Biography of Richard E. Bryan
Oregon Biographies





RICHARD E BRYAN.
On the pages of Oregon's history space must be made for the life record of Richard E. Bryan, now deceased, who contributed in substantial measure to the development of the state through the utilization of many of its natural resources and through the establishment and conduct of business enterprises which he built up to large and successful proportions. He was born in Hendricks county, Indiana, September 14, 1841, being a son of Junes M. Bryan, whose birth occurred in Bourbon county, Kentucky, and who married Miss Elizabeth Scharp, a native of Tennessee. Removing to Indiana, the father took up the occupation of farming in the midst of a birch forest near Winchester and it was upon that place that Richard E. Bryan was born and spent a portion of his youth. Prior to the Civil war the family went to Chariton county, Missouri, and afterward removed to Lynn county, where Mrs. Bryan passed away in 1866, while the death of Mr. Bryan there occurred in 1879. They were parents of five sons and three daughters.

Richard E. Bryan, who was the fourth son and sixth child in the family, started out upon an independent career as teacher in the public schools and later was appointed deputy sheriff, serving in that capacity for a term of two years. For a brief period he was in the army and later served as first lieutenant in the Sixty second Regiment of the State Militia for two years. After the close of hostilities he removed to Bates county, and engaged in the mercantile business until 1880, when he came to Oregon, establishing his home in La Grande, where he engaged in the hardware business until 1890. He built up a good trade in that connection and developed a business of gratifying proportions, but at length disposed of his store and turned his attention to real estate and other interests. He became the owner of much property in La Grande, including valuable business property and tenement houses and had one of the finest residences in the city. He also became the owner of a valuable timber tract on Vancouver Island, which he held for some time and then sold. He invested in timber land on the coast range, and this he developed, owning and operating sawmills. This business he conducted under the name of Bryan-Lucas Company. with which he was connected for some time and then sold out. He was afterward with the Holley Paper Company of Oregon City, as a partner, and was prominently identified with many of the big industries and business enterprises of Portland and of the state. He was also connected with the Electric Ice Manufacturing Company of Portland. In all that he undertook he was very successful and his life record should serve as an inspiration and encouragement to others, for when he started out his possessions were only a horse, bridle and saddle, and a cash capital of fifty dollars. From that point he steadily progressed, becoming one of the men of influence in Portland.

On the 30th of May, 1867, Mr. Bryan was married to Miss Addie Williams, a native of Marion county, Missouri, a daughter of Franklin and Elmina (Bridge-farmer) Williams, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. To Mr. and Mrs. Bryan were born three children; of whom Oscar A. died in infancy. The others are Edgar J., and Addie E. The son, Edgar, always a close associate of his father, now continues the affairs of his father's estate.

The death of Richard E. Bryan occurred September 1, 1915. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and a consistent Christian, belonging to the Presbyterian church. In politics he was a stanch republican. Those who knew him, and he had many friends, remembered him as a big hearted, genial gentleman of marked capability and enterprise in business, and who rejoiced in his success by reason of the opportunity that it gave him to aid less fortunate travelers upon life's journey.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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