CENTER'S FIRST WOMAN COLUMNINST
Mrs. R. S. Bryarly, known to scores of friends throughout East Texas by the pen name of "Panzie" selected because of her fondness for the simple little flower, came to Center on December 19, 1884. She and her tall, dignified lawyer husband, R. S. Bryarly took up their residence in the home of Mrs. Almedia Gholdston, where their first Christmas in Center was Spent. And so close became the friendship between the two families, that each Christmas Day, until Mrs. Bryarly's death, was spent in the home of one of the families.
Mrs. Bryarly opened a law office and his funny little Irish wife "fitted in" as through she had been a native.
Born, Christaina Rimmick, on Erin's "Green Isle", which she never forgot. Mrs. Bryarly came to the United States when she was eight years old. On the death of her mother, her father put the child on a sailing ship and sent her alone across the ocean, to her sister in New Orleans. In Center, her inimitable Irish wit in conjunction with her gracious kindly spirit, soon made her a favorite in all circles.
She was active in helping to organize a Literary Society in 1885, about a year after coming to Center. The society still functions under the name of the Woman's Reading Club. She was the first woman in Center to write a column for the newspapers. Her column, filled with humor, always kindly, and witty became very popular. She was the first woman in Shelby County to belong to the Press Association, and made a trip to Mexico City with the Association, which at that time, was quite an adventure.
On St. Patrick's Day, remembering her native land, she always wore a "bit of green" and celebrated in some unique way.
In her home, nestling among huge forest trees, which she called "Seclusion" (the home is at 129 Elliott St. and is now the home of Gladys Warr), she entertained many distinguished guest, including the Governor of Texas, but the latch string always hung outside for the humblest of friends. In later life, the shadow of blindness hung over her and before her death she was almost entirely without sight, but even this could not dampen her indomitable spirit.
In 1890, "Panzie" edited a column in THE CHAMPION called the "Home Corner". This column, once each month, consisted of letters from the children of the county and proved to be a very successful column.
Mrs. Bryarly passed away on June 11, 1923 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery by her husband.
Reprinted from THE CHAMPION dated Thursday, August 7, 1952.