Full name: Eveleen Kennedy Bryan
2 August 1900 — Daily Inter Mountain
“Miss Eveleen Kennedy, a practicing lawyer of Miles City, has written to the attorney general to know if she would be eligible to hold the office of county attorney, if elected this fall.”
4 August 1900 — Daily Inter Mountain
“Attorney General Nolan has replied to Miss Eveleen Kennedy of Miles city, that a woman would not be eligible to hold the office of county attorney. She had been urged to run in her county this fall.”
7 August 1900 — Kalispell Bee
“Attorney General Nolan has decided that a woman is not eligible to the office of county attorney in Montana. It is not so very long ago since a woman [Ella Knowles] ran for the office of attorney general in Montana and came near being elected. She finally married the man who beat her, but from that it is not to be assumed that he beat her after they were married. He beat her at the polls and by way of making his victory the more complete, she married him.
It is hardly likely the Miles City aspirant for the honors and emoluments of the county attorneyship had in view the possibility of winning a husband in case she lost the office. However, as her opponents in the Custer county race would likely be T. J. Porter and Sydney Sanner, both very eligible and good-tempered bachelors, it might be suspected that the Miles City lady’s candidacy is in the nature of a proposition to either of the two gentlemen named to get her out of the way with a proposal of marriage. If this was her purpose Nolan’s decision is bad. Both Porter and Sanner should have been married long ago, and any proposition looking for their inveiglement into the matrimonial net should be encouraged on grounds of public policy.”
22 August 1901 — Rosebud County news
“Miss Eveleen Kennedy of Miles City announces that she will open a law office there about Sept. 1st and take up the practice of her profession. Miss Kennedy was admitted to the bar a year or so ago, but has been engaged as stenographer in the office of Strevell & Porter until recently. She has already had some experience in the courts and is looked upon as being fully capable of looking after clients’ interests. In so far as known Miss Kennedy is the second woman lawyer in the state.”
21 February 1902 — Anaconda Standard
“Miss Eveleen Kenndey, Miles City’s bright female lawyer, is preparing to change her office quarters.”
2 January 1904 — Minneapolis Journal
“A new law firm will shortly open an office in this city and be known as Kennedy & Kennedy. Judge Kennedy of Canton, S. D., will be the senior member, and his sister, Miss Eveleen Kennedy, who has been a resident of Miles City for ten years, will be the junior partner.
Judge Kennedy has been a prominent lawyer in Canton, and recently came west to seek relief from throat trouble. Miss Kennedy prepared herself for a business career by taking a course of study at Lenox college, in Hopkinton, Iowa. After leaving college she taught school, and then took up the study of shorthand and was employed in the office of Judge Kennedy in Canton. In 1893 she came to Miles City to accept an office position and entered on the study of law in her leisure moments. She was admitted to practice law in all of the courts of the state. She opened a law office two years ago, and has enjoyed a good practice, especially in probate and administration matters, and her criminal practice is steadily increasing. Since she was a girl in her ‘teens,’ Miss Kennedy has made her own way without financial aid, and she has won her place thru her own merits. She is one of two women lawyers in Montana. The other is Mrs. Ella Knowles Haskell of Helena.”
8 January 1904 — Dakota farmers’ leader
“Judge Kennedy left for Miles City, Montana, . . ., where he will visit his sister, Attorney Eveleen Kennedy, and look into some of her important law suites [sic]. Miss Kennedy is a brilliant young woman and ranks high as an attorney. The Minneapolis Journal recently printed a fine picture of her with a brief sketch of her success as an attorney.”
3 October 1905 — Billings Gazette
“Miss Evalyn Kennedy, Miles City’s woman lawyer, spent yesterday in the city on business. It is said that Miss Kennedy enjoys quite a large practice and that she wins more often than she loses. Two Billings attorneys recently ascertained that fact, being opposing counsel with her in a suit at Forsyth.”
10 August 1934 — San Diego Union
“That women have had marked influence upon the administration of justice and that there are many opportunities in the profession of law for the girl who has a sincere liking for that difficult calling, courage and a high type of mentality, was brought out in a comprehensive talk by Mrs. Eveleen Bryan for fellow members of San Diego Altrusa club at its dinner meeting at the Barcelona hotel Wednesday evening.
Mrs. Bryan who is a practicing attorney here, was one of the two first women lawyers in Montana and has had a wide experience on which to found her knowledge of her topic. This was ‘What Seems to Me the Possibilities for Girls in the Law.’
Mrs. Bryan deplored the stultifying acceptance on the part of the timid fledgling girl lawyers of paid positions in offices of men attorneys, rather than a bold striking out on her own part to ‘make a few healthy mistakes of her own’ and thus learn by real experience the limits and resources of her profession. The law, she said, is a ‘lifetime of study’ since each year’s crop of legislation brings new hurdles to jump, but has unlimited possibilities for the young woman with a true legal mind. As examples she quoted several successful women lawyers, including Judge Georgia Bullock of Los Angeles.”
From Ancestry.com (with permission)
“Eveleen Kennedy was the youngest of Cornelius M. and Mary Lindsey Kennedy’s children. She grew up helping her mother on the farm. Edith Odell Ryan said of her aunt, ‘she was precise and kind of respectable, but she never had much fun.’ Her older brothers, first John, then Cornelius and Benjamin, helped pay for her to attend the University of Iowa at Iowa City, IA, where she earned a BA degree. After graduating she tried her hand at teaching, but couldn’t control the rowdy boys in her class. Cornelius and Ben asked her to come and work in their law office in Canton, SD. They taught her enough law while she worked for them, for her to pass the bar exams, and become an attorney herself.
In 1886, she almost died from typhoid malaria. She was staying with her brother, Ben, and his family at the time; and Ben helped to care for her. She finally recovered, but in the meantime, Ben caught typhoid malaria from her and died.
Eveleen Kennedy practiced law in Miles City, Montana, and then in San Diego, CA. At one time, Eveleen and her brother, Cornelius B. Kennedy, owned a law office together in Miles City, Montana.
Eveleen eventually married Thomas J. Bryan, a gentleman much older than herself, sometime between 1900 and 1908 . He was an old friend, a widower from Montana and then California, who had convinced her to move to San Diego to practice law. Edith Odell Ryan said, ‘they came to our house on their wedding trip; and I can remember my mother'( Eveleen’s sister, Elizabeth) ‘crying when she saw Aunt Eveleen come with that old, old, blind man.’
Eveleen and Thomas Bryan adopted a son, Thomas J. Bryan Jr., in 1908. At the time Eveleen was 40 yrs. old and Thomas was 70 yrs. old. Thomas J. Bryan Jr. grew up to be a wild young man, married seven times, and was in and out of jail. Thomas J. Bryan Sr. died sometime before 1930, as a 1930 census finds Eveleen listed as a widow. Eveleen died on May 27, 1945, and was buried with Thomas in San Diego, CA.
Written records of Edith Odell Ryan
Autobiography of Cornelius B. Kennedy
U.S. Census Records for 1930
California Death Records”
Helen Fitzgerald Sanders, A History of Montana 1172 (volume 2, 1913):
“On October 25, 1903, Colonel Bryan was married to Miss Eveleen Kennedy, daughter of Cornelius and Mary Ann Kennedy, during their lifetime well-known residents of Delaware county, Iowa, having for many years resided on a farm near Colesburg, Iowa. Mrs. Bryan was educated in the public schools of Delaware county and at Lenox College, at Hopkinton, Iowa. She taught school for a time and then became a stenographer, the latter profession leading to the study of law, which she pursued for some time, followed by her admission to the bar of Montana, in which state she practiced for several years at Miles City. In 1905 she was admitted to the bar of California, and began the practice of her profession at San Diego, which she discontinued at the time of her marriage and has not since resumed it. She was a charter member of Custer Chapter No. 25, Order of the Eastern Star, at Miles City, Montana, and is a past matron of that chapter. She also takes an active interest in church work and women’s clubs. Colonel and Mrs. Bryan have one son, Thomas James Bryan, Jr., born January 28, 1908, who was received into their home June 15, 1908, and legally adopted by them June ??, 1909. They reside in their beautiful home, ‘Casa Coronelia,’ at Lemon Grove, where they entertain many Montana friends.”
Leland Ghent Stanford, San Diego’s Legal Lore & the Bar 187 (1968):
“Mrs. Eveleen K. Bryan (nee Kenedy) was a San Diego area lawyer for 40 years before her death in 1945. Admitted to practice in California on August 21, 1905, from then until 1930 — as wife of well-to-do Col. Thomas J. Bryan of Lemon Grove — the lady was a community leader. Example: she was instrumental in organizing the Grossmont High School. On September 10, 1964, Mr. Tony Sonka, long influential in Lemon Grove, recalled that Mrs. Bryan did small legal services for neighbors and acquaintances in the years before World War I. . . . Mrs. Bryan listed herself as an attorney in Lemon Grove in 1931-1932, and the lawyers’ directory gives her office at San Diego 1933-1941. She was born in Colesburg, Iowa (youngest of 14 children, all but one of whom received college educations, and five of whom were lawyers), studied law in offices of her brothers Cornelius and Benjamin Kennedy in South Dakota, acted as court reporter in Miles City, Montana, and as legal secretary there for Judge Strevell who had served in the Illinois legislature with Abraham Lincoln. She was the second woman admitted to the bar in Montana (1897). Following marriage to Col. Bryan, the lady’s legal talents for years were devoted to problems involving his mining interests and large ranches in Montana, and the couple’s extensive orchard holdings in this county, and numerous blocks of San Diego city property.”
22 February 1868, in Iowa
Cornelius M. and Mary Ann Lindsey Kennedy
John, Cornelius, Benjamin, and 10 other children
Public schools of Delaware County, Iowa; Lenox College
In a law office in Miles City, beginning in 1893; did not attend law school
Admitted to Practice:
- Montana 1901
- California 1905
- Miles City, Montana
- San Diego, California
Types of Practice:
Probate and Administration matters and Criminal Practice
Colonel T. J. Bryan on October 25, 1905
27 October 1905 — Anaconda Standard
4 November 1905 — San Diego Union
“Col. T. J. Bryan Takes a Bride; Married to Miss Eveleen Kennedy at Miles City Montana, on October 25 Last”
“Announcements have been received of the marriage of Colonel T. J. Bryan of Lemon Grove and Miss Eveleen Kennedy at Miles City, Montana, October 25. Of the interesting event the Daily Yellowstone Journal of Miles City says:
‘Last evening there culminated an event that in the various stages of report from rumor to certainty has certainly furnished Miles City with a fruitful topic. When, shortly after this paper announced some weeks ago that our comely and successful female barrister, Miss Eveleen Kennedy, was to remove to San Diego, Cal., there to practice her profession, it was rumored that this newspaper’s information was not entirely correct and that there were reasons other than professional for Miss Kennedy’s selection of a new home, it was not long before this rumor began to assume a definiteness that went so far as to include in the plot a former resident of Miles City of the male persuasion, now comfortably located in the golden state and in the immediate vicinity of San Diego, to-wit, Colonel Bryan, and there were those who claimed to know that it was all arranged and that the only walls that would echo to the voice of this feminine expounder of the mysteries of Blackstone were the walls of Colonel Bryan’s palatial hacienda at Lemon Grove, a suburb of San Diego.
‘A select party of personal friends of Colonel Bryan and Miss Kennedy assembled at the home of Miss Kennedy’s sister, Mrs. Kennard, last evening, where at 6 o’clock Rev. Mr. Dodds of the Methodist church pronounced the words that joined Colonel T. J. Bryan and Miss Eveleen Kennedy in holy wedlock.
‘Miss Eveleen Kennedy that was, is a young woman of distinction in this community. Coming here about a dozen years ago, a very young girl, she took up stenography and her employment being in the law office it was not long before she was “reading law,” and finding it to her liking, she persevered to so much purpose that it was not long before she gained the distinction of being admitted to practice.
‘Colonel T. J. Bryan is one of Miles City’s earliest settlers, coming here by boat in the summer of 1881, from which time, up to his departure for California in 1895, he was conspicuously identified with all the momentous affairs of both town and county, and those were not dull days either. Old timers will remember him as the chairman of the reform board of county commissioners appointed by the court after the ousting of the duly elected board for malfeasance in office.
‘He was also one of the founders and first president of the Eastern Montana Stock Growers’ association, organized here — in Sam O’Connell’s hotel — in 1882, which served as the model for the existing state association, and of which latter [sic] he was also chosen first president and re-elected to the same office two or three times. During his residence here, Colonel Bryan was engaged in the lumber business and also conducting large range interests in the locality of Otter creek. In 1895 he sold out his lumber business and betook himself to California to engage in fruit growing, but retained and still retains his cattle interests in this county. At Lemon Grove, Cal., near San Diego, Colonel Bryan has one of the best kept and most profitable orange and lemon orchards in that locality, and only recently he had added to the charm of the location by erecting a magnificent home.’
Colonel and Mrs. Bryan will arrive in San Diego on the 10th.”
Thomas James Bryan
27 May 1945, in San Diego, California