Miss Bruna’s sense of humor, way with words preserved in scrapbook

By Linda Emley

Hilda as a young woman (Photo courtesy Ray County Museum)

Several people asked about Bruna, so I’m sharing a few more stories from her scrapbook, which has birthday cards, personal letters, political cartoons and pretty pictures cut from magazines. Sometimes you’ll even find a hand- written note under a picture that she felt needed more explanation.
There are many things I wish I could ask her about and one of them is her story about not being married. “Someone Said Romance. Jake Grove was telling us that Miss Bruna had received a proposal of marriage, and he kidded her that there would be a big spread in the Journal about it. Miss Bruna laughed and took it all good naturedly, but assured Jake she had declined. When news of the offer was passed on to Miss Estella Stratton of Norborne, she scoffed, and had a few reassuring words on the subject to the effect that she and Lillie Loeven weren’t concerned in the least, for she thought there were plenty of eligibles in western Carroll County’s thriving metropolis.”
I loved Bruna’s sense of humor and this is a good example of a story through the eyes of Bruna.
“Here’s a bird story,” she wrote in her journal. “We saw a little young jay bird sitting on our front porch on a bench. Two young to fly. He was there about three days, and the mother bird would come with food for him, and he’d open his mouth and eat, and the mother seemed to say, ‘Now! You sit right there on Bruna’s porch.’ Next day he stretched himself and shook his wings, but still he didn’t fly yet. Next day Mrs. Lentz went out and went close to the little bird, and oh, my! The old mother came storming at her. She would peck Mrs. Lentz, so she got away in a hurry. Next day the little jay lifted his wings and flew up on a higher porch and has gone up into the tree tops. It was interesting to watch them. Had a cat come along, I’m afraid I would have had a cat story instead of a bird story.”
Bruna had a way of looking at the simple things in life and always seeing the story behind the story.
Another Bruna column reminded me of the good-old days of autograph books. “Bruna Relives Memories from Autograph Book. In the years of days long since gone, my relatives and friends wrote nice verses in my autograph album. As I look over these sentiments they are rare and beautiful thoughts and they date back as far as 1898-1892. I really treasure them because I think they were written by Christian people. Here are some of them. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. Scott Holloway; May life be to thee, one long summer day. Do what conscience says is right. Do with all your mind and might. Do your duty and be blest. Your Mother; Till the evening of life cherish the remembrance of one who loveth thee in its morning. S.O. McGuire; If I should write perhaps you’d laugh, so I’ll merely sign my autograph.”
This story came from The Richmond News on Friday June 14, 1968. “Hardin, By Bruna McGuire 398-4503. Time never stops to eat nor drink, But on and on with steady hand It moves untired by day and night, And boys and girls are yet aware, find threads of silver in their hair. Mrs. W.D. Wigginton.”
This was written in a birthday card to Bruna on Dec. 16, 1922, which was her 40th birthday. Time moved on for Miss Bruna but to many of us she will live on in our memories as the dear lady that was known as Miss Bruna Luella McGuire.

Have a good Miss Bruna story? You can share it with Linda by e-mailing her at or by seeing her in person at Ray County Museum, Wednesday through Saturday.

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