Biography of Dr. Wilson G. Bryant
Springfield, Clark County, OH Biographies





WILSON G. BRYANT, M. D, physician, Springfield; is a native of Ohio, a son of Rev. Daniel Bryant, who was a native of New Jersey, born in 1799. He came West in 1818 with his father's family, who located in Indiana. Daniel acquired an education principally by his own unaided efforts and study, his only school advantages being an attendance at Miami University one term; he early became a teacher, and continued to teach many years. He married, in 1824, Elvira, daughter of Ichabod Corwin, and in the same year was ordained a minister of the Baptist denomination. In his earlier ministerial years, Elder Bryant was in charge of several important churches, the Freeman Street, Cincinnati, being one, but later in life, devoted himself to the work of strengthening the feeble churches in Southern Ohio, thus giving direction to the Baptist cause throughout all this region. His decease occurred at Honey Creek Church, Champaign County, in 1875, he being suddenly stricken with apoplexy while preaching in the pulpit, and expired in a few hours. His widow now resides at Urbana. The subject of this sketch was born in Burlington, Hamilton Co., Ohio, in 1825, and, during his youth, had more than ordinary educational facilities, having attended "Granville" one term before he was 18 years of age, but at this time was thrown upon his own resources and abandoned school and went to farming, and assisted his father in supporting the family until 1848; but his ambition for knowledge, and especially his desire for the study of medicine, would not be satisfied on a farm longer than necessity compelled him to remain. His spare time was spent in study and reading medicine, and, although he married in 1848, yet he pursued his studies and completed his medical education, supporting his family and defraying his educational expenses by his own labor. He began practice in Champaign County in 1852, but soon after removed to Grand Prairie, Ill., where he practiced about two years, then removed to Covington, Miami Co., Ohio, where he practiced until the spring of 1862, whn he entered the United States service as Assistant Surgeon of the 122d O. V. I.; having been captured at Winchester, Vac.; in 1863, he was placed in charge of the hospital by the Confederate States Medical Director; about two months later, was captured by the Union forces, in connection with the other occupants of the hospital; subsequently, the 6th Corps, to which his regiment was attached, took part in many of the important battles of the Armies of Virginia and of the Potomac, and he was almost constantly on detailed duty, being almost invariably placed in charge of the field hospital for the wounded. In 1865, as an acknowledgment of his meritorious services, he was promoted to the rank of Surgeon and assigned to the 197th O. V. I, and continued in the service until August, 1865. While in charge of the post hospital at Winchester, Va., after the battle in 1864, after caring for all other cases, he became interested in nine men whose wounds were considered fatal, being compound and cominuted fractures of the thigh so near the body as to suggest the necessity of the amputation at the hip joint, which operation, on account of its extreme risk, was forbidden by general order from the department at Washington; the Doctor's sympathy for these, thus virtually abandoned to die, led him to attempt to save them; being a natural mechanical genius, he provided the necessary appliances and instituted conservative surgical treatment, and by improvising some "Smith's Anterior Splints," secured requisite extension and counter-extension, and, by otherwise adapting his treatment to each particular case, succeeded in saving with useful limbs seven of the nine thus treated; he also performed the exceptional surgical operation of ligating successfully the femoral artery, and frequently performed operations for the extraction of balls from the cervical angle of the neck. Feb. 3, 1865, the Surgeons of the corps and division united in a letter to the Surgeon General of the State, complimenting and explaining the services rendered by Dr. Bryant while in charge of the different hospitals. A copy of this letter, with other trophies, are now in the Doctor's posession, prized mementoes of achievements of which lie has just reason to be proud, especially as his meritorious operations and surgical treatment were without precedent. After his return from army life to Covington, he removed, in November, 1865, to Springfield, where he has since practiced his profession, and now enjoys a large practice, and is held in high esteem both as a physician and citizen. He has no living children, except an adopted daughter, Frances A., who, with himself and wife, is a member of the First Baptist Church, Mrs. Bryant and Frances being identified with the different departments of church activities.

From:
History of Clark County, Ohio
W. H. Beers & Co.
Chicago 1881


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