The Family Letter Blog

Connecting Generations


The Kingsbury Boys of Osage, Iowa

Kingsbury Boys

Back Row: Joseph Bush, Frank Wayland, Orrin Dean; Front Row: Forrest Alva & Clark Walker

Thanks to Chris Pahud for this great picture of the Kingsbury boys of Osage Iowa. He estimates the picture was from 1904 or 1905 and I would agree. Clark, the youngest, was born in November 1903 and to me he looks somewhere between 18 to 24 months in this picture, which would date the picture to 1905. I am struck by the differences in their features and also how much Orrin Dean reminds me of my uncle, Preston Deane. I think Frank has more of the Bush family features.


Forrest Alva Kingsbury

Over the next few weeks I’ll compile what I know about the five sons of Wayland Briggs Kingsbury who were born in Iowa between 1883 and 1903.  The first four were born to Wayland and his first wife, Flora Bush, who died in 1900. Wayland remarried Annie Walker and they had one son together – Clark Kingsbury.

The oldest son, Forrest Alva Kingsbury was born on August 8, 1883 in Oelwein, Iowa and died on August 22, 1972. His obituary from the Redlands Daily Facts has a good account of his education, which included a Masters in Psychology and Philosophy from Yale University. I wish the picture quality were better because I would love to know what he looked like. From his draft registration for World War I, he is described as tall with brown hair and brown eyes.

Forrest Kingsbury.obit.1972

Forrest married Cornelia Hasselman, of Pella Iowa in 1911. They never had children. By 1920, they were living in Chicago, which is where he got his PhD in Psychology. He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago and taught there until he retired in 1948. Here’s an interesting clipping I found that suggests Forrest was a very practical academician. This appeared in the Reading, PA newspaper in July 1923.


After retiring from University of Chicago in 1948, Forrest and Cornelia moved to Redlands, California. He was a visiting professor of Psychology at Redlands University for four years. In a nod to the Kingsbury family’s New England roots, he and Cornelia were the first people to move into “Plymouth Village” retirement community in Redlands.

Cornelia, who was born on August 5, 1887, survived Forrest by almost eight years, dying when she was 93 years old on August 15, 1980.

Here is Joseph B Kingsbury’s account of traveling with his brother Clark and sister-in-law Allie to attend Forrest’s funeral.

On August 23, I had a telephone call from Redlands telling of Forrest’s death. I had been prepared for the news by a letter from Cornelia a few days before. A call from Clark and Allie said that if I could come down to El Paso, we could drive to Redlands for the funeral so I caught a plane here and flew via Chicago and San Antonio to El Paso. The next morning we left in Allie’s Cadillac and drove 740 miles via Tucson, Phoenix and Blythe, CA reaching Redlands before dark. We called at Plymouth Village and were told that Cornelia had gone to bed, but she was not asleep, and we talked to her a few minutes before going to our motel. The funeral Saturday morning was simple and in good taste. The room was full of people from the village, the university and the church; and the remarks by the Baptist minister were thoughtful and moving.  We rode with Cornelia to the mausoleum where there was a short service, and then to the village for lunch. In the afternoon we had a good visit with Cornelia, and she rode with us over to San Bernardino to look for some Mrs. Sees candy.

We drove back to El Paso on Sunday, detouring through Palm Springs and Sun City Arizona to see how the rich people retire. I suppose we were driving through hot country, but Allie’s car was cool and comfortable and both of them are excellent drivers. Next day, Clark took me on a sight seeing trip – across the river to Juarez, a walk through his plant, north along the mountain range and across close to a 6000 ft peak, to Las Cruces, New Mexico with lunch at La Posta, a famous old restaurant where I had my first Mexican food. In the evening we had dinner with friends of  Clark and Allie at the Lancers Club. Next day I caught a plane at 7:45, reached Chicago at 10:15 and was home before 4 pm.

The loss of my oldest brother makes me feel a little more alone, and more grateful for my one remaining brother, my in-laws, nieces and nephews and of course my sons and their families. I was glad to get better acquainted with Clark and Allie, and to see their beautiful home in El Paso.

Shortly after returning from Forrest’s funeral, JBK made another visit to Clark and Allie and joined them on a 10 day driving tour through the south, visiting for his first time, the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

JBK’s diary from his first year at George Washington University (1911) recounts a trip he made that December to New York City where he met his brother Forrest, who must have been at Yale at that time. JBK was also listed as living with Forrest and Cornelia in the 1920 census for Chicago, which is where JBK got his PhD in Political Science.

LincolnsTomb.24Mar1924I’ll close with a tidbit about JBK’s travels with his oldest brother Forrest. This was from an Illinois newspaper on March 28, 1924 – a date that has no particular significance that I can determine. This would have been when JBK was teaching at Washington University in St. Louis and Forrest was teaching at the University of Chicago. Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln’s Tomb is located, is about a two hour drive northeast of St. Louis and about a three hour drive southwest of Chicago.




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Bryant Family of Washington DC

Originally written in February 2016; Updated March 29, 2019

My father Bryant Kingsbury was born on May 30, 1932 in Bethesda, Maryland. His first name is his mother’s maiden name. His brother, born four years later, was given another family name as his first name – Preston- but has always gone by his middle name – Deane.

My grandmother, Katherine Gertrude Bryant, was the only daughter and first child of Herbert Sydney Bryant and Elizabeth Monica Preston. Kitty, as she was known, was born on October 27, 1902 in Washington DC. Her father Herbert Sydney Bryant was the youngest son of Levi Jesse Bryant and Ellen Sarah Salley. Although Levi and Ellen met and married in Wisconsin, they started their family in Washington, DC where they moved at the end of the American Civil War.

I’ve written about Levi Jesse Bryant losing his arm in the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1862. In September 2015 I visited the Chancellorsville Battlefield and with the help of a very knowledgeable ranger, was able to find the spot on the battle field where the Wisconsin 3rd Infantry came under intense fire on the last day of the battle. According to the ranger, that was most likely where Levi was wounded.

Levi and Ellen had four children – all born in Washington DC. Arthur Levi Bryant (1870-1933); Charles Fardon Bryant (1872-1923); Grace Bryant (Eynon) (1876 – 1943) and Herbert Sydney Bryant (1878-1950). After mustering out of the Union Army in August 1862, Levi worked for the US War Department for several years. He also was a member of the fourth graduating class of the Law Department of National University in May 1875. His oldest son Arthur also became a lawyer.

In 1893, Arthur Bryant married Lizzie Habel, who’s mother was born in Germany and immigrated to New York just before Lizzie was born. Lizzie and her mother moved to Washington DC to live with Lizzie’s uncle Dr.George M. Kober after her father died. The 1910 census shows Lizzie, her husband Arthur and her mother, living with Dr. Kober. Dr. Kober was Dean of the Medical School at Georgetown University.

ArthurBryant.LizzieHabel.marriage.evestar.5.18.1893Here is their marriage announcement from the Washington Evening Star – May 18, 1893. Arthur and Lizzie took a long honeymoon and went to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Arthur and Lizzie never had children. He died in 1933 and Lizzie lived the next 30 years as a widow, dying in April 1963.  From some family correspondence I know that she had a sizable estate some of which passed to my father and uncle because their mother (Lizzie and Arthur’s niece) had died in 1959 so they inherited what had been left to her.

I haven’t been able to learn much about Charles Fardon Bryant. He was only 48 years old when he died and there was only a brief mention of his passing in the Washington newspapers.  Charles was a business man of some sort and I suspect he married well. Isabella Byrne, his wife, is sometimes mentioned in the Washington Post and Evening Star society pages. They had one son, Charles Byrn Bryant, born in 1900. He went to the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh in 1919 to study engineering .

HerbertBryant.ElizabethPreson.marriage.evestar.9.10.1900Levi and Ellen’s two youngest children, Grace and Herbert, married within a month of each other in 1900.  Herbert married Elizabeth Monica Preston on Saturday September 8, 1900 at Epiphany Church, an Episcopal church in Washington DC. It seems they had a small ceremony. The church has survived the passage of time and never ending building boom in Washington DC and is currently located at 1317 G Street NW, just a couple of blocks east of the White House. I’ve submitted an email to the church to see if they have a record of Herbert and Elizabeth’s wedding.

GraceBryant.WilliamEynon.marriage.evestar.10.3.1900On October 2nd, Grace Bryant married William John Eynon at All Soul’s Unitarian church located at the corner of L and 14th Streets NW. The church building today at 1500 Harvard Street was constructed in 1923. The church congregation dates back to the early days of Washington DC. This ceremony got a bit more press. I was surprised to read that Grace was escorted by her brother Arthur Bryant. Why not her father Levi? Then I remembered that Levi’s obituary in 1920 mentioned that he was one of the District’s oldest residents and that he had been paralyzed for the last 20 years of his life. Perhaps Levi wasn’t physically able to walk his daughter down the aisle.

I’ll focus a bit more on each of these Bryant family members in preparation for an upcoming visit to Washington DC in June 2019.