Courtney Smith Bryant

(1875 - 1954)

 

WORKING DRAFT

Last Change: 8 April 2017

 

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Stephen Bryant - Gen 1 in America

Abigail (Bryant) Bryant - Gen 2

John Bryant - Gen 2 (immigrant)

Samuel Bryant - Gen 3

Nathaniel Bryant I - Gen 4

Nathaniel Bryant II - Gen 5

Nathaniel Bryant III - Gen 6

Rodman Bryant - Gen 7

Orris Willoughby Bryant - Gen 8

Mariette E. Gurney Bryant - Gen 8

 

Bryant, Courtney Smith Bryant and Maud Elise (Reynolds) Bryant

 

Courtney Smith Bryant

Bryant Generation 9

 

1.   Courtney’s parents: Orris Willoughby and Mariette/Marietta E. (Gurney) Bryant

(Bryant Generation 8)

 

2.   Courtney’s birth: 19 April 1875 at/near Ellicottville, Cattaraugus County, New York.

 

     Courtney’s death: Tuesday morning, 26 October 1954 (age 79) at home just outside the Village of Greene, Chenango County, New York from a heart attack.  Funeral 28 October at the Harry R. Rogers Funeral Home, Greene, New York.  Reverend Arthur J. Smith officiated.  Interment Sylvan Lawn Cemetery in Greene, Chenango County, New York.  Of interest, all commercial activity in Greene closed on October 28th to pay respect to this extraordinarily loved resident – a tribute that has never again been bestowed on anyone by the Village of Greene.

 

Family members believe Courtney’s heart attack was precipitated (at least in part) by his strenuous efforts to repair the metal roof on his hen house after a violent wind storm the previous night.  To that end he single handedly carried and erected a heavy wooden ladder on his 3-story hen house, climbed it numerous times, and completed expedient repairs.

 

3.   Courtney’s formal education:

 

From

To

School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

 

 

 

 

1893

Greene Union School and Academy, Greene, New York; President and Valedictorian of his senior class.

1894

 

Left 15 Nov 1894 to live with and study under the guidance of his uncle Horace Fraser at the Florida Institute, Westown, Orange County, New York.  Also helped with the chores around the farm.

 

4.   Courtney’s marriage:

 

     a.  To whom: Maud Elise Reynolds (photos) (more info)

 

Bryant, Maud Elise (Reynolds) 1950 - 1955

 

(1)  Maud’s parents: Lincoln Edward and Emma Elisa (Watson) Reynolds of Battenville, New York.

 

(2)  Maud’s birth: 20 March 1883 at Cresco, Howard County, Iowa.

 

Maud’s death: 18/16 November 1974 at Community General Hospital, Reading, Pennsylvania from complications of a broken hip.

 

(3)  Maud’s formal education:

 

From

To

School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

1888

1893

One-room school at Cresco, Iowa for about 5 years

1893

1901

Greenwich, Washington County, New York schools

1901

1905

Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York; BA degree, classical course in liberal arts

 

(5)  Maud’s employment history:

 

From

To

Employer, location, job title

1905

1909

Taught English, Greek, and Latin at Greene Union School & Academy.

 

(6)  Maud’s addresses before marriage:

 

From

To

Address

1883

1893

Resided with parents at Cresco, Iowa.

1893

1905

Resided with parents on family farm near Battenville, Washington County, New York.

1905

1909

Greene, Chenango County, New York; moved to Greene to teach school; boarded near the Orris Bryant residence on Franklin Street in the Village of Greene, Chenago County, New York.

 

(7)  Maud’s organization affiliations:

 

From

To

Address

 

 

Current Events Club of Greene, New York.

 

 

First Congregational Church of Greene, New York.

 

(8)  Other biographical notes on Maud:

 

(a) Cared for her invalid father for about 12 years at her residence at Greene, Chenango County, New York.  He had suffered a stroke some time before, which incapacitated his legs, though his mind was still fine and his speech was not affected.  He was in bed most of the time and required nearly constant care.

 

(b) After Courtney died, Maud lived with her daughter, Ruth and Ruth’s family outside Wernersville, Pennsylvania.

 

     b.  When/where married: 9 December 1909 at Battenville, Washington County, New York, which is 5 miles northeast of Greenwich.  Marriage certificate issued at Battenville by Thomas O. Grieves, clergyman.  Witnesses: Lee Ray Harrison (Courtney’s brother-in-law); Emma (Watson) Reynolds (Maud’s mother); and Mary K. Reynolds (Maud’s paternal grandmother).

 

     c.  Children:

 

(1)  Robert Burdette Bryant: Born 8 May 1911.

 

(2)  Stanley Reynolds Bryant: Born 16 November 1914.

 

(3)  Lincoln Oris Bryant: Born 1 May 1916.

 

(4)  Nelson Howard Bryant: Born 19 September 1917.

 

(5)  Madeleine Watson Bryant: Born 13 November 1919.

 

(6)  Ruth Frances Bryant: Born 20 January 1922.

 

Bryant family 1945 approx

 

5.   Courtney’s employment history:

 

From

To

Employer, location, job title

1902

 

Employed as a laborer.

 

 

Owned and operated Maplecrest Poultry Farm, a feed and poultry business just outside the village of Greene, New York.  Maintained 80,000 hens with biweekly deliveries of eggs to New York City.  Also operated a grain mill and grew crops; eg. Beans (fresh out of the pod).  As a prominent member of the Greene, New York community was a Director of the First National Bank of Greene.

 

6.   Courtney’s addresses:

 

From

To

Address

 

1892

Living with parents at/near Ellicottville, Cattaraugus County, New York.  Maud Elise (Reynolds) Bryant said 12 Jan 1968 that Courtney moved with his parents as a young boy to Greene, Chenango County, New York from Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, New York.

1902

1894

Resided with parents on Franklin Street in the Village of Greene, Chenango County, New York.

1894

 

Living with and studying under the guidance of his Uncle Horace Fraser at Westtown, Orange County, New York.  Also helped with the chores.

1892

1909

Living with parents on family farm near Greene, Chenango County, New York.

1909

1954

Maplecrest Poultry Farm, just outside the Village of Greene, New York on the west side of Route 11.  The original house was replaced, on part of the same foundation, in 1921.  By all accounts, the replacement was a remarkably well-built structure, the interior of which was finished, predominantly, in red oak.  The original house was moved to a new location on the Bryant farm and used as an interim residence during construction of the new house.  After that it demolished.

 

7.   Courtney’s organizational affiliations:

 

From

To

Organization, offices held

 

 

Greene Board of Education; Member for many years.

 

 

First National Bank of Greene, New York; Member, Board of Directors.

 

 

Eastern Light Lodge 126, Free & Accepted Masons.

 

 

First Congregational Church of Greene; Deacon.

 

 

Prudential Board; Member.

 

8.   Other biographical notes on Courtney:

 

a. Was an outstanding athlete.  Note, for instance, the following recollection of his football prowess: “Bryant was easily the best player of the bunch – in fact he was almost the entire team.  I recall one game where the score was some unbelievable figure to nothing, in which he made every point.”

 

b. Letter from his daughter, Ruth Frances (Bryant) Rubright to Marian Elizabeth Biles on 12 June 1975: "Dad had planned to go to Cornell University [in the fall of 1894], but after his father died [30 Oct 1894], I guess they couldn't afford it (though I see his father died in October and he should have already been in college if he was going – maybe they couldn't afford it before).  Anyway, I guess his mother thought he should get away and so he went to stay with his great uncle, Horace Fraser and daughter, Mary, who lived in Florida, Orange County, down the Hudson near New York [left Greene on Monday, 12 November 1894].  That was probably where he went to Florida Institute (I had never heard about that).  One of the letter in the box Florence [Irene (Bryant) Rogers, Courtney's cousin] gave me was from Uncle Horace to Dad's mother telling how well he was doing in Latin and fitting into the family.  This Uncle Horace was one of twins, Oris and Horace, both were ministers.  Their father was Oris, so you can see the name passed down to Dad's father and then to Lincoln's middle name.  Florence Rogers said in another letter to Marian that Courtney "felt snubbed by relatives out there."

 

b. Prior to the economic implosion that paralyzed world markets from 1929 through the depression years of the 1930s, Courtney was a successful, prominent, respected member of the Greene, New York community.  As a Director of the First National Bank of Greene, which, like other banks in the United States, was forced to close in 1929, Courtney felt a personal responsibility to help pay off bank creditors from his own resources, and he did, to his personal detriment.  In the spirit of optimism that he knew was necessary to break the grip of economic gloom strangling his community and the country at that time, he also extended credit to his customers, many of whom did not repay him in a timely way.  Unfortunately, but understandably, his creditors could not bring themselves to share his sense of optimism and sacrifice; they were forced foreclose, leaving the Bryants really strapped.

 

After their children were grown and their property had been sold to pay debts, Courtney and Maud moved to a first floor apartment in a house owned by Mrs. Cornell in downtown Greene.  The Maxons, who then owned Maplecrest (previously the Bryant farm), but did not reside there, allowed Courtney to convert a feed house on their property below Route 12 into living quarters.  He added a bathroom, kitchen, etc.  When complete, Maud and Courtney moved from the apartment in Greene to the newly converted structure and lived there several years.  The Maxons were very kind to the Bryants; if any rent was paid, it couldn’t have been much, since the Bryants had so little income – just $40 per month from Maud’s social security benefits.

 

In 1954 Maud and Courtney were in the final stages of planning to move south to reside with their daughter, Ruth (Bryant) Rubright, and Ruth’s family in a large house the Rubrights had purchased the year before on Wooltown Road outside Wernersville, Pennsylvania, when Courtney suddenly died from a heart attack (see above).  So, Maud moved south by herself and until her death in 1974 was an active, cherished member of the Rubright household.  She helped out around the house in innumerable ways, but the Rubrights particularly credited her with ensuring that their children learned and practiced proper communicative skills – leveraging her training as an English teacher on a day to day basis.

 

9. Census Records:

 

1880 US Census: Courtney Bryant, age 5, resided with his parents in Great Valley Township, Cattaraugus County, New York.

 

1900 US Census: Courtney S. Bryant, age 25 (b. Apr 1875 in NYS), single, and employed as a laborer ona duck farm, resided with his parents in Greene Township, Chenango County, New York.

 

1910 US Census: Courtney S. Bryant, age 34 (b. NYS; parents b. NYS) and employed as proprietor of a poultry farm, was heading a household on Franklin Street in the Village of Greene, Greene Township, Chenango County, New York.  The household also included his wife, Maud E. Bryant, age 27 (b. IA; parents b. NYS), who had had no children; and mother, Mariette Bryant, age 65 (b. NYS; parents b. NYS) and a widow, who had had 4 children, 3 of whom were still alive.

 

1915 NYS Census: Courtney S. Bryant, age 41, was heading a household in Greene Township, Chenango County, New York.  The household also included his wife, Maude E. Bryant, age 33; son, Robert B. Bryant, age 4; son, Stanley R. Bryant, age 1; and mother, Marriette Bryant, age 72.

 

1920 US Census: Courtney S. Bryant, age 44 (b. NYS), was heading a household in Greene Township, Chenango County, New York.  The household also included his wife, Maud R. Bryant, age 36 (b. IA); son, Robert B. Bryant, age 8 (b. NYS); son, Stanley R. Bryant, age 6 (b. NYS); son, Lincoln O. Bryant, age 3 (b. NYS); son, Nelson H. Bryant, age 2 (b. NYS); daughter, Madaline W. Bryant, age 0 (b. NYS); and mother, Mary Etta Bryant, age 75 (b. NYS).

 

1925 NYS Census: Courtney S. Bryant, age 50, was heading a household in Green Township, Chenango County, New York.  The household also included his wife, Maud R. Bryant, age 42; son, Robert B. Bryant, age 14; son, Stanley R. Bryant, age 11; son, Lincoln A. Bryant, age 9; son, Nelson H. Bryant, age 7; daughter, Madiline W. Bryant, age 5; and daughter, Ruth F. Bryant, age 3.

 

1930 US Census: Courtney S. Bryant, age 54 (b. NYS; parents b. NYS; m. age 34) and employed as a poultry farmer, was heading a household in Greene Township, Chenango County, New York.  The household also included his wife, Maud R. Bryant, age 47 (b. IA; parents b. IA), who was married at age 26; son, Robert B. Bryant, age 18 (b. NYS); son, Stanley R. Bryant, age 16 (b. NYS); son, Lincoln O. Bryant, age 13 (b. NYS); son, Nelson H. Bryant, age 12 (b. NYS); daughter, Madeline Bryant, age 10 (b. NYS); and daughter, Ruth F. Bryant, age 8 (b. NYS).

 

1940 US Census: Courtney S. Bryant, age 65 and employed as a farmer, was heading a household in Greene Township, Chenango County, New York.  He had completed 4 years of high school.  The household also included his wife, Maud Bryant, age 57, who had completed 4 years of college; son, Lincoln Bryant, age 23, single, and employed as a mechanic for the Scintilla Magneto Company, who had completed 4 years of high school; daughter, Madeleine Bryant, age 20, single, and employed as a waitress in a hotel, who had completed 1 year of college; daughter, Ruth Bryant, age 18 and single, who had completed 4 years of high school; and hired farm laborer, George Hall, age 62, who had completed 5th grade.

 

 

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