Bryan, Lewis Randolph, Jr. (1892–1959)

By: James A. Tinsley

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: October 9, 2020

Lewis Randolph Bryan, Jr., was born in Quintana, Texas, on August 17, 1892, the son of Martha Jane (Shepard) and Lewis Randolph Bryan. After the Galveston hurricane of 1900, his family moved from Velasco to Houston, where he attended public school. Thereafter, he attended Virginia Military Institute and received a law degree from the University of Texas in 1913. He practiced law in Houston until the United States entered World War I, at which time he was commissioned a captain in the army and assigned to the Thirty-sixth Division. While serving in France he gained promotion to major. In the postwar years Bryan was a lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard and was made brevet colonel upon retirement in 1939.

In 1919 he returned to Houston and joined the Lumberman's National Bank (renamed Second National Bank in 1923) as assistant cashier. He rose to the presidency of the bank in 1944. He became vice chairman of the board in January 1956 when the bank took the name Bank of the Southwest. Bryan was an Episcopalian and active in the religious and cultural affairs of Houston. As a great-grandson of Emily Austin Bryan Perry, sister of Stephen F. Austin, he acquired and nurtured an interest in Texas history. He was president of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association (see SAN JACINTO MONUMENT AND MUSEUM) and the Philosophical Society of Texas in 1958. He was also a trustee of the Texas Gulf Coast Historical Association, which, beginning in 1961, has offered an annual prize in his honor for historical writing. Bryan was a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and was made a Knight of San Jacinto in 1956.

He was married in San Antonio on November 1, 1924, to Katharine McGown, and they had two sons. At the time of his death on January 30, 1959, Bryan was also a director of the Fort Worth and Denver Railway Company and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Military
  • Soldiers
  • World War II
Time Periods:
  • Progressive Era
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

James A. Tinsley, “Bryan, Lewis Randolph, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

October 9, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: