REV. FRANK C. BRUNER, A.M., pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Winchester, came to this part of Illinois as early as 1854, when a child six years of age, from his birth place in Switzerland County, Ind. He first opened his eyes to the light April 24, 1848, and is the son of William and Harriet (Brandenburgh) Bruner, who upon their removal from Indiana in the year above mentioned, settled in Rock Island County, this State, where the father followed farming, and where our subject was reared to man's estate.
Mr. Bruner received his education mostly in the district school, and was a youth of more than ordinary intelligence, bright and ambitious to do something for himself in the world. During the progress of the Civil War, he, at the age of fifteen years, enlisted as a Union soldier in Company A, 9th Illinois Cavalry, being the youngest member of his regiment. He participated in many important battles, was at Guntown, Miss., on the 10th of June, 1864, at Hurricane Creek, Tupelo and Nashville, and was promoted for his gallantry in the noted Hood campaigns. He served until the close of the war, and received his honorable discharge at Springfield, Nov. 25, 1865.
After leaving the army, young Bruner entered Westfield College (Ill.), where he spent over four years. In 1886 he received the Master's degree, and at commencement he delivered the Master's oration, which was highly commented upon by the press. He joined the Illinois Methodist Episcopal Conference, the fall of the year 1875, and subsequently presided over several different charges, among them Blue Mound, Clayton, Mason City, Beardstown - coming to Winchester in the fall of 1888. He is what might be properly termed a natural evangelist, having a fine command of language, and being able to hold the attention of his audience, convincing them by his logic, and awakening a profound interest. At Beardstown, in 1886-7, during one series of meetings, he gathered in about 200 converts, and 150 at Winchester during the winter of 1888-9.
The subject of our sketch was married in Marshall, Ill., June 14, 1874, to Miss Tina Smith. Mrs. Bruner was born Feb. 25, 1855, in Ohio, and is the daughter of Samuel Smith, who now resides in Marshall, Ill. This union resulted in the birth of two children - Mabel, born April 16, 1875, and Ethel, born Feb. 24, 1877. Mr. Bruner is a member of the G.A.R. Post, Beardstown, and A.O.U.W., and is also identified with the I.O.O.F.