Harry M. Bryant and wife Ruby B. Bryant
Harry M. Bryant and his wife, Ruby B. Bryant, made commitments in Mr. Charles King Bryant Sr.’s memory to fund a scholarship at Gaston College for students pursuing a degree most aligned with the electrical industry. Harry Bryant grew up in his father’s business and was the driving force behind its continued growth and success in later years. After attending the University of NC at Chapel Hill for two years and then serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1945, Harry took over the day-to-day operations of the family business at the age of 28 when his father went to serve in the NC House of Representatives. While his father served in the State House, his mother, Mary L. Miller Bryant, fell ill and subsequently passed away of cancer in 1952. Harry Bryant met his bride, Ruby, through the family business as well. Upon graduation from Limestone College, Ruby went to work for Mr. Charles King Bryant as his executive assistant. She remembers her employer and father-in-law fondly as someone who worked hard, had high expectations and always followed through on his word. With 104 employees, five branches and $50 million in annual revenue, the 60-year-old Bryant Electric Supply Company ranked as the nation’s 145th-largest electrical distributor, according to Electrical Wholesaling magazine’s 2007 Top 200 listing. It had branches in Charlotte, Laurinburg, Lowell and Hickory, North Carolina and Rock Hill, South Carolina. Hagemeyer North America acquired Bryant Electric Supply Company in September of 2007 and merged it with their Carolinas business unit.