Alvin J. Bruner
A J. BRUNER is one of Nome's prominent citizens. He is a lawyer of marked â€¢ ability and a man of intellectual and moral worth. He is a son of Joseph A.
Bruner, a Methodist minister who for thirty years followed his ministerial calling in the state of California. No man was better known nor more universally beloved
in California than Reverend Joseph A. Bruner. His mother was Margaret Morris, who
was a member of the McArthur family of Ohio. She was a talented, self-sacrificing
woman, whose life work was devoted to the rearing and education of her children.
The subject of this sketch was born in Circlesville, Ohio, August 7, 1852. He
is one of a family of seven children, five boys and two girls. When he was four years
old his father moved to California, locating first in Marysville. After obtaining a
grammar school education Alvin J. Bruner attended the preparatory department of the
University of the Pacific at Santa Clara, California. He was graduated from this
University in the class of 1872 with the degree of B. A., and received the honor of
valedictorian of his class. He was the youngest member of the class. In 1875 he
was selected to deliver the Master's Oration on the occasion of conferring the degree of
Master of Arts. He studied law with the law firm of Moore, Lane, Delmas or Leib, of
San Jose, California. This firm was composed of some of the most prominent lawyers
of the state. Mr. Bruner was admitted to the bar April 1 1, 1877. In 1876 he and
Miss Martha H. Hayden, of Gilroy, California, were married and after his admission
to the bar he moved to Arizona on account of his wife's bad health. He resided in
Arizona three years and while there organized the Oro Bonita Mining Company to
operate mines in the Bradshaw Mountains near Prescott. Returning to California in
1879 he located in Sacramento. The death of his wife in 1880 caused him to go to
Idaho. He established an office in Hailey, and in a short time had the leading practice
of that community.
While a resident of Idaho he opened the Big Copper group of mines on Lost River and erected a smelter. The memorable fight between the Calumet and Heckla
Mines, and the fall in the price of copper, was the the cause of Mr. Bruner losing his interest
in this valuable group of mines, by which a fortune was swept away from him. In
1889 he returned to Sacramento and resumed the practice of law in that city, being
associated with his brother, Elwood Bruner, and later with J. W. Armstrong. This
association was terminated in 1900 when Mr. Bruner came to Nome.
Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by
R. S. Harrison. Seattle: The Metropolitan Press, 1905.