This is from Wolfe's 1911 History of Clinton County ---

Bryant was established as a station on the Midland railroad by the farmers purchasing twenty acres of land from the widow Lawton and location (locating?) a station.  A post office was established in 1870, with C. Hass as first incumbent.  He has been succeeded by Otto Behrns, E. Reiff, E. N. Nagel, August Wessel, F. N. Nagel and Dora Nagel.  A rural route, twenty-five miles long, in Clinton county, with J. G. Sullivan as carrier, was started in 1905.

The town was platted on the south half of the southwest quarter of section 25, township 83, range 5, March 13, 1871, by B. B. and Letitia Hart.  The first house built by Hass & Engler, who started a saloon.  Reiff & Behrens started the first store.  They were succeeded by Charles Andresen, and the store later became that of Reiff & Nagel, and then Nagel Brothers took charge.

Herman Toedt and August Wessel have been engaged also as merchants here.  The first physician to locate was Doctor Batchelor, now of Clinton.  Drs. Kaadt Brothers, Marner and Fields have practiced here.  For twenty-five years Peter Vincke was justice of the peace, which position is now held by J. J. Laughlin.

There are two churches in the town, the Union church and the Catholic.  The "Old Prairie church" was built by the pioneer Catholics of this parish, St. Mary's, but during the pastorate of Father J. F. Bowen a new building was provided for the congregation.  It was located in the village of Bryant and cost about nine thousand dollars.  The present pastor is Father Mahoney, who is proving an excellent man in the position he fills so acceptably to his church.

Bryant is unincorporated.  It was visited by the worst disaster in its history on Sunday, August 7, 1910, when a fire burned the soft drinks establishment of John Clawson, and the hotel, dance hall, and livery stable of L. J. Hansen, two coal yards, and some barns.  The loss was sixteen thousand dollars.  As everything was as dry as tinder from the excessive drought of the summer, there was great difficulty in saving the remainder of the town.  The dance hall had been for years a famous gathering place, and many are the stories of good time held there.

The present business interests are represented as follows: General dealers, August Wessel, Nagel Brothers; agricultural implements, Arthur Monahan; feed mill, Henry Andresen; coal, August Feddersen, L. J. Hansen; meat market, Chris Brodersen; harness, Hans Schroeder; shoemaker, Peter Vincke; grain and stock merchants, August Wessel, D. McGraw, Gus Lieders.

From the Palimpsest:

A civil engineer on the railroad, Isaac Howe, was responsible for the name of Bryant in Clinton County. The town was named toward the end of William Cullen Bryant’s long career as editor of the New York Evening Post, while he was one of the leaders of the antislavery crusade. But there may have been another reason that had a slight influence upon the name of the town: the Midland Railroad had an alphabetical plan for its towns — Almont, Bryant, Charlotte, Delmar, and Elwood, all in a line west from Clinton — and Bryant dropped neatly into its place.

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