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Henry and Ann Brunnier papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/59

Scope and Content

This collection (1909-2001, undated) documents the lives of Henry and Ann Brunnier and includes biographical materials, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, published articles, and scrapbooks. The collection contains a large amount of information related to Mr. Brunnier’s involvement in Rotary International.

The papers also include more personal materials, such as holiday cards sent from Henry to Ann as well as a set of calendar diaries chronicling Mr. Brunnier’s activities.


  • 1909-2001, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Henry John “Bru” Brunnier was born near Manning, Iowa on November 26, 1882. He received his B.S. (1904) in civil engineering from Iowa State College (University). After graduating from college Brunnier worked for the American Bridge Company (1904-1905) of Pittsburgh and then was hired by the New York Edison Company (1905-1906), New York City. Brunnier’s next job was with Ford, Bacon and Davis Engineering Company (1906-1908) of New York City. He was sent to San Francisco as Structural Engineer to survey and lead reconstruction efforts for the company’s railroad properties that had been damaged by the San Francisco earthquake.

After fulfilling his obligations with the engineering firm, Brunnier went into private practice as a consulting structural engineer (1908-1971). Brunnier quickly became a leader in earthquake-resistant structural design. He was responsible for the structural design of numerous large buildings and bridges along the west coast of the United States. One of his greatest honors was when he was appointed as one of five members of the Consulting Engineers’ Board to engineer and approve structural designs for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge that opened in 1936.

Throughout his career, Brunnier was very active in a number of professional engineering organizations. He served as President of the California State Board of Registration for Civil Engineers (1929-1933), President of the Structural Engineers’ Association of Northern California, President of the Pacific Association of Consulting Engineers, and was a member of several other professional organizations. Brunnier’s related interest in highway engineering resulted in his service as Director (1928-1929) and Treasurer (1940-1944) of the California State Automobile Association (1928), Member of the Streets and Highway Committee of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and Director of the American Automobile Association (1945-1947).

Brunnier also spent considerable time in the service of Rotary International. In 1908, he was a charter member of the San Francisco Rotary Club, only the second Rotary club established worldwide. Brunnier served as Vice-President, District Governor, and President (1952-1953) of Rotary International as well as on numerous committees throughout his lifetime.

Ann Weideman was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1884 and she married Henry Brunnier in 1905. As one of the first women to attend Rotary conventions with her husband, she earned the nickname “Rotary Ann,” a name that soon became synonymous with Rotary members’ spouses. The Brunniers became interested in art and acquired many pieces of ceramic, glassware, enamelware, jade and ivory throughout their travels overseas. Ann also collected rare dolls from every country they visited. She was a member of the Golden Gate Collectors Club, the San Francisco Doll Club, the Stanford Art Society, and the Metropolitan Art Museum. In 1963, the Brunniers donated their art collection to Iowa State University. Their donation is now part of the permanent collection of the Brunnier Art Museum at Iowa State University.

Ann Brunnier died February 20, 1970 and Henry passed away December 10, 1971. They had been married 63 years. The Brunniers had only one son, Henry, Jr., who died in 1935 at the age of 28.


7.65 Linear Feet (11 document boxes, 1 half-document box, and 2 oversized boxes)


The collection is organized into two series:

Series 1, Biographical and Personal Materials (arranged alphabetically)

Series 2, Rotary International (arranged alphabetically)

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/59. Henry and Ann Brunnier papers, 1909-2001, undated
December 3, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672