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Cuming County Biography

Uriah Bruner

information taken from 101st Anniversay Celebration, West Point, 1858-1958

Mr. and Mrs. Bruner were married May 22, 1853, at Allentown, Pennsylvania. Their first home was at Catasaqua, Pa., from which they started their long journey to Omaha, April 20, 1856. The trip was by rail as far as Des Moines, Ia. The rest of the trip was made by stage to Omaha. Omaha at that time, had a population of a bare 1,500, but prospects looked bright to Mr. Bruner and he hung out his shingle and practiced law in Omaha two years.

In the year 1857, Uriah Bruner and his brother, John Bruner, and others came from Omaha, following up the Elkhorn Valley in search of a location for farms and a suitable place to locate a town. Upon reaching the place where west Point is now located, they liked what they saw and decided to stay. They claimed lands and under the name of the Nebraska Settlement Association, they platted West Point, which was first known as Philadelphia. So, while John D. Neligh is the reputed founder of West Point, it was Uriah Bruner, who located the spot where West Point now stands. The facts are that Uriah Bruner and John D. Neligh worked hand in hand to promote various industries and the general welfare of the people of West Point and community. They could be identified with West Point’s progress I many ways.

In 1869, the U.S. Land Office was moved from Omaha to West Point and E.K. Valentine was made Register, and Uriah Bruner, Receiver. It was then that Mr. Bruner decided to make West Point his permanent home. He had lumber hauled from Fremont and built his beautiful new home up on the hill overlooking the Elkhorn and the City of West Point and beyond: a beautiful sight to behold. In 18870, the house completed, he brought his family to West Point, beating the railroads by a few months.

In 1869, Bruner, Neligh and Douglas, started a general merchandise store; the first banking house established in West Point was by Bruner, Neligh and Kipp; in 1857, a steam saw mill was brought up the river from St. Louis and carted overland to West Point by the Nebraska Emigration Association, headed by Uriah Bruner.

In 1857, Uriah Bruner and John D. Neligh began damming the Elkhorn preparatory to building a grist mill at West Point. And when it was completed people came to west Point to mill from 50 to 100 miles around. A grist mill was commenced in June 1867 by Bruner, Neligh & Co.; November 1874, the West Point Manufacturing Co. was organized and its articles of incorporations were signed by Uriah Bruner, John D. Neligh, E.K. Valentine, J.C. Crawford, and Thomas E. Fish. Through their efforts a two-story frame furniture factory was built in 1875. During 1876, a paper mill was placed in operation and operated for several years in the production of an excellent quality of wrapping paper. A planning mill was also operated and the company rented water power to the city for the workings of their water works pump. Besides the industries already mentioned, were the brick yard, the creamery, the largest in the state at one time, the bottling works and brewery, etc. Those pioneers dreamed of West Point as a big industrial center and with all the energy and means at their command, they did their best to make it such. But while this dream failed to materialize, their efforts were more than compensated by the fact that West Point is the county seat and is located in one of the very best agricultural producing areas in the United States.

None children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Uriah Bruner, two of them died at an early age. The Bruner family was a remarkable family; every member of the family is noted for his or her outstanding achievements.

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