John Bryson was born in Ireland 1810. He was the son of Robert Bryson, a carpenter, and his wife Penelope nee Campbell.
In 1831 he married Mary Ann Campbell and in 1840 migrated with his family to New South Wales.
He purchased land on the Lane Cove River which is said to have been sold to Thomas Jenkins (q.v.). It is now part of the Lane Cove National: Park.
In the 1860s Bryson purchased more land on the north-east corner of Mowbray Road and Pacific Highway and built a house in which he lived until his death in 1882.
Bryson was elected to the first Council of the Municipality Willoughby in 1866. He seconded the motion of J. H. Fren requesting a proclamation of Public Roads, the first motion on roads recorded in Council Minutes. During this period he followed his trade as a builder. Council elections were held at his home in 1866 and 1867. In 1867 he was re-elected for three years. He was not re-elected 1870 but continued to work for the improvement of the district.
John Bryson held religious services in his home prior to the building in 1872, of the Methodist Church, of which he was one of the Trustees. . The bush mission society had established a small brick chapel on John Bryson’s land on the south-east corner of the intersection of the Lane Cove Rd and Mowbray Rd by August 1864.
By 1870 Bryson had established a timber yard and ‘school of arts’ (which served as the council chambers from 1879) on his land on Mowbray Road to the east of Lane Cove Road.
–Terry Fogarty from The West Ward by Booker & Bennett 1988