The Shelby Museum Of History
Recorders of Shelby Pictorial History

Early Shelby Photographers and their Photographs
William C. Bryant (c. 1893 to c. 1900)
Not much is known for certain about W. C. Bryant prior to an article appearing in "The Republican Industrial Edition" in 1897. There is a William C. Bryant (born June 1861) living in Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio in the 1900 census. His occupation is listed as "carpenter" and he is married to Lula S. (born October 1867) and they have a child Beth aged 11. This couple was married c. 1886. It is very likely this is "our" W. C. Bryant, since in the 1920 federal census William C. Bryant is still living in Bucyrus with Lula S. and his occupation is "photographer". Lula is a "miliner".
December, 2012 - Based on the information found in the December 2, 1893 article in the Shelby Times newspaper (below), it can be resolved that W. C. Bryant was William Cullen Bryant, son of Edwin and Mary Miller Bryant, born in Crawford County, Ohio in 1858. He married Lulu Stansel, daughter of Elexis and Philura Pierce Stansel, born in Neveda, Ohio in 1868. They were the parents of Beth Bryant Jones, born 1889 in Neveda. Ohio. William continued in the photography profession until a few years before his death in 1935. Lulu lived until 1938 when she passed away in Ashland, Ohio. Both William and Lulu are buried in the Oakwood Cem. in Bucyrus, Ohio.
Jeffrey Bryant in early 2015 wrote as an "extended relative" of W. C. Bryant to confirm that the above surmise was correct. Jeffrey also supplied additional information: William's father was Edmund Randolph Bryant born 1829 in Bucyrus, Ohio. His mother was Mary Elizabeth Miller born 1829 in Philadelphia, Pa. They were married in Timberville, Ohio in 1850. Edmund's father was Jacob D. Bryant who born in Washington Co., Pa. in 1803 and Edmond's mother was Jane Ann Welsh born in 1805 in Charles Town, VA. (WVA). They were married in 1828 in Marion County, Ohio. Thank you Jeffrey for all your helpful information !!
The article appearing in the 1897 "The Republican Industrial Edition" states:
"Among the businesses conclusive to the luxuries and happiness of men and women is the photographer's art. Mr. W. C. Bryant, located on Main Street, whose place of business is herewith presented, has during his career of several years in Shelby, created a reputation for satisfactory work and universal pleasing of customers that is hard to surpass. His gallery, although small, is conveniently fitted up with all the latest and most improved instruments necessary to turn out good work and the large trade he enjoys is a standing testimonial of his efficiency as a photographer. His gallery has lately been repainted and papered and supplied with new and artistic backgrounds from some of the best painters in Chicago."
(Newspaper Ad - May 20, 1897)
December, 2012 -
Another article has been found in the December 2, 1893 issue of the Shelby Times:
W. C. Bryant of Bucyrus, has fitted up a Photograph Gallery in the Kingsboro building on East Main street, first door West of Dr. Summer's office. He has had 14 years experience in the business and is prepared to do any class of work. Mr. Bryant makes a speciality of out door work such as buildings on which his terms are very low. Don't fail to give him a call when you want anything in his line. Don't wait for a clear day or a cloudy day is just a good. I have a large light and am prepared to do first class work in all kinds of weather. Some of the very best photographs are made on cloudy days, so don't wait on the weather, one day is as good as another. I will give you first class work. Come any time.
W. C. Bryant"

February, 2011 -
Another bit of information has been found in the August 15, 1894 issue of the Shelby News:
"The following letter was received just before going to press from our
enterprising photographer, W. C. Bryant:
 Columbus, O. August 15, 1894
Editor, Shelby News
Dear Sir: - Please announce to the readers of the News that I am now in attendance at the photographers convention at this place and am being instructed in many new ideas and inventions in the business which has been learned by our members since our last convention. Upon my return home tomorrow, I will be prepared to show the citizens of Shelby and vicinity some new processes of work that will surpass anything ever before offered in this vicinity. I will furnish work that will equal any city work at reasonable prices. You will do well to get the latest and best, by calling at my gallery, on East Main Street, near the B. & O. R. R.
W. C. Bryant, Photographer "
So perhaps the "Gallery" shown below was located on "East Street, near the B. & O. R. R."

Since William and Lulu Bryant were living in Bucyrus, Ohio by census time in 1900 and were still living there in 1920, it is most likely that all photographs labeled W. C. Bryant - Shelby, Ohio (see below) were taken during the period 1894 to 1900. If you have a W. C. Bryant photograph that is so labeled and you think its' date falls outside 1894-1900, we would be very interested in seeing the photo. Please contact us at the museum or mail / email us at the address given at the bottom of the page.

The above images were a part of the 1897 article quoted from the "The Republican Industrial Edition". This is currently the only image we have of W. C. Bryant. If you are aware of additional photos of W. C. Bryant, please contact us.
Photographs by W. C. Bryant are fairly numerous. Many of the photos in the Shelby Museum are those that were used in the production of the The Republican Industrial Edition in 1897. All of these photos are the cabinet type (4.25 by 6.5 inches). Here are two examples:

(Picture courtesy of the Shelby Museum)
L. (Luther) W. (Warner) Barkdull was born in Delaware Co., Ohio in 1851 and came to Shelby, Ohio in 1873. Shortly thereafter he went into the furniture business with Samuel Sutter (Sutter - Barkdull Co.) and married Samuel and Elizabeth Will Sutter's daughter, Margaretta Sutter born in 1854. By the time of this photograph (c. 1897) Luther had severed business ties with Sutter and became a furniture dealer in Shelby (L. W. Barkdull and Co., at 81 - 83 West Main Street). Luther also served on the Shelby School Board, the city council and was the Shelby Fire Chief. The Barkdull furniture business continued to develop over the years and through several generations evolved into the current Barkdull Funeral Home business.

(Picture courtesy of the Shelby Museum)
In 1897, A. (Alva) H. Anderson was the treasurer for the city of Shelby. He was born in 1863, the son of James and Elizabeth Anderson. He married Anna c. 1892 and they began their family in Shelby. In addition to being the city treasurer (in 1897) he was a merchant with a dry goods and notion store (Anderson & Co.) located at 60 West Main Street (in 1901). His partner in business at this time was his father James Anderson who was born in 1833, passed away in 1910. Previously the business was named "Anderson & Mickey" with Thomas Mickey being the other active partner. Alva Anderson was to serve two terms as Shelby city treasurer, was on the city council, and the school board. He passed away in 1931.

Most all of the samples of W. C. Bryant's photos held in the Shelby Museum are of the cabinet size and have the photographer's name printed as in the sample photos above. More samples of W. C. Bryant's photographs will be added as they become available. If you have a Bryant photograph that you would allow us to copy, please contact the Shelby Museum.

If you have questions or if you would like more information, please contact :
The Shelby Museum of History
% Sally Maier
76 Raymond Ave.
Shelby, Ohio 44875
Email  Us


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