Three gravestones – each with a branch of leaves and flowers in the upper left hand corner – stand in the Antioch Christian Cemetery in rural Casey County. These monuments are for Rube and Lona Bryant Pierce, and her father, Milton Bryant.
The history of the Bryant family begins in Adair County, Kentucky, with David and Sarah Bryant, with their large family of eleven children – Milton Bryant being the middle child, coming in at #6! In the 1860 census the family is listed as David, 55, Sarah, 47, John, 26, Jasper, 22, James, 21, Peter, 18, Thomas, 15, Milton, 13, Martha, 11, David, 9, Henry, 7, Edmund, 5, and Sarah E., 1.
By 1870 David Bryant is deceased. The census lists now three families, living next to each other. Household #78 is Milton Bryant, 23, with his wife, Nancy J. (Hardin), 20, and baby daughter, Apolona, 4/12. Household #79, brother Jasper Bryant, 33, his wife, Nancy J., 27, William D., 8, Sarah F., 6, Millie A., 4, and Martha J., 1. Household #80, is mother Sarah Bryant, 55, John, 35, Thomas, 25, Martha A., 20, Rhoda, 2, David, 19, Henry 16, Edward, 14, and Sarah E., 11.
In 1880, still in Adair County, Milton Bryant is 33, Nancy J., 30, Apolona, 10, Cleopatra, 9, Arthur, 5, and Manora, 4. The children’s names are wonderful! Was Milton a well-read person – did he love history?
In 1900 the family has moved to Casey County, Kentucky. Nancy J. Bryant is deceased. Milton Bryant, is 53, with son Otha, 24, daughter, Manora, 22. Also living with him are daughter Lona (Apolona) Pierce, 30, now married to husband Rube (Reuben), 29, and their children Owen, 3, Flora L., 2, and Fannie P., 2/12.
By 1910 Rube and Lona Pierce have moved to Russell County. They are both 39, Owen, 14, Flora L., 12, Pearl, 10, Chester, 7, Elbert, 5, and twins Omer, 2, and Otis, 2. They have been married sixteen years and have seven children, all living. All family members are still living in Russell County in 1920.
1928 was a sad year for the family. Apolona’s father died September 22 – and she followed him to the grave a few months later on November 23rd. Apolona, her husband Rube and her father David are buried at Antioch Christian Church in Casey County. They must have shortly moved back from Russell County, because her death certificate is signed by her husband, giving an address as Dunnville, Casey County, Kentucky.
Rube Pierce lived until January 28, 1937. In the 1930 Casey County Census he is 59, twin sons, Omer and Otis, 22, living with him.