Biography of Hon. Henry G. Brunner
North Central Ohio Biographies

Hon. Henry G. Brunner, former mayor of Mansfield and chairman of the Ohio State Democratic Executive Committee, is a man in whom the stalwart virtues and good business sense of his German forebears are shown in both his work and influence in the community. He is a native of Mansfield, born July 30, 1884, the son of Henry and Catherine (Kuhn) Brunner. Both Henry Brunner and his wife were born in Germany and in 1880 came to America and settled in Mansfield, where their marriage took place. The latter died May 25, 1924. Mr. and Mrs. Brunner were early members of St. Paul's German Lutheran Church.

The education of Henry G. Brunner was terminated in the seventh grade. He entered the foundry of the Humphryes Manufacturing Company to learn the moulder's trade, after having clerked in the dry goods store of H. L. Reed & Company for two years. When 18 years of age he entered the U. S. Railway Mail Service between Pittsburgh and Chicago, and was thus employed for a period of eight years. In 1910 Mr. Brunner purchased the Alois Kessler Insurance Agency, and two years later took over an interest in the Mansfield Shield. He became advertising manager and later manager, and served in that capacity until its merger in 1919 with the Mansfield News. He purchased an interest in the Mansfield Journal in December, 1924, and continued in that connection until 1926, at which time he disposed of his interest to R. C. Hoiles.

In 1913 Mr. Brunner was appointed a member of the Richland County Liquor Licensing Board by Gov. James M. Cox. He was also secretary and chairman of the Richland County Democratic Executive Committee for many years, and in 1924 was elected a member of the State Democratic Executive Committee. In 1927 he was selected by the Committee of Ohio as state chairman to fill an unexpired term, being elected in 1928 and re elected in 1930. He has been a delegate to numerous state and national conventions. Mr. Brunner was elected mayor of Mansfield for three terms, his office having begun in 1917. He is recognized as one of the leading Democrats of Richland County. During his term as mayor there were numerous improvements either completed or inaugurated in the city, including street improvements, erection of the city building, subway, new pump station, with a new supply of spring water, new reservoir, with a 100 foot fall, the development of the present fire department, with four stations, 33 men and all modern equipment, and a police department of 22 men. Mr. Brunner has also served as police judge.

Mr. Brunner is a man who has always believed in encouraging local enterprises. He is secretary and a director of the W. L. Cotter Storage Company, and in 1929 became president of the Pioneer Storage Company. He is a member of the executive committee of the Mansfield Savings Bank. He is also vice president of the Lincoln Mutual Insurance Company, and a director of the Richland Hotel Company and the Mansfield Asphalt Paving Company. He is a member of the Board of Councellors of the Farmers Savings & Trust Company.

Mr. Brunner married Miss Beatrice Wolff, and they have two children: Martin W., born in 1912; and Barbara Ann, born in 1921.

Fraternally, Mr. Brunner belongs to Mansfield Lodge, No. 35, F. & A. M.; Mansfield Chapter, R. A. M.; Mansfield Council; Mansfield Commandery, K. T.; Dayton Consistory, 32nd degree; Al Koran Temple and Past Monarch of Baku Grotto; Past Exalted Ruler, B. P. O. Elks, No. 56; Knights of Pythias; and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is also a member of the Rotary Club, City Club, and Westbrook Country Club, and is a director of the Chamber of Commerce, having served as president in 1925-26. He is a member of St. Paul's German Lutheran Church.

In 1928 Mr. Brunner managed the campaign in Ohio for Al Smith for president and Martin L. Davey for governor, and in 1930 managed the campaigns for George White for Governor, and Robert J. Bulkley for Senator.

A man of broad viewpoint, Mr. Brunner is not content with making his city the equal of any other municipality of its size in the state, but to make it lead all others and be recognized as a model in every respect.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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