Brunner
   The 'Bruner' or 'Brunner' surname is German and Jewish (Ashkenazic). It was originally a topographic name for someone who lived beside a spring or well, derived from the Middle High German term brun(ne)—meaning 'spring'. However, in some cases it might have been a habitational name for someone from a place named after a spring or well.
   At left is one of the earliest-known coats of arms for the Brunner family. The primary colors on the coat of arms are gules (red)—signifying military fortitude and magnanimity, and argent (white or silver)—representing peace and sincerity. The three diagonal stripes ('bends') across the shield stand for defense or protection. The circle ('roundel') on top of the helmet with the flotté design (wavy bands of argent and 'azure'—blue) is called a fountain. It represents a pool or spring of pure water, and is a symbol of purification.
   The Brunner name was first found in Austria and Tyrol, where the family would later play a large role in the political conflicts of the area—which is why there's so much red in the coat of arms. Austria, which was originally home to a Celtic people, was conquered by the Roman Empire in about 15 BC. Following the fall of Rome, Austria was repeatedly invaded by barbarian tribes, such as the Vandals, Visigoths, and Huns, who swept in from the east. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the Alemanni, Avars and Slavs settled Austria. The Avars were defeated in 785 by the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who set up the East Mark, which later became known as the Österreich.
   Austria was ruled by the Babenburger dynasty until 1278, when they were succeeded by the Hapsburg dynasty, which ruled Austria until the 20th century. During this time, the Bruner family grew, prospered and spread across Europe.
   Some of the first American settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Jacob Brunner, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1728; Heinrich Bruner, who came to Philadelphia in 1731; and Francis Bruenner, who landed in Philadelphia in 1840.


A map of the Frankish Kingdoms in the Carolingian Empire of Europe during the 9th Century, when they dominated the continent. (Click here to enlarge.)

Personal Information
Image
Name:   Frederick BRUNER
Arrival Year:   1854
Birthplace:   Switzerland
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Source: U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995. Series M1893. Issue Date: 9 Oct 1860, Cleveland District Court, Ohio.
   Our lineage to this family can be traced back to CHRISTIAN FREDERICK BRUNER (sometimes listed as "C. Frederick," sometimes listed as "Frederick C."), who emigrated to Ohio in the United States some time after 1850. A Naturalization record found in the Clevland courts lists a Frederick Brunner as having immigrated to the U.S. from Switzerland in 1854, and becoming Naturalized in 1860. Frederick was born @1817 in either Bavaria (according to the 1860 United States Census), Switzerland (1870 census) or Prussia (1880 census). The place of birth changes in the record because during that time, the area we know now as "Germany" was really a group of thirty-eight independent states, including Austria, Bavaria, Prussia, and others. (The Congress of Vienna created these thirty-eight states by consolidating hundreds of even smaller states in 1815, after the defeat of Napoleon.) It wasn't until a decade after Frederick emigrated that Otto von Bismarck united these states into the German Empire and the modern day "Germany" was created. Prior to that time in 1871, an immigrant may have stated that he came from one of the individual states comprising the area of "Germania."
   We will probably never know who Frederick was named after, but this was a time when there were many Fredericks reigning as monarchs, so he could have been named after a member of royalty, or else another family member.
   Frederick married CHRISTINE NAFSKER (born @1824 in Switzerland). We first find Frederick and Christine in the 1860 United States Census, residing in Cleveland. Their children are Samuel (8), Peter (4), Frederick (2) and Christian (11) who is not listed again in another Census. Interestingly, Christian is listed as having been born in Ohio, while Samuel, born three years later, was reportedly born in Bavaria.

Personal Information
Census Image
Name: Frederick Bruner
Age in 1860: 36
Birthplace: Bavaria
Home in 1860: Cleveland Ward 10, Cuyahoga, Ohio
Value of real estate:   N/A
Personal: 50
Job:   Shoemaker
Post Office: Cleveland
Roll: M653_
953
Page: 0
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Personal Information
Census Image
Name: C. F. Bruner
Age in 1870: 52
Birth Year:  1818
Birthplace: Switzerland
Home in 1870: Brooklyn, Cuyahoga, Ohio
Value of real estate: 1500
Personal: 200
Job: Boot & shoe maker
Post Office: Brooklyn
Roll: M593_
1187
Page: 50
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SOURCE INFORMATION: 1860 and 1870 U.S. Census data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, DC.

   Frederick was a shoemaker in Cleveland. He probably also made harnesses and saddles—and was probably a tanner, as well. (Most men in his profession had to tan hides in order to get leather and add income.) When a farmer killed a cow, a calf, or an old ox, he brought its hide to Frederick, who scratched the farmer's initials on it, cleaned it, dehaired it, and soaked it for six months in a solution of tanbark, until the hide became leather. Frederick would have kept half of the hide as payment for tanning (which he used for customers with no animals), and kept the hair—which he could sell to be mixed with plaster. Typically, the farmer's half of the hide was hung in the shop, next to the wooden lasts shaped to the feet of the farmer, so that there'd be no mix-up as to which leather would be used for which family's shoes. Dress shoes were made with calfskin, and work shoes from cowhide. He cut the uppers by patters, stretched them over the customer's last, and tacked to to them in order to let the leather set. Then he sewed the sole on with two "wax ends"—stout linen threads with waxed ends to pass through the holes cut into the leather with an awl. Each hole carried two threads, one for the upper and one for the sole. There would have been a lot of competition for work—most shoemakers were "cat whippers"—traveling leathersmiths who went house-to-house throughout the towns and villages. So in staying in one place, Frederick was probably a pretty good schmoozer—servicing the local community, in order to remain in one area in order to raise a family.
Personal Information
Census Image
Name: Fredrick BRUNER
Age: 63
Birth year: <1817>
Birthplace: Prussia
Occupation: Shoemaker
Home in 1880: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio
Marital status: Married
Year: 1880
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Roll: T9_1007; Family History Film: 1255007; Page: 163A; District: 33; Image: 0329.
   In the 1870 Census, Frederick's family is listed as living in Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. (Brooklyn is in what we now know as the greater Cleveland area, but at this time was probably a short distance south of the city, in a farming area.) "CF" Brunner is 52 in this Census, married to 46-year-old Christine. Their children are Samuel (17), Peter (14), Frederick (11), Albert (8), Gottfreid (6), Elizabeth (4) and Christine ( 6 months).
   In the 1880 Cleveland city directory, he's listed as a retired shoemaker living at 685 Lorain. It's confirmed by that year's Census, but in that document 63 year-old Frederick had only been unemployed for two months. It also lists Christine (56) but only three children: Albert (a "moulder", age 19), George (a cigar maker, age 17) and Elizabeth (14 and in school). Christine is no longer listed, and apparently died young. Here's a listing of all of their children:

CHILDREN OF C. FREDERICK BRUNER AND CHRISTINE NASKER

  • CHRISTIAN BRUNER was 11 years old in the 1860 census (born in Ohio, but Switzerland in 1880 census). A Christian Brunner is a farm hand living in Mill, Tuscarawas, Ohio, with his 24 year-old wife, DARCAS, in the 1880 census.
  • SAMUEL BRUNER. Born in 1853 in Bavaria, according to the 1860 census. A farm laborer in the 1870 census. He married CATHERINE ECKERMAN (b. Apr 1861) in 1881. They had the following children: Earnest Albert (9 May 1882 - 21 Apr 1950); Lillian Marie (Jul 1895 - 4 Aug 1961); Esther (b. 1897) and Dorthey (b.1899).
  • PETER BRUNER. Born in 1856 in Ohio. Also a farm laborer. He married SUSANNA E. SCHEUERMAN (Sep 1855 - 1917) on 24 Dec 1876 at the West Side Evangelical Church, West 38th & Bridge Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. They had the following children: Barbara Marie (26 Feb 1876 - 2 Feb 1936); Elenore Dorethea Christina (30 Sep 1878 - 30 Nov 1923); Wilhelmina Margareth (b. 28 Sep 1880); and Peter William Brunner (2 Dec 1882 - 11 Nov 1927). Peter died on 6 Feb 1885 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. Susanna then married Casper Staffenbacher (Mar 1862 - 28 Jan 1942) in Cleveland on 6 Jan 1889 (Peter Jr. is still living with them in the 1900 census).
  • (EDWARD) FREDERICK BRUNER was born in 1859 and also became a farm laborer. He died in 1894 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio.
  • ALBERT A. BRUNER was born on 13 September 1861. In the 1880 census, he lived with his parents on Lorain street in Cleveland and was a 19-year-old molder. He married MARY WAGNER and they had four children, listed below. Albert died on 26 Oct 1927. The Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File (Reel #011) lists that Albert was, "husband of the late Mary; dearly beloved father of Albert G. and Elmer C., brother of Godfrey J., suddenly Wednesday, Oct. 26, age 66 years. Funeral Saturday, Oct. 29, at his late residence, 7103 Colgate avenue at 2:30 p. m. 1927. age 66. Alger Cemetery Cleveland, Ohio.
  • GOTTFRIED "GEORGE" C. BRUNER was born in 1863. In 1880, he lived with his parents on Lorain street in Cleveland, Ohio, and was a 17-year-old a cigar maker. He married ALICE M. BARNES (born @ 1869 in Canada, died December 22, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio). 'Ancestry 1910 Miracode' shows Goffred J. Brunner residing in Cleveland Twp (ED 0066) with his wife-Alice M, son-Emanual, daughter-Gladys H, and a sister-in-law, Emma B. Lance. Children were: Myrtle (30 Sep 1887 - August 19, 1972) m. Ralph R. Leisek (1891 - May 27, 1957); Emmanul G. (1 Nov 1892 - 12 Jan 1957) m. Mabel Thomspon (5 Oct 1892 - 5 Jun 1979); and Gladys Harriet (26 Apr 1899 - 12 Sep 1943) m. Edgar Berthold Rannow (27 Jan 1904 - 12 Sep 1983). The Cleveland Necrology File shows Godfrey as passing away on December 4, 1939 at 1335 West 89th Street.
  • ELIZABETH BRUNER b. @ 1866 in Cleveland, Ohio. She married ALBERT W. CHANDLER (b. Jul 1862 in New York) and had two sons: Charles A. (b. May 1887); and Clarence A. Chandler (b. Mar 1890). Her mother was living with them in the 1900 Census. Albert is gone by the 1920 census, and Elizabeth is living with Charles, a music teacher, and his wife Anna (listed as Elizabeth's daughter, but no previous census listing).
  • CHRISTINE BRUNER was born in Dec 1869 in Brooklyn, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States. She is not listed in the 1880 census.
  • Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Christina Brunner
    Home in 1900: Cleveland Ward 40, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Age: 72
    Birth year: Jun 1822
    Birthplace: Switzerland
    Occupation: Mother-In-Law
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    Year: 1900; Census Place: Cleveland Ward 40, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T623_1260 Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 199.
       The 1900 Federal Census lists no Frederick Brunner, but 72 year-old Christina Brunner is recorded in Cleveland Ward 40. It says she is a widow, born in June of 1822 in Switzerland, living with 33 year-old daughter "Libbie" Chandler (later censuses confirm her as Elizabeth) and her family (husband Albert and children Charles and Clarence). As for Frederick, the Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File (Reel #011) says 71-year-old Fred C. Brunner was buried in the Monroe Cemetery of Cleveland, Ohio, on April 24, 1889. The same records also list an obituary for Christina from an unknown source on October 28, 1900 (Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #011): "Brunner-Christina, aged 76 years, widow of Fred C. Brunner, October 26. Funeral from residence, No. 2 Dearborn St., Monday at 2 o'clock, standard. Friends invited."

    LEFT TO RIGHT: Albert & Mary Brunner (twice); Albert and granddaughter Helen Brunner in 1914; Albert's pipe, now in the possession of of his great grandson, Carleton Marchant Hause, Jr.

    Wagner
       Their son, ALBERT A. BRUNER (soon changed to BRUNNER), was born the 13th of September in 1861, in Cleveland, Ohio. (His Certificate of Death, completed by Albert G. Brunner, shows the birth date as September 12, 1861.)
       Albert received at least some basic schooling, because he was listed as an eight-year-old student on the 1870 census. But by the age of 18, according to his listing in the next United States census, he was working as a molder. Albert then worked as a day-laborer in various professions for the next thirty years in the Cleveland area.
       On the seventh of October in 1890, Albert married MARY WAGNER (4/3/1872 - 3/3/1925). The Cuyahoga County Records show that Albert's mother, Christine, applied for a Marriage License on behalf of Albert Brunner and Mary Wagner on October 2, 1890. Christine couldn't write, but placed her mark, "X", on the application. Her name was then written in by the witness, Deputy Clerk, H. A. Schwab.


    The marriage license of Albert A. Brunner and Mary Wagner, signed (with an "X"), by Christina Brunner.

       Albert Brunner and Mary Wagner were married in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 7, 1890 by Pastor William Renter. They resided at 3922 Prospect; Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1880-1890's as shown in the scrapbook of Mary Wagner Brunner. Albert and Mary look to be a proud, handsome couple, always well-dressed and dignified.
       By 1910, Albert had become a varnish maker, called a "förnsler" in German. He would control the equipment to melt, cook, and mix gums, oils, turpentine, and naphtha, for use in manufacture of varnishes. Albert worked under trying and dangerous conditions. The fumes were not only carcinogenic, they created a terrible smell in the neighborhood on the days he cooked varnish. Fire was a common occurrence, and he was constantly reminded to place his work shop far enough away from other buildings so that they would not be endangered. Copal and amber were probably the worst offenders because they had to be melted before they would dissolve in a solvent. When melting these resins, Albert would keep a wet blanket nearby to smother a fire in case anything ignited.

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Albert Brunner
    Age in 1900: 38
    Birthplace: Ohio
    Home in 1900: Cleveland Ward 32, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Occupation: Day Laborer
    Birthplace of Father: Switzerland
    Birthplace of Mother Switzerland
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    Roll: T623 1258; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 158.
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Albert Brunner
    Age in 1910: 48
    Birthplace: Ohio
    Home in 1910: 1-WD CLEVELAND, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Occupation: Varnish Maker
    Father's POB : Switz, Germany
    Mother's POB : Switz, Germany
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    Series: T624 Roll: 1166; Page: 1, Page 260B.
    SOURCE INFORMATION: 1900 and 1910 US Census data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, DC.

       The 1900 Census shows the family—now spelled "Brunner"—residing at 56 Colgate in Cleveland. Whether the name change was Albert's idea or the census-takers, we don't know. But from then on, the name would always be spelled with two n's The Brunners ran a small farm on this property. Their granddaughter Marjorie Carlin recalled that Albert had two horses, which he kept in a barn in back of the house, that she would ride.
       The Brunner/Wagner union produced two extremely talented and industrious children (two sons died young). The caste systems of Europe were nonexistent in America, and Albert's children would take full advantage of all of the opportunities available to them in a free country.
       In fact, the Brunner children were practically the embodiment of the American Dream for poor German immigrants: They were the progeny of a varnish maker/day laborer, who would go on to become business owners, painters and millionaires, and did it all with style, creativity and flair.
       Mary and Albert had the following children:

    CHILDREN OF ALBERT BRUNNER AND MARY WAGNER

  • ALBERT GODFREY BRUNNER, was born on 16 October 1892, in Cleveland, Ohio. He married EMMA LYNCH and they had three daughters, listed below. Not only was Albert a great businessman, he was a great salesman who supported his family by selling sculptures during the Great Depression, and an extremely talented artist. He died on 12 Jan 1972 in Pompano Beach, Broward, Florida, leaving two daughters, a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and countless friends and admirers.
  • ARTHUR ERNST BRUNNER was born on 03 May 1893 in Cleveland. Records from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court also indicate Arthur died from pneumonia on March 21, 1894 at the age of 11 months. Dr W. D. Johnson was his physician. Arthur Erny Brunner is buried in the Monroe Street Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • ELMER CLARENCE BRUNNER was born December 20, 1894 in Cleveland, Ohio. He married FLORENCE NALLY (b. 31 Aug 1894). They had three children: Neal Harlan (29 Mar 1925 - 01 Jul 2001); Jay A. (b. Sep 1923); and Geraldine (b. 1919). Elmer was an early investor in Coca Cola, and became a millionaire. He purchased a large ranch as asummer home in Kerrville, Texas, which the family still owns today. Elmer died on 29 Jun 1976 in Belleair, Pinellas, Florida. Florence followed him on 12 Dec 1977 in Belleair, Pinellas, Florida.
  • FREDERICK HERBERT BRUNNER was born on 22 January 1897 his parent's home at 56 Colgate; Cleveland, Ohio. The midwife present was Fanny Siebert who resided at 1255 Clark Ave; Cleveland, Ohio. He was baptized on September 26, 1897 under the name Friedrich Herbert Brunner. "Freddy" died in an influenza epidemic on 17 Jan 1910, in Cleveland.
  • Lynch
       Their son ALBERT G. BRUNNER, epitomized the rise of the American worker in the 20th century. He grew up in a poor family, and didn't attend school past the eighth grade. In the 1910 census, Albert G. is 18 years old, living at home with his folks and working full-time as a balance clerk in an automobile factory. But by the 1950's, he was a Vice President at Kelsey Hayes, a manufacturer of steel car wheels, making a lot of money, dining on hundred dollar meals at a fine country club in Dearborn, Michigan, and enjoying VIP box seats at Tiger games in Detroit. He was always the first to reach for the bill at a restaurant, and always tried to pay at least a hundred dollars for dinner, not counting the liquor bill (no easy task in the fifties, when prime rib only cost two bucks).
       On April 16, 1912, Albert married EMMA WILSON LYNCH, formerly of Painesville, Ohio, at St. Coleman's church in Cleveland. Emma was the daughter of WILLIAM LYNCH and related to the poet Robert Burns, through her mother SARAH BURNS.
       Emma was raised by her Aunt in Painesville, Ohio, after her mother died. According to MARJORIE CARLIN, Emma's daughter, she had a cousin named Dorothy Giblin (she married Philip Giblin). Dorothy and Emma were very close as children. Dorothy Giblin lived in Painesville, Ohio and had a son who was a priest. Marge Carlin saved a news clipping from when her mother and father married in 1912. Albert Brunner was listed in the wedding announcement in the local newspaper as working at the firm of "Brunner & Sons." It added:

    SOCIAL EVENTS
    Lynch-Brunner
    Miss Emma Lynch, formerly of Painesville, was married at St Coleman's church, Cleveland, Tuesday morning, April 16 to Albert Brunner of the firm of Brunner & Sons. After a wedding breakfast at the Hollenden, they came to Painesville and spent the day with Mrs Brunner's aunt, Mrs L. G. Loomis, with whom she lived while attending school here. They were accompanied by her brother, J. D. Lynch of Grand Rapids, Mich, Mrs P. T. Ferrie and Mrs S. E. Burns of Cleveland. A bridal dinner was served at _______. After an informal reception during the evening, the party returned to Cleveland where, after May 1, Mr & Mrs Brunner will receive their friends at their pretty new home on 83rd Street.

    LEFT TO RIGHT: Albert Jr. with parents' pooch; Albert Jr. and Emma with baby Helen in 1914; Albert Brunner Jr. in 1930; John Lynch, daughter Jeanne Brunner and Albert, Jr. in 1936; Daughter Helen with Al Jr. in the 1950's; Brothers Elmer & Albert Jr., 1960's.

       Al was a consummate schmoozer. Everybody loved Al Brunner. He would even schmooze dogs! After his daughter Jeanne married and had kids of her own, their family dog would begin to bark crazily and race around the house in excitement when Al's car approached, even before any humans could hear the engine coming, because Al always brought a thick hunk of bologna, generously cut by his butcher, for the dog to dine on as he visited, periodically tossing him slices as he told stories to the family.
       Al Jr. bought only the best food, clothes, and cars, but was just as generous with everyone else as he was to himself. He grew more prosperous, more important, and always more popular, with his Christmas card list numbering in the hundreds every year. His grandson, CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR., remembers taking out a secretary in college on a first date, only to discover that she knew Al well from work, where he had been schmoozing the staff expertly, shrieking with delight when she learned the identity of Carl Jr.'s grandfather—and yup, she had one of his Christmas cards on the mantle.
       But I'm getting ahead of myself. Speaking of grandchildren, Albert and Emma had three daughters, two in West Virginia—all cute, all popular, and all married off very quickly:

    CHILDREN OF ALBERT BRUNNER AND EMMA LYNCH

  • HELEN BRUNNER was born 26 February 1913 in Cleveland. Helen was married three times, to: (1) FRANK MESKILL, the Manager of the exclusive Chevy Chase Country Club in Chevy Chase, MD. (2) WILLIAM BASS, a successful builder in the Cleveland area. (3) LARRY RAGAN, who worked at the Pentagon. Helen is buried with her parents at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, listed as "Helen B. Meskill."
  • MARJORIE ANNE BRUNNER was born on November 07, 1916, in Wheeling, West Virginia; Her god parents were William Lynch (her uncle) and Anna Lynch Beaumont, her mother's half-sister. She was baptized on December 10, 1916, at St Vincent de Paul Church in Elm Grove, West Virginia. Marjorie married auto worker JOHN BERNARD CARLIN, SR, on June 26, 1937, Detroit, Michigan. Marge died on August 22, 1999, at Lighthouse Point, FLA. She rests with her husband, parents and sister, Helen, in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, MI.
  • JEANNE MAY BRUNNER, born 17 May 1918. Baptized May 23, 1918 at St Vincent de Paul 2244 Marshall Avenue, Wheeling WV 26003 by Rev J. B. Capesius, S.M. Sponsors were Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Brunner. She married CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, SR. Children are listed below. Jeanne died on 15 May 2000 in Oceanside, San Diego Co., California. Her ashes were spread at sea.
  •    After the marriage, Al was employed by the Donald P. Cochrane Paint Company, who transferred him to Wheeling, West Virginia. He was transferred back to Cleveland a few years after his daughter, Jeanne, was born in 1918. Albert's World War I draft card says just as much. (Shown below. Notice under "race," the interviewer has written the politically sensitive "German," which Albert has made him cross out and change to "white.")

    Personal Information
    Draft Card
    Name:Albert Brunner
    Status:Natural born citizen
    Occupation:Super.
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    SOURCE INFORMATION: National Archives and Records Administration. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. M1509, 20,243 rolls. Washington, D.C.
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Albert Brunner Jr.
    Age: 28
    Birthplace: Ohio
    Home in 1920: 3-WD Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Occupation: Factory Superintendent
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    SOURCE: 1920 US Census data; Series: T625; Roll: 1360; Page: 178

    Personal Information
    Index Image
    Name:   Albert Brunner
    County:   Cuyahoga
    Code:   18
    Volume:   5465
    Certificate:   56541
    Date of Death:   10/26/27
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    Source: State of Ohio Death Index, Department of Health Division of Vital Statistics, Page 1042.
       In 1920, Albert Jr.'s family was back in Ohio, living next door to Albert Sr. and Mary in Cleveland. They're all on the same census page, living on the same street, alongside Elmer and his family. Albert Jr.'s job is listed as "factory superintendent." Albert Sr. is listed underneath his son on the census, still making varnish at age 58.
       It was about five years later that Mary passed away. The Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File (Reel #011) lists an obituary (source unknown) that reads: "Brunner-Mary (nee Wagner), beloved wife of Albert, mother of Elmer C. and Albert G., age 52 years, suddenly, Monday p.m. Funeral from late residence, 7103 Colgate Avenue, Thursday, March 12, at 2:30 p.m."
       Albert's Certificate Of Death lists his occupation as Varnish-Maker and his date of death as October 26, 1927. His parents are shown as Fred Brunner and Christine Nasker, both having been born in Switzerland. He was residing at 7103 Colgate at the time of his death. He is buried at Alger Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.
       In about 1928, Albert Jr. was transferred to Detroit, Michigan. He and the family moved into a flat at the corner of Santa Rosa (then called Wark) and Buena Vista in Detroit. After a few years they moved down the street to 13133 Santa Rosa. (The first City Directory in which his name appears is the 1935 Detroit Directory, which lists him as a Sales Representative living with his wife, Emma, at 13133 Wark.)
       Al was credit manager for John P. Cochran Co., but the Great Depression came shortly after their move, and the company went bankrupt—even though Al worked without wages. At that time, there were no safety nets in America for unemployed heads of families. So with a wife and three daughters to support, Al had to find a way to make some cash. He started sculpting and painting ceramic statutes and sold them door to door. If you question the talent, industriousness and ingenuity of Al Brunner, imagine selling knickknacks to broke homeowners during the Great Depression, and making enough money from it to support five people. (Al's grandson, James Carlin, remembers the ceramic statues still stored in his grandfather's garage on Santa Rosa during the 1950s.)

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Albert Brunner
    Age: 38
    Birth year: 1892
    Birthplace: Ohio
    Home in 1930: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
    Occupation: Manager
    Owns radio: Yes
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    Census Roll: 1054; Page: 15A; District: 537; Image: 407.0.
       St. Cecilia Church (10400 Stoepel St., Detroit, MI 48204-0209) was an important part of the Brunner family life. Al's daughters went to school there (as did some of his grandkids), and it was Father Wholihan who got Albert a job at Kelsey Hayes Wheel Co. He became Production Manager for Kelsey Hayes (now Hayes Lammert), which made wheels for Ford automobiles.
       The Great Depression had taking its toll on the auto industry: At the onset, US President Herbert Hoover requested that industry freeze worker wages [from dropping] to fight off disaster. So Henry Ford astounded the car industry and the entire country by announcing a wage increase—to a seven-dollar day, a one-dollar increase over his previous daily minimum for common labor. Ford's gesture was page-one news, and he was labeled a hero of the working man. But the publicity obscured Ford's real agenda, reported by the New York Times: He was cutting wages severely in the middle and upper brackets of labor, firing a man in one division and rehiring him for less in another division, and cutting costs at his subsidiaries. For instance, Kelsey-Hayes, which made Ford's wheels, had to cut the wages of its toolmakers from $1.10 an hour to eighty cents, and increase the hours of the night shift to fourteen a night, seven nights a week.
       So Al inherited a general manager's nightmare—he was being assaulted by Ford on one side and labor unions like Jimmy Hoffa's teamsters on the other (there was a dramatic 'sit-down' strike by the union in 1936 and then his workers walked out in the "wildcat strike" engineered by Hoffa). Al's son-in-law, JOHN CARLIN, was employed at Ford in the Purchasing Department, and later enjoyed telling his kids about Harry Bennet, the enforcer for Henry Ford, whose security men assaulted the UAW organizers on the Miller Road overpass. But somehow "AG" kept his factory running smoothly through all of it.
       Meanwhile, his daughters quickly won the hearts of many a Michigan man. Helen, the eldest, married a millionaire, but that didn't stop her from dating Schoolboy Rowe of the Detroit Tigers. (Helen married three times, altogether. Helen lived a pretty wild life. When she stayed at the home of her sister, Jeanne, and slept in the room of Jeanne's son, Carl Jr., Helen hid liquor bottles everywhere—under furniture, in the shoe box for Carl Jr.'s tennis shoes, and even hung them on strings outside the bedroom window, concealing them in the ivy on the walls. She died from liver failure on 03 May 1966 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.) Marjorie married auto worker JOHN CARLIN, JR. Meanwhile, Jeanne met CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, SR. Al liked Carl so much that he gave him a job at Kelsey-Hayes, while Jeanne quit school to raise a family.

    LEFT TO RIGHT: Jeanne Brunner in stroller; Jeanne and "Patsy"; Jeanne with Carl Hause Sr.; Jeanne with Carleton Jr., 1939; With Carl and grandkids Jeff and Carolyn, 1962; Family portrait in 1999.


    Jeanne May Brunner

       JEANNE MAY BRUNNER was born on May 17, 1918, Elm Grove, West Virginia. She grew up to be a proud, dignified woman who still had a wonderful, self-deprecating sense of humor. She would pay every grandchild five dollars when they grew taller than her—and since she was barely over five feet, she lost the money fast!
       Jeanne grew up to be a down-to-earth, patient woman who loved to laugh. She delighted in being a mother, grandmother, and eventually a great-grandmother (although everybody just called her "Grandma").
       She married a student of Eastern Michigan University named CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE (24 Jul 1917 - 08 Jun 1983) on the 17th of August, 1938, in Indiana. They had their first child, a son named CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR., on November 25, 1939. This was quickly followed with a daughter, MARJORIE JEANNE HAUSE, on December 18, 1942. Carleton Jr. remembers Jeanne as a wonderful mother who loved him fiercely and unquestioningly, and who taught him valuable lessons on being a good parent: "No matter what I did, no matter how how big or small, she was always proud of me, and let me know it." Jeanne then completed college and started a teaching career after Marjorie was in school (Marjorie became a very talented painter, like Al, and makes her living today as the artist "Tugboat Tillie").
       But tragedy struck the Brunner family when Emma died in Detroit, on March 5, 1951. The March 7 obituary for Emma in the Cleveland Press (Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #096) reads: "Brunner, Emma W., Mar. 4. In Detroit, formerly of Cleveland, beloved wife of Albert G., mother of Helen Meskill and Marjorie Carlin and Jeanne Hause and 5 grandchildren. Funeral service at Fred Wood Funeral Home, Detroit, Mich., Thursday, Mar. 8, and St. Cecelia's Church Detroit, Mich., 10 a.m." She was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan. Touchingly, Al had two headstones made—one with his name, so that the graves of he and his wife would look and age identically.
       In 1959, Jeanne and Carleton Sr. moved to California, both working as teachers, where Al often visited them.
       When Carleton Marchant, Jr., started college at Eastern Michigan, Al sent him a secret, sizable check every month—but only with the provision that he would never tell his Jeanne or Carleton, Sr., and with the promise that one day Carl would do the same for his grandchildren.
       Finally, Albert Jr. quit working and took up painting—of course, quitting work was impossible for Al—he learned oil painting quickly and turned out a lifetime's worth of paintings in a few years. (Watching his father expertly mix paints and varnishes in his youth probably helped.) Al first tried paint-by-numbers to learn the process, then announced he was ready for his first orginal work. The family braced itself for a series of cheap, messy oils... but Al amazed them all once again! His first painting was a beautiful, dramatic ocean scene (shown above), and Jeanne Hause remembered her father visiting her house on Lake Erie and studying the characteristics of the waves on the lake to incorporate into his painting. Most impressive of all was the fact that he turned out to be extremely talented! Financially secure, he retired to paint full time.¹
       But then Albert began suffering a debilitating series of heart attacks. But Al being Al, it never stopped him from working—he just kept painting in his hospital room! Then he was told by his doctor that he suffered from "hardening of the arteries—the same illness that had taken his wife—and that had only a little while to live. He spent his time visiting relations and friends, spending his money freely on the people he loved. But something strange happened between heart attacks: He lived another twenty years! Albert Godfrey Brunner ended up living with relatives in Broward county, Florida, practically penniless, but with many great paintings... and greater friends. In 1971, Albert took his grandson and his wife to dinner at the Top Of The Ponchatrain restaurant to celebrate his grandson's graduation from law school. His grandson remembers Albert telling them the one thing he never could imagine when he was young would be for a plane to fly. When he was young around the turn of the century it was not conceived by him that an object could fly in the air. What would he say about computers, the Internet, fax machines and cell phones? A gentlemen's gentlemen, Albert died January 12, 1972 at 33064 Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida, at the age of 80. Albert Brunner is buried next to his wife and daughters in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan.
       Jeanne and Carleton, Sr., retired in California in the early 1980's. He died on 1984, and she followed him on 15 May 2000. They were survived, and missed constantly, by the following children:

    CHILDREN OF JEANNE BRUNNER AND CARLETON HAUSE

  • CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR., was born on 25 Nov 1939. He grew up on the shores Lake Erie in Gibraltar, Michigan. Until recently he had no idea that his great, great, great grandfather Augustus had lived just a few hours by boat down the Erie Canal in New York. Of course, with the way that waterway smelled while he was growing up, nobody would've tried sailing down there to find their roots, anyway.
  • Click on the photo at right to access the Carleton Marchant Hause, Jr., page.
  • MARJORIE JEANNE HAUSE was born in 18 DEC 1942. From an early age she showed amazing artistic ability inherited from her maternal grandfather, Al Brunner. She had one daughter, Carolyn (b. 6 July 1962). Marjorie is an extremely talented painter and free spirit who went on to become the artist "Tugboat Tillie" in Northern California.
  • Click on the photo at right to access the Marjorie Jeanne Hause Genealogy Page.
  • NOTES:

    ¹—Helen attended the University of Detroit and inherited her father's artistic talent. Dianna Carlin has a painting done by Helen in 1926, when she was thirteen years old.

    TOP PAINTING: The first known painting of Albert Godfrey Brunner.

    BRUNNER LITERATURE:

    • Brunner family records, by Jim Carlin, great, great-grandson of Frederick Bruner (.txt file).
    • "Descendants of George Peter Bruner" by Harlan Keith Bruner.
    • "Joseph Brunner of Rothenstein, Schifferstadt, and Frederick" by Donald Lewis Osborn.

    GENEALOGY

    C. FREDRICK BRUNER (1817 - 1889) married CHRISTINE NAFSKER (1824 - 1900) and begat...

    ALBERT A. BRUNNER (1861 - 1927) who married MARY WAGNER (1872 - 1925), and begat...

    ALBERT G. BRUNNER (1892 - 1972) who married EMMA LYNCH (1891 - 1951) and begat...

    JEANNE BRUNNER (1918 - 2000) who married CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, SR. (1917 - 1983) and begat...

    CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR. (b. 1939) who married MARTHA WENK (b. 1940) and begat...

    JEFF (who married LORI ANN DOTSON), KATHY (who married HAL LARSEN), ERIC (who married MARY MOONSAMMY), and MICHELE HAUSE (who married JOHN SCOTT HOUSTON).

    COUSINS, COLLABORATORS & CO-CONSPIRATORS...

  • JAMES ALBERT CARLIN, SR., the son of Marjorie Anne Brunner and John Bernard Carlin, Sr., was invaluable in reconstructing this family history. Jim and his brother, John Jr., are both attorneys in Michigan, and they have two sisters, Mary Catherine Pryde of Florida and the late Susan Turner, who is greatly missed by the entire family. Jim has five kids: Dianna Mary (a fashion designer and creator of Lola Staar clothing on Coney Island), James Albert Jr., Christina Carole, Cathryn Anne and Sparky.