Jacob Bryant was born in 1805 in South Carolina. He was orphaned by an epidemic when eight years old, and was bound out to a neighbor until he was eighteen. Released, he walked to Indiana to join friends who had gone west earlier. He married and fathered Sarah Ann who became the wife of Jacob Hursh of Long Lake. His wife died and he remarried. He and his wife Mary brought Sarah Ann and their own nine children when they came to Minnesota in 1856. They homesteaded on Pioneer Creek in west Independence township. Mary died in 1864, and Jacob married Catherine Huntsberger who had come from Pennsylvania with her family about 1863.
Catherine bore him five children, of whom Rufus Irwin was the youngest. Jacob lived to be ninety-eight, and died in 1903.
Rufus married a neighbor, Minnie E. Lawrence, in 1899. She was the daughter of George Lawrence who went from Maine to Wisconsin to work for an uncle who was lumbering there. He then went to Vernon Center, then to Montevideo to take a tree claim. Wanting timberland he later went to Minneapolis and then bought the William Murphy farm near Lyndale.
Minnie and Rufus moved to. Maple Plain in 1902, the land having changed hands from the John Wasson homestead to William Budd to Charles Ingerson to William Haney, then deeded to the Bryants in 1903. They tore down the old house and built a new one which burned the winter of 1910-11. Twenty men and women, members of the Royal Neighbors lodge, were gathered at the Bryant home for the noon meal when Louis Olson who managed the lumber yard, telephoned to say their roof was on fire. In spite of all the help present the house burned and was replaced by the present Bryant house. The Bryant children were Alvin, Hugh, Clayton, Kenneth, Louise, Lorna and Lawrence.