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Help Rebuild The Cabin!


Read All About It

History of The Cabin

The City of Bryson needs your help in preserving an important piece of our community’s history.  The log house that was once home to Henry Elam Bryson still sits in the middle of town on the south side of Hwy 380 next to the First National Bank and is in desperate need of repair.  Jack County, The City of Bryson, and Henry Elam Bryson’s heirs are so very fortunate to still have this piece of history.


This log house is on land that was given to the City of Bryson by Mrs. Harold (Mary Jo) Swetnam and family.  This land along with the land directly in front of and behind the log house was also donated to the city to be used as a much needed city park.  Bill and Steve Stamper along with Charles and Loretta Smith donated the additional land. 


The log house is in desperate need of repairs.  The city wants to maintain as much of the historical integrity of this property as possible.  Vandalism and harsh winter conditions have caused the log house to deteriorate.  A bid to repair the log house has been received from a Jack County contractor with historical repair experience.  The cost is around $11,000 and will include replacing logs, mortar, and sand stone accents as well as repairing the porch, interior floor, and sealing the entire house. Some dirt work will need to be done around the house to allow for proper drainage also. This contractor has also offered to supervise city employees in the sealing process to save some money and allow the employees to gain the knowledge needed to keep the building from needing such extensive work in the future.


This cost is a considerable expense to the city’s small annual budget.  The city council members and city employees along with several interested citizens are seeking your help in funding these needed repairs.  The Bryson Lion’s Club has already pledged a donation and offered to sponsor a fundraiser in the near future.  A bank account has been set up at the First National Bank of Graham, Bryson Brank for the sole purpose of repairing the log house.  Any funds that should be in excess of the needed $11,000 will be used for other park improvements on this land only.


Mr. Joe Lake and Mrs. Mary Alice (Bryson) King have provided some history of the property as well as photographs and some stories.


 This is the home of Henry Elam & Mary Cope Bryson.  They built the log cabin in 1878.  Later a house was constructed around the cabin. The log cabin served as the kitchen in the house that was built around the cabin. 


 Henry E. Bryson moved here with his wife Mary A. Bryson and three of their children: Doak, Kate, & Bessie.  They had three sons and a daughter while living in this house.  They were Elda Bryson (Sewell), Henry A (Abner) Bryson, John Roy Bryson, and Barney Bert Bryson. A story is told that they found a board with the name Elda carved into it while building the house and this is how Elda Bryson Sewell received her name.


As of March 29, 1977, the house was still occupied by Ozie Moore,  grandson of Henry Elam Bryson & son of Kate Bryson Moore.  Ozie  and his wife, Lillie Bell,  still used the log cabin kitchen. The house burned while Ozie and Lille Belle lived there.  The fire department was able to save the log cabin.  Scorch marks can be seen on the west side of the cabin.


 Three of Doak Anderson Bryson’s children all lived on parts of the land that the cabin was built on including Ethel Bryson Laird, Elda Bryson Eatherly and Henry Bryson.


 Henry & Mary had seven children.  Doak Anderson, Kate, Bessie, Elda, Abner, Roy, and Burt. 

  1. Doak had three children: Henry Bryson, Ethel Bryson Laird, and Elda Bryson Etherly. 

Henry Bryson had 5 daughters with his wife Mary Rankin who died at the age of 49:
Annie Bryson Wilson married Clarence and had Barbara Wilson McNutt, Phyllis Wilson and Debbie Wilson.  Annie lived in the house with her grandmother Mattie Simpson Bryson while she went to grade school.  She recalls staying there with her Aunt Kate Bryson Moore and playing with her cousins.


Nina Jean Bryson  McBroom Cheats had Linette Jennings, Henry McBroom & Dennis McBroom
Mary Alice Bryson King married Tony and they had Carol Shough, Doug King, Janet Van Dyke, Kenneth King, and Valorie Kondracki.  Mary Alice & her husband Tony live in the red brick house on the south side of Hwy 380 in Bryson that her father built in 1948. Bryson Kondracki, their grandson, is a recent Bryson High School graduate.


Ethelda Bryson VanWinkle had Laurie and Lindy. (Ethelda was named after her dad’s sisters Ethel & Elda.)


Peggy Bryson Epperson had Melinda, Paula, Tedda, & David Epperson
Henry then married Nellie Clayton and had a 6th daughter Henrietta.
Henrietta ‘s children are Tulley, Britt, and Alisha.
Ethel Bryson married Pearl Laird and had four children.  Ethel & Pearl raised their family in Benjamin, Texas
Elda Bryson married Will Eatherly and had three children.  Elda’s family was raised in Bryson.


2. Kate Bryson married Garrison Moore.  Kate lived in the house after her mother Mary A. Bryson passed away.  Kate had two sons :
Hugh Moore (married Ethel Myers)
Ozie Moore (married Lilie Belle Finley).  Ozie and his wife lived in the house. Ozie & Lilie Belle had two daughters Dorothy and Billye Moore Stamper.  Billye had three sons:  Bill, Craig, & Steve.    
3. Bessie Bryson married Jim Wells.  They had 5 daughters:
Mildred Wells Harper, Winnie Wells, Graves, Mabel Wells Nelms, Mary Wells McDowell, and Lola Wells Hood.
4. Elda Bryson married Dan Roland Sewell and had three sons:
Homer Sewell, Eugene Sewell and Alfred Sewell.
5. Henry Abner Bryson married Carrie Martin.  Mary Alice recalls a man named Howard Bryson whom she believes was probably a son of Abner.
6. John Roy Bryson Married Mollie Bently
Roy & Abner were known to be great carpenters and Annie Bryson Wilson tells that Roy moved to Mineral Wells and finished Camp Walters, an army camp, that was being built there.
7. Barney  Bert Bryson married Lessie York.  Bert and Lessie had a daughter Katy Bryson Poole who also lived in Bryson.  Their son, Bert, was killed in WWII.

The City of Bryson realizes this list of heirs is not complete and would greatly appreciate any information that could be provided as to other grandchildren of the Bryson family.  Please feel free to contact Sheila Birdwell, mayor at 392-2337 or email mayor@cityofbrysontexas.com.   Letters written by Mrs. Annie (Bryson) Wilson which tell some of her memories of visiting her grandmother and aunts at this home are available on our website www.cityofbrysontexas.com .
Donations can be mailed to the City of Bryson, P.O. Box 219, Bryson, TX  76427.  Anyone wishing to donate in memory of a loved one, please include information so acknowledgements may be sent to the family being honored. We hope to include a list of those contributing on our website and hopefully at a park marker in the future.