Arthur Bryan was born in Erin, ON in 1869 and moved with his family to Tehkummah in 1874 at the age of five. In 1877, he joined 33 neighbourhood children ranging in age from 4 to 15 in becoming the first students at the freshly minted log schoolhouse S.S. No. 1 (locally known as Blue Jay School House) just a few lots down from his family's homestead. Other students that first year included the children of Sam Sloan and Andrew Porter.
Arthur was just 8-years-old when his father and older brother, Charlie, were killed during a feud with their neighbours. Although Arthur gave testimony in which he claimed to be a direct witness to the fight that ended in the double slaying, serious concerns arose as to whether he could have actually seen all that he claimed. Questions over the veracity of his testimony would ultimately lead to the murder convictions being overturned.
Following the murders, Arthur and his mother had no permanent home. Instead they were put up by each of Arthur's older siblings in turn, which meant moving from one homestead to the next every few years throughout Arthur's childhood, something that would have caused his education, friendships, and general sense of well-being to be in a constant state of upheaval.
In 1895, 26-year-old Arthur Bryan married 18-year-old Mary Anne Lewis and they had two children, Wilbert and Mae. Arthur worked as a farmer in the Spring Bay area until 1908 when he moved his family to Gore Bay so that Arthur could become the proprietor of the iconic Queen's Hotel. By that time he had acquired a reputation for having the temperament of a wet dog. Arthur died in 1938 at the age of 69 and is buried in the Gordon Cemetery.
This studio portrait shown above depicts Arthur Bryan as an adult along with his wife and their two children.