William R. Bryon

Born November 4, 1833, Batavia, New York
Died July 26, 1918, Boise, Idaho

William Bryon was born on Nov. 4, 1833 in Batavia, Genesee Country, New York, USA. He left home at age 14 and worked his way west in search of gold.

He has the distinction of having brought the first cattle into the basin and of butchering the first in the fall of 1862 when it was found that feed was too scarce to keep the 400 head. The cattle were kept frozen until spring.

Bryon served several terms as Ada County Sheriff, however, the most notable was the election for Sheriff in 1870; the election returns for Sheriff showed Lute Lindsey as the winner, but in quick court action, it was proved that the ballots of three African-Americans, who had voted for William Bryon, had been thrown away as well as ballots in which the voter had misspelled his last name. Once they were retrieved, it showed that William won the Sheriff’s post by two votes.

Mr. Bryon owned one of the first repeating rifles in the country and it is said he carried it with him from Winnemucca to Quartzburg for two years, 250 miles each way every 12 days.

At the age of 70, he hiked through the Dyea Pass to Dawson, Alaska, in search of gold. After a year, he returned home on North Eleventh Street after one year, finding no prospect.

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