Back to top

David Bachman Brunner (Dickinson Chronicles)

Scholarship
John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., “David Bachman Brunner,” Dickinson Chronicles, http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/encyclo/b/ed_brunnerDB.htm.
David Bachman Brunner was born on March 7, 1835 in Amity Township, Pennsylvania in what is now Washington County but then Berks.  His Lutheran father, John Brunner, was a carpenter who purchased an area farm soon after David was born.  His mother was Elizabeth Bachman Brunner and he was one of seven children.  David Brunner attended the local log schoolhouse of Daniel Lee from the time he was seven and was apprenticed as a carpenter when he was twelve.  He continued his education beyond this, however, and attended the Freeland Academy (now Ursinus College) for long enough to earn money as a local teacher himself.  Determined to study the classics further, he entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1856 at the relatively late age of twenty-one.  He was an active member of the Union Philosophical Society and graduated with his class in 1860.

Returning home to Amityville and his first love of teaching, he opened a private school and then purchased the almost defunct Reading Classical Academy and operated it for much of four decades under the names Reading Scientific Academy, and Reading Scientific and Business College.  He was also county superintendent of schools for six years between 1869 and 1875 and also served as head of Reading schools in 1881.  Having built a statewide reputation as an educator, he was also an ardent Democrat and in August, 1888 he won nomination as member of Congress from the Ninth Congressional District of Pennsylvania after a stiff contest.  He was elected to the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses, serving from March 1889 to March 1893, when he declined further nomination. During his final year in Congress he was the chair of the House Committee on Education.

His hobbies were mineralogy and the collection and analysis of Native American relics from his home area.  Among other works, he published his well regarded Indians of Berks County in 1881.  He had married in 1861 Amanda Rhoads of Amity Township and they had five children.  David B. Brunner died at his home in Reading on November 29, 1903 and is buried in the family plot in the Amityville Cemetery. He was sixty-eight years old.
How to Cite This Page: "David Bachman Brunner (Dickinson Chronicles)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/23669.