Bryan Cabin – Dallas, Texas
This is the reconstruction of the first resident of the area, John Neely Bryan. The cabin is located in the historic district of downtown Dallas. Standing alone in this site, surrounded by the busy city of Dallas, the cabin shows how the founder of the area lived in a one-room home alone on the prairie.
The original cabin was mostly destroyed by flooding in the late 1800′s. The replica stands just about a quarter of a mile from the original site of the founder’s home.
John Neely Bryan was born in Fayetteville, Tennessee on Christmas Eve 1810. He was a farmer, lawyer, and tradesman who traveled to Texas to search out the feasibility of opening a trading post in 1830. He found the spot he wanted but then, upon returning in 1941 to open the trading post he found that the United States government has done a treaty with the Native Americans out of northern Texas and therefore lost his prospective customers. He changed his plans and established a permanent settlement in the area. This is the beginning of Dallas.
He served as the postmaster, a store owner, a ferry operator along with the fact that his house served as the courthouse. In the years that followed he donated the land for the courthouse of Dallas County.
He joined the Texas Cavalry in the winter of 1861 and served until late in 1862 when he was discharged due to his old age and poor health. He stayed active in the Dallas area and was very prominent in aiding those who were affected by the flood of 1866. He was also the chair of a citizens’ meeting that pushed the Houston and Texas Central Railway to complete the railway through the city and presided at a rally that sought to get full political rights for all ex-Confederates. He became director of the Dallas Bridge Company, which built the first iron bridge across the Trinity River from 1871 and 1872.
In 1874 his mind was clearly impaired and he was admitted to the Texas State Lunatic Asylum in February 1877 and died there on September 8, 1877. He is believed to be buried in a now-unmarked grave in the southeast quadrant of the Austin State Hospital Cemetery, although there is some thought that he may have been buried in Riverside Cemetery in Wichita Falls, TX.
John Neely Bryan Cabin
600 Elm St
Dallas, TX 75202