Local author’s book recounts stories told by Daniel Boone.

February 28, 2022

Bryan Broderick

Local author’s book recounts stories told by Daniel Boone.

Grown Locally is presented by House of Flavors Restaurant of Ludington and features locally owned businesses and locally produced products.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

Bryan Broderick, a resident of Pentwater, had always heard family stories about how a distant relative had been friends with famous pioneer Daniel Boone. That evidence became clear when he came across a manuscript written by his great-grandfather, recounting the stories of Broderick’s great-great grandfather and his friendship with Daniel and Rebecca Boone. That manuscript is now a book “Daniel Boone and His Neighbors.” 

William S. Bryan’s father Elijah lived with the Boones while recovering from a snake bite. While living with the Boones, Daniel told Elijah Bryan his life story, including antidotes beyond just dates and well-known historical events.  William S. Bryan became a writer, publisher and newspaper editor. He wrote a five-part book series titled “A History of the Pioneer Families of Missouri.” He used the stories passed down from his father and Grandfather in his book “Daniel Boone and His Neighbors.”

“He owned five publishing houses across the nation and was also a newspaper editor,” Broderick said. “His book, ‘A History of the Pioneer Families of Missouri’ sold over 3 million copies in the 1870s and 1880s. He was rather famous. Then, in the 1890s there was an economic downturn and he lost his entire company. He had to file for bankruptcy. He had handwritten his accounts of being with the Boones but it never got published. Those notes went into a box that my grandmother kept at her house. When she died, it was passed to my sister, who had a house in Ludington. After my sister’s passing, I was going through her estate and found the box. I had always heard the stories but didn’t realize they had been written down.” 

Bryan, who received his name from his great-great grandfather’s surname, along with his wife, Barbara, began to type the handwritten manuscript and published a book. 

“This book has been published in the writing style of my great-great grandfather,” Bryan said. “We tried to keep it as authentic as possible.” 

The Bryan and Boone families were good friends and also related through marriages. 

Bryan Broderick, who grew up and lived in Missouri most of his life, said his family has owned a cottage in Pentwater since the 1880s. His family sold wire rope that was used in various industries, including logging. 

“In the late 1880s the train from Chicago ended in Pentwater, so that’s where my family established a sales office and spent summers there. To this day, AAA Sling still sells the same wire rope.”

Bryan retired from the concrete business and moved to Pentwater. He said the book is not a typical history book. 

“These are stories that were told by Daniel and Rebecca Boone about their daily lives. It’s a different perspective.” 

Daniel Boone (1734-1820), was an American pioneer and frontiersman whose exploits made him one of the first American folk heroes. He became famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of the original 13 colonies. He served as a militia officer during the Revolutionary War and was elected to the first of his three terms in the Virginia General Assembly. After the war, he worked as a surveyor and merchant. After legal problems, brought on by debt, he resettled in Missouri in 1799 where he spent most of the last two decades of his life. 

“Daniel Boone and His Neighbors” is sold locally at Book Mark, 201 S. Rath Ave. in Ludington. It can also be purchased on Amazon, from Barnes & Noble and on Ebay directly from Broderick. 

Grown Locally is presented by House of Flavors Restaurant, 402 W. Ludington Ave., owned locally by the Neal family for over 70 years; 231.845.5785; Facebook. Now offering free dine-in ice cream with any meal after 11 a.m. through April 30, 2022. 

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