The Bryner House History
The history of the house begins in November of 1883, when records show that
Hans Ulrich Bryner and his Wife, Maria Mathis Bryner, were sent to Price from
St. George, Utah by Brigham Young. He joined a hardy little band of Mormon
pioneers who had settled an arid and forbidding part of southeastern Utah.
The blind Hans and his family, had immigrated from Zurich, Switzerland,
walking across the plains to practice his new-found faith.
In 1893, the railroad came through the valley and Price was up and running.
With the railroad and the coal mines, Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese,
Eastern Europeans, and others came who wanted to find a better life in America.
These different cultures played a part in the community’s development and
they will be reflected in the history that is portrayed by the museum.
In the early days, some families lived in dugouts on the Price River until more
permanent dwellings could be built. A published story about Mrs. Bryner making
a rice pudding with her last bit of rice and sugar has been told and retold.
As they were ready to enjoy this delicacy, a cow walked over their roof and
caused dirt to fall in the pudding. In the book, this was the end of the story.
But the rest of the story is that Maria scooped out the dirt and the family ate
Albert Bryner was the second of three sons of Ulrich and Maria Mathis Bryner.
Ulrich gave Albert and his wife Mariah Pace, a plot of land on the corner of
1st South and 1st East on which to build a home. It was completed between 1890
and 1892, whereupon Albert was called on a mission to Germany for the LDS Church.
His wife sewed for others to make a living for the family while he was gone.
That sewing machine is still in the house, and will be displayed for museum
Albert was called to be the third bishop of the Price Ward, serving from 1909
to 1921 and he was instrumental in getting the Tabernacle finished for the
Carbon Stake. Bishop Bryner was the first man to break ground for the new
edifice on the 28th of August, 1911 at 4 p.m. Twelve years later, the magnificent
building was finished to the tune of over 91,000 dollars. According to Ernest
Horsely, even non-LDS contributed, raising $1000.50.
The house has had many different uses in the years it has been standing.
People traveling from Emery County could spend the night while waiting for
the train to take them to Provo or Salt Lake. Often there would be 15 to
20 strangers for dinner. It was the Thomas Mortuary for several years until
Mr. Thomas died. His wife Ida Thomas attempted to keep the business going
with her brother, but they eventually sold it and it became the Wallace
Mortuary. In the 1930’s an apartment was made on the second floor and
various families lived there. Among them was Florence Nielson Tallerico.
The story was that she was afraid to come downstairs to go to the bathroom
because of the dead people in the parlor. An upholstery shop, a yard goods
business, and a sewing machine outlet occupied the premises until it was taken
over by the Eastern Utah Credit Union. The house has remained empty for the
last twenty years.
At the invitation of Bruce Bryner, a Greek immigrant named Mike Katsonis
came to live at the house after he retired. He arrived before 1918 and worked
on the railroad in various capacities. He brought a beautiful drop leaf table
with him and several artifacts from his life, as well as many letters from
Greece and interesting personal papers. They are being translated by Ada Van
Vloten and they will be on display in the house.
The first floor of the house will be decorated in the 1890’s period, and
the second floor will be decorated in the 1920’s to 1950’s era to reflect
the history of the people who lived here. We will have a working wringer
washer for children to operate. School children will be welcome to come and
learn some of the lost skills such as soap, quilt, cheese, and candle-making.