Dr. William Bryan began his Jeffersontown medical practice in 1819. His first wife, Margaret, and their 2-year-old son died during the cholera epidemic of 1834 and are buried in the two stone boxes to the left of Thoroughbred Hall in the German Reformed Presbyterian Cemetery on Watterson Trail.
In 1835 Dr. Bryan married Ann Eliza Hikes, the granddaughter of Jeffersontown pioneers Frederick Geiger and Ann Funk. They purchased 324 acres in the Six Mile Lane area and built a two-story house they named Beechland.
Dr. Bryan was quite ahead of his time as far as medicine was concerned. Almost 100 years before the invention of penicillin, he used wheat molds to cure people in the same way. One of his patients suffered a severe head injury, and Dr. Bryan surgically repaired the hole in the man's head by inserting a silver plate; he was never paid for the procedure, however, as the man felt that $25 was just too much money for the operation. Dr. Bryan continued his practice, making his rounds on horseback until his death in 1871.