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Person Record

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Name Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925
Born 1860 Mar 19
Birthplace Salem, Marion, Illinois
Father Silas Lillard Bryan
Mother Maria Elizabeth Jennings
Notes William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois on March 19, 1860. He attended public school in Salem until the age of 15 when he entered Whipple Academy at Jacksonville, Illinois. Bryan was active in debate and declamatory oration and the valedictory address. He had become interested in politics in his later years at college, and remained active after entering law practices with a Jacksonville firm in 1883. In 1887 he was persuaded to move to Lincoln, Nebraska and enter practice with A.R. Talbot. In Nebraska he immediately became active with the activities of the Democratic Party, and was a delegate to the state Democratic convention in 1888. He was elected to Congress, serving from 1891-1895, having failed in his bid for a Senate seat in 1894.

During this period, Bryan was a leader of the silver coinage forces, and it was at the Democratic National Convention in 1896 when he made his famous "Cross of Gold" speech. Supported by the rising Populist Party, the "Boy Orator of the Platte" began his campaign for the presidency in which he was three times a candidate and three times defeated (1896, 1900, 1908). He remained a leader of the Democratic party and in 1912 led the movement that named Woodrow Wilson to be the Democratic candidate. Upon his election, Wilson made Bryan his Secretary of State. In this capacity Bryan campaigned for peace, negotiating treaties with thirty other nations. When he saw that the United States was about to enter the war, he resigned his post.

Bryan was a great showman and had a command of oratory which enabled him to hold his mid-western audiences spellbound. A true humanitarian with deep religious convictions and a dedicated advocate of temperance, he was always a champion of the common people. He was an editor, establishing the newspaper The Commoner at Lincoln; and an author. Bryan lived his last years in Miami, Florida, and died while attending court at Dayton, Tennessee in July 1925.
Role Political
Spouse Mary Elizabeth Baird
Children Grace Bryan
William Jennings Bryan, Jr.
Ruth Bryan
Deceased 1925 July 26
Deceased where Dayton, Rhea, Tennessee

Associated Records

Image of 8453-3 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; "Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club"

8453-3 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; "Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club"

This badge has a celluloid button with Bryan's picture and words that reads, "Our Candidate, William J. Bryan." The button sits atop a purple tri-level flourette. Below the flourette are two ribbons, one longer than the other, both having gold trim and gold metal tassels on the bottom. Also along the bottom edge of both ribbons is an embroidered gold design. The top ribbon has gold print that reads, "Nebraska Traveling Men's Bryan Club." The bottom ribbon also has gold print that reads, "Denver, 1908." COLORS: purple, gold

Image of 8496-1 - Program;  William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Birthday Dinner

8496-1 - Program; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Birthday Dinner

Program (with menu) for the Bryan Birthday Dinner held at the The Auditorium in Lincoln, NE on March 18, 1912. Dinner sponsored by the Lincoln-Bryan club. Front features images of Abraham Lincoln and Bryan. Menu is inside on the left. The Toasts are on the right side listing the speakers for the event. Bryan gave the address.

Image of 8503-2 - Tile; William Jennings Bryan

8503-2 - Tile; William Jennings Bryan

Tile featuring the likeness of William Jennings Bryan. The image is made of various shades of blue and is a head and shoulders image of Bryan wearing a bow tie.

Image of 8567-2 - Program; William Jennings Bryan; Birthday Program

8567-2 - Program; William Jennings Bryan; Birthday Program

Program for the Bryan Birthday Dinner held at the The Auditorium in Lincoln, NE on March 19, 1913. Front features images of Abraham Lincoln and Bryan.

Image of 8585-1 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Bryan Club

8585-1 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Bryan Club

Badge - At the top is a yellow pin bar that says "Lincoln Nebr". Attached to the pin bar are two ribbons. The short ribbon is attached to a celluloid button. The ribbon is red, white and blue. The button has a picture of Bryan standing. To his right is a picture of Abraham Lincoln and to his left is a picture of George Washington with words that read. "From Lincoln to Washington, William Jennings Bryan for President." The other ribbon is longer with silver trim and words that read, "Lincoln Bryan Club, Denver 1908." There are metal tassels on the bottom. Envelope - The envelope has the company name and slogan on it. Also it says, "If you wish to keep your badge in good order keep it on the

Image of 8609-1 - Medal, Political; William Jennings Bryan

8609-1 - Medal, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Loop at Top for Chain Obverse: Bryan facing left with his name below Reverse: American flag in the middle

Image of 8661-27 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "The Nation's Commoner"

8661-27 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "The Nation's Commoner"

The celluloid button has an image of Bryan and of some corn. There are phrases on the button. "The nations commoner", " Two of America's Great Essentials." "To peace and prosperity".

Image of 8708-1 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Club

8708-1 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Club

A badge from the Nebraska Traveling Mens Club, Dec 30, 1898. Bar pin at the top holding a gray ribbon with silver lettering. Attached to the ribbon is a button with a black and white image of Bryan.

Image of 8708-2 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Club

8708-2 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Club

This badge has a silver pin bar on the top wth engraved designs. Connected to the grey ribbon, about 1/3 of the way down is a button with Bryan's picture on it. The button has a plain border/edge. The rest of the ribbon below the button has silver writing reading, "Nebraska Traveling Men's Club, January 4, 1898." On the bottom edge of the ribbon is a frayed fringe.

Image of 8708-3 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

8708-3 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

A picture of William Jennings Bryan sits on a velvet/satin florette. A silk ribbon drops below with silver print reading, "Jefferson club, Lancaster County Nebraska. National convention, Kansas City, July 4, 1900." The ribbon has a gold trim. At the bottom of the ribbon is a metal fringe.

Image of 8708-4 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

8708-4 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

This badge has a celluloid button with Bryan's picture and words that reads, "Our Candidate, William J. Bryan." The button sits a top a purple tri-level flourette. Below the flourette are two ribbons, one longer than the other, both having gold trim and gold metal tassels on the bottom. Also along the bottom edge of both ribbons is an embroidered gold design. The top ribbon has gold print that reads, "Nebraska Traveling Men's Bryan Club." The bottom ribbon also has gold print that reads, "Denver, 1908."

Image of 8708-5 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

8708-5 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

This badge has two parts. The top part is an American flag bow. At the bottom middle of the bow is a ring that connects a hanging circular metal button with Bryan's picture on it on the outer edge of the button is writing that reads." Nebraska traveling men's Bryan club."

Image of 8708-6 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

8708-6 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

The pin bar at the top has an elaborate edge with words that read, "Official souvenir, Welcome home, Sept. - 1906". Below the pin bar is an American flag ribbon that has a metal medallion, circular, connected to it by a small ring. On the front of the medallion is an engraved portrait of William Jennings Bryan. On the back is an engraved picture of Bryan's home "Fairview, Lincoln, NEB."

Image of 8708-8 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan

8708-8 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Celluloid pin connected to a red, white and blue ribbon that has an image of Bryan and of some corn. There are phrases on the button. "The nations commoner", " Two of America's Great Essentials." "To peace and prosperity".

Image of 8708-9 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan; "To Washington from Lincoln"

8708-9 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan; "To Washington from Lincoln"

There is a black leather strap with a silver buckle connected to a black circular piece of leather. A celluloid button is connected to the circular leather piece. On the button is an image of Bryan standing with an image of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington on either side of him. The words on the bottom read, "From Lincoln to Washington, 1908, William Jennings Bryan for president."

Image of 8751-99 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan

8751-99 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan

Obverse: Coin reads, "Free Silver, 1896" on the outside edge. In the center is "One Dam" Reverse: In the center is a donkey-headed goose with "P.O.D." on its body. Above and right of the goose are the words. "In Bryan with trust." On the outside edges are the words, "United States of America". Both sides have a raised rim. The outside edge is reeded.

Image of 8751-56 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

8751-56 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

The pin bar at the top has an elaborate edge with words that read, "Official souvenir, Welcome home, Sept. - 1906". Below the pin bar is an American flag ribbon that has a metal medallion, circular, connected to it by a small ring. On the front of the medallion is an engraved portrait of William Jennings Bryan. On the back is an engraved picture of Bryan's home "Fairview, Lincoln, NEB."

Image of 8751-57 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan

8751-57 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan

Obverse: Coin reads, "Free Silver, 1896" on the outside edge. In the center is "One Dam" Reverse: In the center is a donkey-headed goose with "P.O.D." on its body. Above and right of the goose are the words. "In Bryan with trust." On the outside edges are the words, "United States of America". Both sides have a raised rim. The outside edge is reeded.

Image of 8788-1 - Chair, William Jennings Bryan

8788-1 - Chair, William Jennings Bryan

Small side chair with dark finish and needlepoint seat. There are three horizontal wood slats in the back. It has four straight legs, with two spindles between each leg. The seat is a needlepoint pattern of flowers an leaves on a navy blue ground.

Image of 8912-4 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan

8912-4 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan

A brown leather strap is connected to a metal medallion. In the middle of the medallion is a picture of Bryan under celluloid. The outer edge of the medallion has a "Lily wreath" on it.