Israel C. Bryner

Israel C. Bryner (1824 – 1914) – The son of John William and Susan (Reigel) Bryner he was born on May 10, 1824 in Center County, Pennsylvania.  In 1846 he walked with his father west to Clarion County all the way from Center County.  He married Catherine Cook; daughter of Sebastian Cook, on December 26, 1850 and soon after began working to clear the wilderness that would become the Bryner homestead in Paint Township.  Israel and Catherine had ten children.  They were members of the Lutheran Church in Shippenville.  Israel read and studied his Bible almost daily.  Catherine died on October 14, 1904, and Israel died on December 20, 1914, at the age of 90.[1] 

The following obituary appeared on the front page of the Clarion Republican newspaper on December 31, 1914, under the headline Israel C. Bryner is Called: 

            How few words are used to cover a long and active life; Born 1824; Died 1914; Ninety years of life between.  Another of the patriarchs of Clarion county has passed over “the great divide”; far past the allotted three score and ten, and his life must have been an interesting one; interesting to him and to younger generations following after.

                On May 10th, 1824, almost 91 years ago, Israel C. Bryner was born of humble parentage in Center County, Pennsylvania.  His life while young was uneventful, passed no doubt as all other young men’s lives of that time were passed until in 1848, his father following the custom and advice of his elders decided to move West into the busy iron country of the State.

                In 1846, having walked all the way from Center county, they settled near the old “Half Way House” midway between Shippenville and the famous Blacks Furnace.  Three or four years of his life were passed at that place, working around the furnace, “cobbling,” and doing anything that might turn up.

                He was married on December 26th, 1850 to Miss Catherine Cook and very soon after the marriage moved to the Bryner Homestead, the place of his death, and began clearing, that then piece of wilderness, working from early sunrise to late sunset to clear the farm and complete his home.

                It is certainly very interesting to note in Mr. Bryner’s accurate account book, the expenses of himself and family; how flour was purchased by the pound at the different “stores” and carried overland several miles to the home; how all work was done with oxen, hauling wood and leaves to the charcoal hearths to manufacture charcoal for the furnaces; what prices of the necessities of life were at that time and how they were met; how the home was finally built, and the farm cleared.

                Of this union ten children were born:  Joseph Cook Bryner, David Albert Bryner, of Shippenville; Sebastian Sylvester Bryner, of Sheffield; Israel Cyrus Bryner, of Coalinga, Cal.; Cornelius Beatty Bryner, of Rawles Springs, Miss.; Barbara; George I McClellan Bryner, of Shippenville; Bart William Bryner, of Punxsutawney; Ezra Wilson Bryner, of Shippenville; Lillian Corneila Bryner, of Union City, all of whom, excepting Barbara, who died when only eighteen months old, survive him.  He is also survived by 28 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

                Mr. Bryner united with the Lutheran church of Shippenville, in 1870, and while not a regular attendant of late years, certainly led a consistent Christian life, reading and studying his Bible almost daily.

                On October 14th, 1904, his lifelong helpmate and wife, passed to the Great Beyond and October 17th, 1904 the first burial services in the new Lutheran church at Shippenville, were held, Rev. J. H. Kellar, officiating.  For the Scriptural lesson he selected the Seventh Chapter of Revelations and the 9th and 17th verses inclusive and selected for his text, that beautiful verse of Scripture found in the 23rd Chapter of Numbers and tenth verse, which reads: “Let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like His.”

                On December 23rd, 1914, there being no regular Lutheran minister at the Shippenville Charge, Rev. Robinson, the newly appointed minister of the Shippenville Methodist church, was asked to conduct the services in the Lutheran church; he chose for his Scripture lesson a portion of the same books of the Bible that had been used at Mrs. Bryner’s funeral, that of Revelations 21st and 22nd Chapters, and as his text Numbers 23:10, “Let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like His.”  Identically the same text which was chosen as a fit one for his wife and helpmate ten years before, now selected, without any former knowledge whatsoever, as a fit one to indicate his life.

                For more than fifty years Mr. Bryner lived at the old homestead in Paint township, Clarion County, doing his allotted work up almost to the time of his death and by his method of living and dealing with all, gained a host of friends who mourn his death.


[1] The Clarion Republican newspaper, Thursday December 31, 1914 (Detailed Obituary of Israel C. Bryner)

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Father*                   John William Bryner (b. 29 Nov 1792, d. 1857)

Mother*                  Susanna Riegel (b. 28 Aug 1790, d. after 1860)

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Birth*               10 May 1824            Center County, PA.

Marriage*       26 Dec 1850            Catherine Cook (b. 14 Dec 1827, d. 14 Oct 1904); Clarion County, PA.

Son:                 02 Jan 1852            Joseph Cook Bryner (b. 02 Jan 1852, d. 14 Sep 1921); Clarion County, PA.; he married Emma J. Barton

Son:                   09 Jul 1853            David Albert Bryner (b. 09 Jul 1853, d. 29 Jan 1925); Clarion County, PA.; he married Margaret E. Nelson

Son:                    circa 1855            Sebastian Sylvester Bryner ; Clarion County, PA.

Son:                 25 Nov 1856            Israel Cyrus Bryner (b. 25 Nov 1856, d. 08 Apr 1942); Clarion County, PA.; he married Ida Jane Dodd

Son:                    circa 1859            Cornelius Beatty Bryner ; Clarion County, PA.   

Daughter:                     1860            Barbara E. Bryner (b. 1860, d. 1862)

Son:                      Oct 1862             George I. McClellan Bryner (b. 31 Oct 1862, d. 1923)

Daughter:             Mar 1864            Lillian Cornelia Bryner; Clarion County, PA.  

Son:                 12 Apr 1868            Ezra Wilson Bryner (b. 12 Apr 1868, d. 1939); Clarion County, PA.; married Nettie Mortimer; married Grace J. Stover

Son:                     circa 1870            Bart William Bryner ; Clarion County, PA.

Death*             20 Dec 1914            Clarion County, PA.  

Photo of Israel C. and Catherine Bryner's tombstone

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Written by Bob Krepps  © 2001 all rights reserved.  Permission granted to copy for personal & non-commercial purposes only.   Please contact me if you are able to provide additional details on Israel C. Bryner or any of his descendants.  

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