Louis A. Brunner

From The History of Wyandot County (1884)

Hon. Louis A. Brunner is of German ancestry, and was born in Frederick City, Frederick Co., Md. He fully availed himself of the advantages of an elementary and classical education, and after a thorough course of theological study was licensed, in the summer of 1846, to preach at Columbus, Ohio. Subsequently, be entered upon the duties of the ministry, and served several Presbyterian congregations. In the spring of 1852, he was elected by the Presbytery of Marion, Ohio, Commissioner to the General Assembly, and attended the sittings of that body in Philadelphia, Penn., in May following. In 1860, his nervous centers gave way, prostrating him to such an extent as to force him to relinquish his chosen profession. However, having from a young boy dabbled in printer's ink, and being compelled to labor for a livelihood, he purchased a printing office and took charge of the editorial department, and, while not engaged in the duties of the tripod, worked at the case sticking type.

He has performed editorial work on the Odd Fellow, published at Boonsboro, Washington Co., Md.; the Pioneer and the Union of Upper Sandusky, and the Ft. Wayne Daily Sentinel, an interest of which he owned in 1868 and 1869. He has resided in Wyandot County since 1849, excepting four years passed in Maryland, from 1856 to 1861. He has served on the Board of School Examiners of Wyandot County, as a member of the Village Council, and was elected a member of the 61st, 62nd, 65th and 66th General Assemblies of the State of Ohio, occupying, during the session of 1883-84, the honored position of Speaker pro tem. In the 64th General Assembly, he served as Clerk of the House, and his large experiences as a lawmaker, and his peculiar fitness for clerical duties-the result of early training-made him one of the best clerks the Assembly ever had, and it was so acknowledged by the members of both parties. Hence, as a mark of recognition, embodying the admiration of members, he was presented at the close of the session with a costly gold watch and chain, which he still carries with pardonable pride.

Mr. Brunner's first year in the General Assembly was marked with ability and true statesmanship, and although it is seldom the lot of a new member to take prominence at the beginning, his experience was an exception, for before the close of the session he was the recognized leader of his side of the House, and this position he has ably and gracefully maintained during every term of his legislative career. His superior qualifications as a presiding officer attracted attention from all parts of the State, and in the 65th General Assembly he was the almost unanimous choice of his party for Speaker, yet his usefulness upon the floor, and his own inclinations for activity amid conflict, induced him to decline the honor, and to accept at the demands of his party the position of Speaker pro tem. He is perhaps the finest parliamentarian in the State, and we cannot better express this opinion than to give an extract from a letter written by a newspaper correspondent during the session of 1883-84: "The Wyandot Sachem, Brunner, as speaker pro tem., has demonstrated himself to be a superior presiding officer, fit to have held the gavel of the Long Parliament of Cromwell's days, and whose legislative career has given his solid little Gibraltar (Wyandot County) a cameo-like prominence in the State's councils."

In 1879, Mr. Brunner, in connection with Robert D. Dumm, purchased the Wyandot Union of D. J. Stalter, and by their united labors again made the old Union one of the best county newspapers in the State. It now enjoys a large circulation, and an enviable, widespread reputation. As an editor, Mr. Brunner has few superiors. He is logical, clear and very effective, and has gained many admirers from his humorous touches of local incidents; but his great force and efficiency is as a campaigner, filling his well rounded and emphatic periods in that direct and forcible manner, which leaves no room for effective reply. While a ready, spicy and able writer, he is equally as ready and effective as a speaker, which his prominence in the House, on all the important questions of state policy, has fully made clear. His polish as a gentleman, and his great tact in winning and retaining the admiration and esteem of his follow-citizens is due to some extent to his genial nature, thorough education and wide range of information gained through the avenues of an extensive and careful study of books and men.

In September, 1882, he, with his old partner, Mr. Dumm, bought a half interest in the Mirror, at Marion, Ohio, and although it proved to be a profitable investment, and their connection with the Democracy of Marion County highly acceptable and pleasant, after eighteen months they sold their interest to their partner, Col. J. H. Vaughan. A part of this time Mr. Brunner was editor of the paper, and in the memorable campaign of 1882 gained a host of admirers for his efficient editorial work.

Since the close of the legislative session of 1883-84, he has assumed a controlling interest and editorial charge of the Seneca Advertiser, one of the oldest and best newspapers published in Ohio, and he has fully made up his mind to make that city (Tiffin) his future home. He still holds his connection with the Wyandot Union with Mr. Dumm, but undoubtedly in the near future will sever that relation and give his whole attention to the Advertiser, which will advance under his influence and enterprise, and rapidly become the leading county paper of the State.

He was married in 1850 to Miss Jane Sherman, of Delaware, Ohio, who was a native of Watertown, N. Y. Their three children are Mary, now the wife of John W. Geiger, of Tiffin, Ohio; Addie, now Mrs. B W. Holman, of Washington, D. C., and Grace.