Historical Details

Bryant, John Fagan and Candis Meyers Bryant

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/14/2020


by Joyce Merream Bryant

John Fagan Bryant was born Nov. 3, 1870 to John and Chloe Lemming Bryant in Dallas County, Iowa.  He grew up in Iowa with his several brothers and sisters. He enjoyed fishing in the Coon River and was a good hunter.

He was married in March, 1892, to Candis Freda Meyers, who was born Oct. 2, 1873 to William Riley Meyers and Ealin Craig Meyers. Candis was born on the prairie between Chico and Decator, Texas before either town was established. Her mother passed away soon after her birth and her maternal grandparents took her by wagon across what was then the Oklahoma Territory to Minburn, Iowa where she grew up.  After her father remarried, she visited him after her own marriage and met her four half-brothers and two half­ sisters. On their return to Iowa, they farmed on a place near Minburn, Iowa.

Each fall Mr. Bryant took loads of apples by wagon to South Dakota where he sold them. Two of their sons, Fred A.and John w., were born in Iowa.  They moved to Alpena, S.D. when the boys were very small and farmed there for several years. Two more children were born there: Iris, who passed away while small and Elvin Jay (Ted) who resides at Powell, Wyo.

After the death of their small daughter they moved to a homestead near Hat Creek in 1910. They came by emigrant car to Lusk. Clyde McDonald (a close friend) accompanied them and rode in the emigrant car under a wagon box as only one person was supposed to be in there.

The first few years, and especially 1910 and 1911, were very severe. Wood had to be hauled many miles by team and wagon. Much livestock was lost those few years by both the homesteaders and ranchers.

Entertainment consisted of country dances, often an all night affair.   They loaded children in wagons on hay and blankets and went far to these places.

In 1924, ill health forced them to leave the homestead and move to Lusk. Mrs. Bryant was very ill for some time, but after her recovery worked at the hospital in Lusk and later opened a nursing home in her own home.  Mr. Bryant worked as custodian of Lusk Cemetery for many years until a stroke forced him to retire.    He passed away Feb.21, 1950 at Lusk and she passed away Sept. 16, 1956. Both are buried at Lusk.


John Wilbur Bryant, second son of John Fagan and Candis Meyers Bryant was born Aug. 31, 1903, at Bouton, Iowa and moved to Alpena, S.D. with his parents when a small boy. In 1910, the family moved to a homestead in Niobrara County, Wyoming.

Schooling was a problem in early days, but when one was finally established he and his younger brother attended.   One of his first teachers was Mrs. Camery. He worked on ranches in Niobrara County and Sioux County, Nebraska. He played a fiddle for dances and usually had to share anything in the "hat" with another musician.

On Feb. 8, 1924 he was married to Joyce  Merream, daughter of a Sioux County rancher. They made their home in Lusk where he was employed.  For some time, Joyce cared for her mother-in-law, who was in ill health. 

They had six children: James of Greybull, Wyo.; Wesley of Gillette, Wyo.; Mrs. Colein Kregear, Wheatridge, Colo.; Mrs. Wilberta Austen, Santa Rose, Calif.; and a daughter and a son died at birth.

In 1942 they moved to Denver, Colo. and Mr. Bryant worked as a mechanic and later as a maintanance man and caretaker of property for a large company. In 1971 Mr. Bryant retired and they bought a place in Harrison, Nebr., which they have remodeled and built a new garage and storage shed.    Each year they raise a large garden which they share with their "city" children who have no place to garden.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Bryant, Candis (10/02/1873 - 09/16/1956) View Record
Obituary Bryant, John (11/03/1870 - 02/21/1950) View Record