The study of the life of the representative American never fails to offer much of pleasing interest and valuable instruction, developing a mastering of expedients which has brought about remarkable results. F. M. Bruns, well-known cashier of the Exchange Bank of H. F. Bruns, at Stryker, is a worthy representative of that type of American character and of that progressive spirit which promotes public good while advancing individual prosperity. Because of his business ability and public-spirited interest in the affairs of the community, he is held in high esteem by all who know him.
F. M. Bruns was born in the Town of Stryker, Ohio, on September 24, 1887, and is the son of H. F. and Rose B. (Drum) Bruns, the former born in Germany on November 7, 1852, and the latter in Pennsylvania on April 11, 1856. Henry F. Brims came to the United States at the age of seventeen years and located first at Napoleon, Ohio, where he was employed at farm work. Subsequently be became a clerk for S. M. Heller & Company. Later he went into business on his own account at Florida, Ohio, and in 1884 he engaged in the dry goods business at Defiance, Ohio, in which he was very successful. In 1891 Mr. Bruns opened the Exchange Bank of H. F. Bruns at Stryker, of which he is still sole owner, and which has through three decades stood as one of the strong and influential financial institutions of this section of the county. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and in politics he gives his support to the republican party. To him and his wife were born two children, F. M. and Marion. The latter graduated from the Stryker High School and was then for one year a student in the Martha Washington Seminary. She is now the wife of V. J. Silliman, of New York City. During the World war he held a commission as second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps, and is now assistant to H. I. Shephard, financial head of the Willys Corporation of New York City.
F. M. Bruns was reared and educated in Stryker, being a graduate of the high school. He was then a student in Phillips Exeter Academy and on the completion of his studies he entered his father’s bank as assistant cashier, subsequently becoming cashier, which position he still fills. He is thoroughly qualified for the position and because of his business ability and his sterling qualities of character, he enjoys the respect and confidence of the entire community. The Bruns, father and son, have for years been prominent in the business and public affairs of the community and have been influential in supporting and advancing various enterprises of public benefit. H. F. Bruns is one of the directors of the Farmers National Bank of Bryan, having held that relation for more than twenty-five years. He is treasurer of the Bruns-Bowersox Land & Lumber Company and treasurer of the Stryker Boat-Oar & Lumber Company. F. M. Bruns took an active and effective part in the various war activities, especially as pertaining to the national loans, having served as chairman of Springfield Township for the first four Liberty loans and district chairman for Brady, Pulaski and Springfield townships in the Victory loan, as well as chairman of the United War Work campaign.
On December 30, 1908, Mr. F. M. Bruns was married to Ruth E. Royce, who was a graduate of the Stryker High School and later a student of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. They have one daughter, Virginia Louise, born on May 29, 1911. Mrs. Bruns is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically Mr. Bruns is a republican. Fraternally, he is a member of Evansport Lodge No. 511, Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is senior warden; Northwest Chapter No. 45, Royal Arch Masons; Bryan Council, Royal and Select Masters; Defiance Commandery No. 30, Knights Templar; the Toledo Consistory of the Scottish Rite (thirty-second degree) and the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Toledo, Ohio; Lodge No. 432, Knights of Pythias, of which he is the keeper of records and seal for the past five years; Stryker Lodge No. 611, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of Defiance Council No. 407, United Commercial Travelers. He has taken a healthy interest in everything pertaining to the activities of his community and is a popular member of the circles in which he moves.
Source: Bowersox, Charles A. ed. A standard history of Williams County, Ohio: an authentic narrative of the past, with particular attention to the modern era in the commercial, industrial, educational, civic and social development , 2 vols. Publisher Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1920.