Ben L. Bruner was born on January 16, 1872, in Clarkson in Grayson County, Kentucky. His father was Peter S. Bruner and his mother was Mary Rogers Bruner. Ben Bruner had eight siblings. He attended the common schools, Millerstown Academy, Leitchfield Seminary, and he graduated from Sweetwater College in Sweetwater, Tennessee, in 1893. He worked at various jobs as a young man—teacher, store clerk, and traveling salesman.
In 1893, he moved to Louisville, and in 1897 he graduated from the College of Medicine and Dentistry. He enlisted in the army during the Spanish-American War and served as a first lieutenant and assistant surgeon. After the war, he practiced medicine in Hardyville in Hart County for five years before moving in Louisville in 1904 where he resided the rest of his life.
He was elected as a Republican to the state legislature from Hart County in 1902. In 1907, he was elected Secretary of State and served a four-year term in the administration of Governor Augustus Everett Willson. He became the first state official to move into the New Capitol building.
After completing his term, Dr. Bruner returned to Louisville. He was active in many fraternal and professional organizations and also served as president of the Transylvania Casualty Insurance Company of Louisville. He married Anna Blanche Benedict on April 30, 1891. They had five children: Walter Lewis, Mary Rogers, Mabel Blanche, Ben L. Jr., and Isaac Simeon.
Ben L. Bruner died of a heart ailment on December 15, 1932, in Louisville. He was survived by his wife, four of his children, three brothers, and two sisters.
Temple Bodley, History of Kentucky (4 vols.; 1928), 4:224-27
E. Polk Johnson, History of Kentucky and Kentuckians (3 vols.; 1912), 2: 657-58
Kentucky Death Records for 1911 to 2000
Obituary, Louisville Courier-Journal, December 16, 1932
Alwin Seekamp, ed., Who’s Who in Louisville (1912), 74