Bryant left mark on county with bridge and fort

Benjamin Fra nk lin Br yant, one of the early Milam County settlers, was born March 15, 1800, in Wilkes County, Georgia. The family name was originally Bryan, but after coming to America it was changed to Bryant.

Benjamin married Roxanna Price in South Carolina and they had seven children. His second wife Rebecca Parker also had seven children.

He was one of the earliest pioneers to Texas. He fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and was later appointed Indian Agent by the president of The Republic of Texas. He made his mark in Milam County by building a fort on 3,000 acres. His log cabin and the fort were on the north side of the Little River.

In 1840 Bryant Station had a population of 260. The U. S. Army Station was established to keep Native American tribes out of the Republic of Texas capital at Washington on the Brazos.

The station became an important stage coach stop on the route to Austin. In 1860 the U.S. Census List revealed a large Irish population.

The fort became known as a trading center but was abandoned in the 1870’s when the railroad centers came through the area.

By 1909 a bridge was needed across the river. Commissioners contracted with C. Q. Horton, Austin, of the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company to build a camelback through truss bridge, 200- foot span, on cylindrical concrete columns.

Approaching spans were supported on I-beams which brought the structure’s total length to 343 feet.

The original bridge, built in 1909 connected Buckholts, Cameron and Davilla to the Old Corn Hill Road to the west and to Georgetown. Both the restored pedestrian Bridge and the new structure were dedicated in 2003 and are on County Road 106.

The old bridge remains intact at its original location with the county purchasing right of way for the new bridge which spans 420 feet with a 30-foot clear roadway width. It was preserved as a foot bridge with a five-year obligation to maintain the historic bridge for foot traffic.

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2012-06-14 digital edition

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