William Joel Bryan was born 1815 in Missouri. Bryan served in the Texas Revolution in 1835 with the Brazoria County Volunteers and was with his uncle, Stephen F. Austin, during the Siege of Béxar. He was with Sam Houston in the retreat of the army across Texas, but was ill with measles at the time of the battle of San Jacinto. During the Civil War he fed Confederate troops stationed at the mouth of the Brazos at his own expense. In 1865 he granted the Houston and Texas Central a right-of-way through his land in Brazos County, and a projected townsite, later called Bryan, was named in his honor. He died on March 3, 1903, and was buried in Gulf Prairie Cemetery at Peach Point.
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