Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taking A Look At Frank Bryant Again

Frank L. Bryant
My great grandfather

I have to say since my post on Monday, I have been looking at my great grandfather Frank Bryant with different eyes. If you missed that one here's the link. Military Monday: Frank Bryant's World War I Draft Registration Card Provided An Interesting Find!

With the newly found information that Frank Bryant was working as a butler in 1916 for a wealthy Morehead City business man named Charles Slover Wallace, questions began buzzing around in my head. How long had he been working for him? Did other family members possibly work for C. S. Wallace? Perhaps Jonas Bryant, Frank's mother had the same employer? I decided to go back and review the 1900 and 1910 censuses for clues.

1900 Census

The household is headed up by Caroline Bryant, Frank's grandmother, followed by Caroline's two children Jonas (listed here as Jane) and John. The last two individuals are Frank's cousin William who was raised by Jonas and then lastly Frank. Frank Bryant's age is listed as 9 years old and with no occupation. All the others are listed as clammers.

Hmm. This got me thinking. I went back to a book I recently purchased called, "Morehead City:  A Walk Through Time" by Jack Dudley. Here's the passage I found interesting.

Charles Wallace was born on Portsmouth Island and moved to Morehead City at a very early age. At the turn of the century, he owned C. S. Wallace Seafood Company. He was a businessman by instinct and was always looking for new opportunities. There were numerous "hand factories" down east, and he experimented with them initially but by 1918, had a mechanized plant. 

This is just me speculating but perhaps Frank Bryant's family was working for C.S. Wallace in 1900.

When I reviewed the 1910 census, I found that everyone had had a change in occupation.

1910 Census

Occupations for the Bryants in 1910

Caroline Bryant--Servant --Private family
Joanna (Jonas) Bryant--Chambermaid--Private family
William Bryant--Porter--On the railroad
Frank Bryant--Oysterman--Oystering
Mary Bryant (Frank's sister)--Servant--Private family.

Financially speaking, the family is doing better in 1910. Caroline, the matriarch is shown owning her own home instead of renting as was shown on the 1900 census. Sometime between 1910 and 1916, Frank Bryant became employed as a butler.

Now something clicked in my head that reminded me that I had seen the name C. S. Wallace before. I went to the Carteret County Register of Deeds website and looked at deed information linked to my great grandfather. Aha! I found that on February 24, 1919 my great grandparents Frank and Ophelia Bryant had obtained a mortgage from none other than C.S. Wallace. Now the details of this I don't have at this time. I have to make a request for a copy of this record and for several other records, so when I receive that information I will provide an update. There was one record for my great grandfather that I was able to view on-line from the Register of Deeds. Here it is.




Apparently, Frank Bryant and several other gentlemen decided to go into business for themselves and established the name of the business as "The Progressive Grocery Company." How about that  -- an entrepreneur! Maybe that mortgage obtained from C. S. Wallace was associated with this.  Anyway, it's kind of cool seeing something with my great grandfather's signature on it. The other interesting tidbit here is Harvey Horton, one of my great grandfather's business partners, was the uncle to my grandmother Mary's second husband Cecil Horton.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting how one bit of information can lead to more interesting bits.

    ReplyDelete