The area was settled by members of Stephen F. Austin's colony in the 1820s and 1830s and land for a townsite was donated in 1859 by William Joel Bryan to the Houston and Texas Central Railway. Rail construction stopped eighteen miles to the south during the Civil War and finally arrived in 1867. Connected to College Station to the south in 1910 by an electric interurban railroad, Bryan's economic growth was closely linked to the expansion of Texas A&M University ( NS6) as well as being a major cotton-shipping point for the region as evidenced by the large downtown core. Industries today include high-tech manufacturing, defense electronics, and agribusiness.
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