Elizabeth J. Bryan featured in 1889 Messenger

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

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Here is another article from the series, “Some Old People” from the Troy Messenger from 1889-1892.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Mrs. Elizabeth J. Bryan, daughter of Samuel Gibson, and widow of the late John Bryan, was born in Sumter District, S. C., seventy-six years ago, where she was married in 1830, and in 1831, she with her husband, came to Pike and settled upon a farm near where she now lives, five miles southeast of Troy. Ten children were born to her, all of whom she raised to be grown.

When she came to Pike, the country was thinly settled, with only one public road in easy reach, that being the old Three Notch Road, and the settlers traveled trails through the virgin forest. School and church advantages were very few and far between, and people often went twenty miles to attend religious services.

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The subject of this sketch is the only surviving member who was present at the constituting of old Beulah (Primitive) Church, in 1831, where her membership has been ever since, and she says that there is no other place of worship at which she feels so much at home. Her neighbors when she first settled in Pike, were the Griffin’s, Coskrey’s, Silas Lee, David Wilson, Jas. Jones, Cornelius Smart and Britton Jones.

Centerville was the only place in the county where you could buy goods. Mrs. Bryan says she has not forgotten the troubles of the Indian War in 1836 and remembers clearly the incident of the murder of two men who were found at a spring near where Mr. Felder Johnson now lives, who were supposed to have been killed by Indians, and who were the first to be buried in the Beulah graveyard. Their names were Murray and Leverett.

She loves to talk and think of the old pioneer preachers who served her church away back in the thirties and forties, who hold a fond place in her memory, and her recollection of Troy while in its infancy is quite clear and especially that of Granny Love and her family, of whom she speaks very affectionately.

This old mother counts one hundred and twenty-two descendants who are living, with the exception of a few, they all live within less than forty miles of her, and she is quite anxious that they all assemble at the old homestead next July, if she should be permitted to live until then, and doubtless her desire will be gratified and she will be made to enjoy a happy reunion of her numerous family, of which she had good reason to be proud.

She resides at present with one of her son’s, Mr. Lorenzo Bryan, and for one of her age, she is quite active in both mind and body and it is hoped that she may be spared to remain with her children a good while yet before she is called up higher.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.