Nebraska Authors

Lawrence Bruner

Born 1856-03-02 Catasauqua, PA (USA)

Died 1937-02-30
Berkeley, CA (USA)

Professor of Entomology, Ornithology and Taxidermy at the University of Nebraska from 1888. Bruner was an internationally recognized authority on grasshoppers and related insects. He also published notes on Nebraska birds and has been credited as the prime mover behind the founding of the Nebraska Ornithologist's Union. His studies of grasshoppers led him to be recruited to join the Division of Entomology of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Remaining based at the University of Nebraska, he traveled widely within the United States for the Division of Entomology, to study, consult and combat grasshopper infestations. In 1897 he was sent to South America for the same purpose. From 1893 to 1904 he published a number of popular articles on insect pests in the Nebraska Farmer. Bruner wrote several books and was a very prolific author of government reports and professional articles. He also recorded and published stories about his train travels.

Bruner retired to California for his health after spending his career at Nebraska. After his death he was returned to Lincoln and buried at Wyuka Cemetery. In his eulogy, Addison Sheldon said that "In the future annals of Nebraska, Lawrence Bruner will be known as the state's first great naturalist. Whatever successors may come in that field his position is secure for all time. His childhood passion was for bugs, butterflies and birds. He was his own teacher for most of his work in this field, like Audubon and Nuttall. The woods, mountains and prairies were his school room. "

See: Swenk, Myron H., "In Memoriam, Lawrence Bruner" (1937). Nebraska Bird Review. 696. pp 35-48.

On his train travels see the article on the website "Great Nebraska Naturalists and Scientists" (accessed at http://sandhillsarchive.unl.edu/lawrence-bruner/, 12-18-18.)


Places Lived

West Point, NE
Lincoln, NE
Berkeley, CA

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Entomology and Entomologists; Ornithology; Economic Entomology; Naturalists; University of Nebraska Faculty; Railroad Travel


Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement


The entomologist Herbert Osborn of Iowa was a life-long friend.
Myron Swenk, University of Nebraska.


A Preliminary Introduction to Entomology. 1894.

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Lawrence Bruner

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