Highlights from the Brazos Valley African American Museum (BVAAM) Compiled by Oliver Sadberry, May 7, 2016
William Joel Bryan, grandson of Moses Austin and nephew of Stephen F. Austin, sold a square mile tract of land in a town site eighteen miles north of Millican, to the Houston & Texas Central (H&TC) Railroad Company. This sale in 1860 extended the railroad north beyond Millican. At the time Millican was considered by some to be the largest city North of Houston. Development of this potential city of Bryan and its railroad depot was stymied by the Civil War. At war’s end the city continued developing. It was named in honor of William Joel Bryan, and its growth was fueled by people moving from the two adjoining cities of Boonville and Millican. By 1866, Bryan had obtained a post office, and that same year citizens voted to move the county seat from Boonville to the new city of Bryan. A forty acre tract of land near Bryan called Hall’s Town was designated for sale to recently freed slaves. The Brazos Valley African American Museum is located in what was once Freedman’s Town. More information and the exhibit can be viewed now.