ah advisor to newcomers. He visited Austin and secured the creation of the county—then organized it. He was a trusted medium, on one or two occasions, through whom President Houston communicated with the wild tribes. He was a hospitable, large-hearted pioneer—freely spent his substance for others and public uses, and at last, from impaired intellect and other causes, died destitute. The children of Dallas ought to erect a monument to his memory, for he was ever the children's friend and the friend of their mothers. (Source: History of Dallas County, Texas: From 1837 to 1887

First citizen of Dallas, Texas.
Inscription on monument reads "Erected to the Memory of John Neely Bryan - First Citizen of Dallas".

Mr. Bryan died at the state insane asylum in Austin. The whereabouts of his actual gravesite are unknown.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, pages B1 & 2, November 27, 2005.

==================================

John Neely Bryan, Indian trader, farmer, lawyer, and founder of Dallas, son of James and Elizabeth (Neely) Bryan, was born on December 24, 1810, in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Attended Fayetteville Military Academy.Admitted to the Tennessee bar. Around 1833, he moved to Arkansas, and became an Indian trader.

According to some sources, he and a partner laid out the town of Van Buren, Arkansas.

John Neely Bryan made his first trip to the future site of Dallas, Texas, in 1839. He returned to Van Buren temporarily to settle his affairs. November 1841 he was back in Texas. He settled on the East bank of the Trinity River, not far from the present location of downtown Dallas.

In the spring of 1842 he persuaded several families who had settled at Bird's Fort to join him. On February 26, 1843, Bryan married Margaret Beeman.

John Neely Bryan served as Postmaster in the Republic of Texas.

Operated a ferry across the Trinity River where Commerce Street crosses the river today.

When Dallas became the County Seat in 1850, John donated the land for the Courthouse.

CSA: Joined Col. Nicholas H. Darnell's 18th. Texas Cavalry Regiment

1863: Trustee for Dallas Male and Female Academy

1871-72 John Neely Bryan is listed as one of the Dallas Bridge Company(builder of the 1st Iron Bridge across the Trinity River)
(Contributed by flgrl.)

~~~~~~~

From and old Dallas County History book - (citation at the end):

BRYAN, JOHN NEELY

John Neely Bryan, in addition to what has already been said, was not only the first settler of Dallas county, and the first man married on its territory, but also the first lawyer. He had been a licensed lawyer in Tennessee, and, soon after settling here, brought his library, respectable in extent, which was of great utility, and was used by many. He was also licensed in Texas, and did some practice, but was too much engrossed with other cares to follow the profession regularly. His legal training, however, was of great benefit to others in drafting titles and other legal papers, and as ah advisor to newcomers. He visited Austin and secured the creation of the county—then organized it. He was a trusted medium, on one or two occasions, through whom President Houston communicated with the wild tribes. He was a hospitable, large-hearted pioneer—freely spent his substance for others and public uses, and at last, from impaired intellect and other causes, died destitute. The children of Dallas ought to erect a monument to his memory, for he was ever the children's friend and the friend of their mothers. (Source: History of Dallas County, Texas: From 1837 to 1887