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Families in Lafayette County

   The Brunskill Family    submitted by  Gregg John Brunskill

Simon Brunskill Born 16 January 1847 in Darlington, Wisconsin. He moved to Anamosa, LeMars,and finally Haywarden, Iowa, in 1886 where he stayed for 32 years, the rest of his life.

Simon had two brothers, George (of LeMars, Iowa), and John, o(f Darlington, Wisconsin). They were " Scots Presbyterians" according to my Grandmother. Their father may have been Samuel Brunskill, who died in September 1893 after living in the Haywarden area 28 years.

Simon was a well-to-do farmer and stockman who owned a lumberyard in Haywarden. According to the Hayward en Centennial (1887-1987) book, there were other Brunskills in town who may have been cousins:

E. Brunskill ran a harness shop, and J.J. Brunskill was a farmer in the region in 1904.
J.W. Brunskill was a farmer who owned an implement dealership and a hardware store in town, and D. Brunskill was also a local farmer.   J.W. and D. Brunskill later owned a hardware store in Haywarden, the upstairs level of the store also serving as an "Opera House" for community entertainment.

Simon died in mid June 1918 in Haywarden. [Source: Haywarden Independant Newspaper, 20 June 1918; Haywarden Centennial, 1887-1987, 100 years on the right track. Printed by the Le Mars Daily Sentinel, ?1987. J. Hummel & J. Kitchenmaster, editors].

Simon married Marion Elizabeth Diamond (born 19 Aug 1858 in London, England; died 4 Sept 1951 in Haywarden, Iowa) on 4 July 1878 in LeMars, Iowa. They had four children:

William E. Brunskill (died in April 1960 at age 77, he was President of the 1st National Bank of Haywarden)
Florence Mabel (died 1887)
Gertrude (married J.H.C. Schoeneman of Haywarden)
George Harrison Brunskill was born 12 Aug 1886 in Calliope, Iowa.

Simon & his son George visited western South Dakota in 1914 during the homesteading days, and they selected a river bottom ranch site 18 miles SE of Murdo on the White River. The buildings were purchased from a squatter Lee Dunkle, who built the original ranch house out of large cottonwood logs.

George married Edna Mae Gregg (see Gregg family history) on 12 May 1915 in Haywarden, and shortly afterward they moved to their South Dakota ranch. George rode a railroad boxcar loaded with furniture , machinery, & livestock to the railhead, and his young wife drove to South Dakota with her sister in a Model T Ford. Their large ranch house was a favorite location for parties & dances. During the dry thirties, George & his sons, and some neighbors drove their cattle down to water & feed near Valentine, Nebraska.

During the 2nd war, George & Edna went to California to work in the shipyards, while their oldest son Gregg set up an irrigation system for the "river bottom land", and his younger son Gerald served in the Army in Europe. [Source: Proving Up, a Jones County History, Published by the Book & Thimble Club of Murdo, So. Dak., 1969, pp. 184-85]

George died 29 Sept 1971, and Edna died Easter Sunday 1967. George and Edna had three children:

Gregg George Brunskill (born 1 Jan 1917, died 6 March 1992)
Gerald Paul (born 24 April 1921), married Joyce Iverson
Marjory Jean (born 11 March 1928), married Bernard Strait.  

Marjory & Bernard Strait live on a ranch south of (Private), and they have three children:

Charles Bernard (born (Private), Janet Kay (born (Private), and Mark Joel (born (Private ), and they all live in the (Private) region.

Gerald Paul married Joyce Iverson Eveleth, and they live on the (Private) ranch on the (Private). Gerald has a degree in civil engineering, fought in Belgium & France in World War 2, and worked for the Bureau of Reclamation in Huron, S. D., for many years. They have no children.

Gregg George married Virginia Carol England on (Private) (see England family history), obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa and worked for a while with Phillips Petroleum in Kansas City, Kansas. He returned to the (Private) shortly after his first son was born, and he has lived in the (Private) area ever since. Gregg died 6 March 1992, and Virginia died 15 November 1991. Gregg and Virginia have 4 sons:

Gregg John, born (Private)
Neal Brian (Obie), born (Private)
Gerald Raymond, born (Private)
John Warren, born (Private) Boneheads, everyone of them!

Gregg John Brunskill graduated from (Private) , (Private) , and (Private) with a Ph.D. in Biogeochemistry, worked as an environmental scientist for Fisheries & Oceans Canada in the high Arctic & Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and he is currently trying to learn tropical coastal oceanography & mangrove ecology in the employ of the (Private) . He married Sheila Margaret Dennett (see Dennett family history) on (Private) in (Private) , and they have two sons:

Ian MacGreggor, born (Private)
Jesse George, born (Private)

Neal Brian Brunskill graduated from (Private) and (Private) with a B.S. in Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, was a rodeo rider for a while, was in the Army in Berlin for 2 years, worked for the Production Credit Association for 16 years, and is now in an automobile dealership business in (Private)

Obie married Susan Wedean Iverson, and had four children:

Marcy Ann, born (Private)
Donna Sue, born (Private)
Julie Rae, born (Private)
Ross Neal, born (Private)

Obie & Susan were divorced in 1981, and Obie married Annie Esther Reedy in 1983, who had 4 children by previous marriage (Matthew,James, Erin, and John Paul).

Gerald Raymond Brunskill graduated from (Private) & (Private) & (Private) with a degree in metallurgical engineering. He was a rodeo contestant for a while, piloted the Fort Simpson-Liard River Ferry in the Northwest Territories of Canada, was a partner in a clothing store, and is now a mining engineer for the (Private) He married Doreen Iversen Stotts, who had two children from a previous marriage (Joshua & Carrie), and they have the following children:

Sarah Melissa, born (Private)
Rebecca Ann, born (Private)
Christopher Gregg the Crocodile, born (Private)

John Warren Brunskill graduated from (Private) and (Private) with a B.S. in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. He was a charter member of the infamous "Cowpokes" who did custom cowboy work for regional ranchers, and he is a member of the Rodeo Club, which sponsors the (Private) Rodeo every year in June. He now operates the (Private) near (Private) , and is the (Private) County Auditor. He married Patricia Amy Donahue, and they have five children:

William John, born (Private)
Bonnie Kay, born (Private) , died (Private)
Dan Gregg, born (Private)

Laurie Ann, born (Private)
Meghan Elizabeth, born (Private)

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