Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
GEORGE W. O'BRYANT. Although George W. O'Bryant, of Brookline township, Greene county, does not farm on so large a scale as some of his neighbors, yet he does well whatever he attempts and is making a good living. The time has arrived when farms the size of his will be more numerous than those that are larger, for it has been found that the methods of farming must change as climate and general conditions change and in order to carry on intensive farming one does not need a vast acreage. Our subject has spent his life in this locality which he has seen develop from primitive conditions to its present high state of prosperity.
Mr. O'Bryant was born in the above named township and county, October 7, 1864. He is a son of George W. and Mary Caroline (Howard) O'Bryant, natives of Tennessee and North Carolina, respectively. The father came to Missouri with his parents when he was quite young, the family locating in Cedar county, near Cane Hill, on a farm, and there G. W. O'Bryant was reared to manhood and received a meager education in the early-day schools. When older he located in Greene county. His wife, Mary Caroline Howard, emigrated from the far Southland with her parents to Missouri in 1839, the family locating near what is now Battlefield, on the James river, in Greene county, and there our subject's mother was reared on a farm and received such educational advantages as the early day schools afforded, and she and Mr. O'Bryant were married in 1851. To their union nine children were born, namely: Armitta died in infancy; Mary Frances is the wife of Levi Taylor, of Polk county, Missouri; Martha Ann married J. T. Phillips, both now deceased, who was at one time judge of the county court of Greene county; William T. and Delilah E. are twins; the former lives on a farm in Brookline township, and the latter is the wife of Winfield Lawson, of Republic; Alice A., deceased, was the wife of a Dr. Camp, of Springfield; Nancy C. is the wife of J. T. Crouch and lives in Arizona; George W. of this
sketch; Jas. Henry is in the United States mail service in Springfield.
During the Civil war George O'Bryant, Sr., was a member of the Home Guards, seeing considerable service in this locality. He was one of the guides of Gen. Lyon's army from Springfield to the Confederate camps on Wilson's creek the night preceding the great battle there, August 10, 1861, and he was at Springfield during the various engagements that were later fought there. His death occurred on his farm in Brookline township in 1866, his widow surviving until 1903, outliving him thirty-seven years, and reaching the age of seventy-three.
George W. O'Bryant of this sketch grew to manhood on the homestead and here he still resides, in fact, has spent his life here. He received his education in the district schools of his native township, the first school he attended having been taught in an old log house, equipped with an open fire place and hewn slabs for seats with no backs. He was about twenty years old before he went to school and eight years later he attended one term in Republic, walking almost daily to the school house which was three and one-half miles distant. He has spent his life engaged in general farming and owns sixty acres, a part of the original home place, and he has kept the land well tilled and it is very productive, and he has a comfortable home.
Mr. O'Bryant was married, November 7, 1904, to Maude Kirby, a daughter of James H and Mary (Woods) Kirby, who are residents of Mt. Vernon, Lawrence county, this state. Mrs. O'Bryant was born in 1873 in the village of Chesapeake, that county, and in that vicinity she grew to womanhood and received a common school education. To Mr. and Mrs. Kirby the following children were born: Mattie is the wife of George Hillhouse of Verona, Missouri; M. Filmore lives in California; Sallie is the wife of William Howard, of Lawrence county; Dora is the wife of J. N. McCacken, of Springfield; Ella is the wife of G. W. Moore and they live in New Mexico; Isora, deceased, was the wife of Henderson Maberry, deceased; Ollie lives in Chicago; Maude, who was the first wife of the subject of this sketch, died in 1909; Myrtle, youngest of the Kirby children, is now the wife of our subject, they having married in 1911; one died at age of eighteen years.
To Mr. O'Bryant's first marriage three children were born, all of whom died in infancy. His second marriage has been without issue.
Politically Mr. O'Bryant is a Democrat. Fraternally he is a member of the Court of Honor. He was formerly a member of the Presbyterian church but now belongs to the Methodist church at Republic, as does his wife.
Springfield-Greene County Library