Biography of Sterne Beunson



Berrien County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

STERNE BRUNSON was born in Genesee Co., N. Y., in 1806. About 1812 the family removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they remained three years, changing their place of residence to Wayne Co., Ind., where they remained eighteen years. In the latter county, on the 27th of April, 1826, Mr. Brunson was married to Sarah Shank, with whom he lived for more than fifty years, and who survives him. Their children were six in number, five sons and one daughter, of whom all are living except the oldest son, who died May 17, 1835. From Wayne Co., Ind., Mr. Brunson moved to Elkhart, in the same State, where he remained till 1859. In the latter year he came to the site of Benton Harbor, and soon after his arrival conceived the idea of building a town on the east side of the St. Joseph River, which should be connected with the lake by a canal, nearly a mile in length, and of suffcient width and depth to admit of the passage of large steamers. Despite the unconcealed ridicule of many, he, with the aid of a few friends, accomplished the enterprise. The village received the name of Brunson Harbor, which was afterwards changed by others to Benton Harbor. Mr. Brunson lived a sufficient length of time to witness the wonderful growth of his village and see it ranking among the important commercial centres of Western Michigan. He was always extremely liberal towards every project tending to the public benefit. In his habits he was strictly temperate, never tasting intoxicating drinks nor indulging in the use of tobacco, which he rightly considered as hardly a lesser evil. His health, therefore, was always excellent, until his career was suddenly terminated by a stroke of paralysis. His funeral drew a larger attendance than any before held in the village, the ceremonies being held under the auspices of the Odd Fellows, to which he belonged, and in which body he was prominent.

Mr. Brunsonís parents were both natives of New York, and those of his wife were born in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Brunson is living with her daughter, Mrs. Antisdale, whose husband causes this brief sketch and the accompanying portrait to be inserted in this work, as a slight token of the esteem in which he held the person for whom this is written.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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