El Monte’s first constable was Barney (“Bud”) Bryant who came to California in about 1854 and who was among the first pioneers of this district. He was born in Milan County, Texas, December 19, 1840, accompanying his parents to California when in his early teens. No record is available concerning his parents, and little is known of his early life. Information acquired is to the effect that the family settled on a tract of land north of El Monte, which they farmed for many years, and Bryan Road which passes the old homestead was named in honor of the family.
Barney, or “Bud” as he was more familiarly known, soon became active in public affairs which resulted in his appointment as the first constable in El Monte. Due to a fire, which destroyed the early city records, the date of his appointment is not available.
Although the date of Barney Bryant’s marriage is not definitely known, it was in about 1858, and occurred at Ozark, Arkansas. His wife was in maidenhood Jane Burke, a native of Texas. No information relative to her people was obtainable. To this union were born five children, namely: Jessie, Roxie, Bell, Josephine, deceased; and Alice (Mrs. Goodnight) of Covina. The mother died February 16, 1887. Jesse, the eldest of the living children, spent most of his life in El Monte, moving to Pasadena in 1916. His death occurred in 1936, while his wife, Sarah, died in 1937.
In religion, “Bud” Bryant was a member of the Christian Church and in politics a staunch Democrat.
It is unfortunate that a more complete sketch of Mr. Bryant and his active and important part in the El Monte’s early history, is not available. His life was a colorful one, and he contributed much to the establishment of law and order in the early days.
His death occurred on October 5, 1908, while visiting in Gilroy, California.
Source: C. D. Mayon, F. Brow, L. Stoddard, and C. Mudd; El Monte from the Pioneer Days. WPA Project No. N-5740, 1936. In record 19-187072. (California Historical Landmark No. 765: El Monte). On file at the SCCIC, CSU Fullerton.