February 7: Joseph Hammond Bryan (1935)

Dr. Joseph Hammond Bryan was born in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 1856. His baptism, a little over a year later, is recorded in Epiphany’s register, although the location is noted as St. John’s Church. In the summer and fall of 1857, Epiphany was undergoing its first major renovation. Bryan’s early education was acquired in local private schools. A year before entering the University of Virginia, he was confirmed at Epiphany by Bishop Pinkney. All five of Bryan’s siblings were baptized and confirmed at Epiphany as well.


After receiving medical degrees from UVA and the University of New York, Bryan entered the U.S. Navy as Assistant Surgeon and served for five years. With ambition to attain success in his chosen profession, Dr. Bryan went abroad, spending two years in Europe studying with eminent physicians in Heidelberg, Berlin, Vienna, and Paris. He gave particular attention to the methods of treating diseases of the throat and ear and upon his return to Washington in 1887, he began his practice as a specialist along these lines and gained an eminent position by reason of his marked ability. A decade later, Epiphany joined several other churches in creating the Episcopal Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, of which Dr. Bryan was a regular consultant.

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