CHARLES BENJAMIN BRYANT
Col. C. B. Bryant was born in 1842, the son of Rowland Bryant who came from Rockbridge county. He had no college
advantages, but was an apt and close student of men. He married, Malinda, the daughter of George Wailer, In 1865.
He studied civil engineering and later law. He was admitted to the bar and was fond of chancery practice. He delighted
in military and was made a Colonel of the Virginia Militia.
During the Civil War, he was in the Quartermaster Department, being an adjutant in this army before he was elected
Clerk of Henry county and Circuit Courts. He held this office during the remainder of the Confederacy.
He was an expert penman and the Clerk's office shows his beautiful writing covering a long period. Later he was
made Commissioner of Accounts and added to his reputation as a pen artist as well as public accountant.
For a short time he did civil engineering, but was elected Mayor in 1881. He was a very efficient officer, and
the town never had a more enthusiastic booster and promoter of expansion. Not possessed of much means himself,
he could make plans so plain and plausible to others, that he easily elicited capital in mtny enterprises that
meant for the town's prosperity. There are not many public utilities of his day, you can mention that he did not
formulate, project, or boost in some helpful way. No man who knew his work and influence would deny him to have
been one of the most useful citizens the town ever had, So accustomed was everybody to demand and accept his services
for the public, he was not pro. perly rated during his career.
He was a great advocate of power, Inventions, and transportation for the entire county. No one excelled his work
in promoting both of the railroads that traverse the county and projected Its permanent prosperity.
He was the engineer and diplomatic negotiator of the town's water rights and system, secretary of the Phospho Lithia
Springs Company, and had time to fill the position of Secretary of the Henry County Historical Society.
He was a man of erect carriage, mentally alert, cordial In greeting, censervative In advising, calm In temperament,
and a pleasant companion. He was a true patriot, a faithful friend, a good neighbor, and bore an air that was impressive
and a wit that rarely failed him. The county as a whole will never have a more loyal and devoted son to labor for
the general welfare than Col. Bryant.
He died on Nov. 30, 1915, and was buried in Martinsville, which is, in many of Its developments, a monument to
his energy and sagacity, among the friends and neighbors he loved so well.
A History of Henry County, Virginia
By: Judith Parks Anerica Hill
Martinsville, Virginia 1925
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