City of Mishawaka History
“We should always bear in mind that Mishawaka should be a distinct and separate community with its own inspiration,” wrote Vincent Brunner, the city historian, in his manuscript Mishawaka, Its Rise and Progress. Brunner was born in 1862, immigrated from Switzerland at age 5, and spent the rest of his life in Mishawaka. For decades, he gathered stories and clippings about the history of Mishawaka up to its centennial celebration in 1932 and wrote 137 essays that comprised the book.
Though Brunner’s manuscript was never published, his research laid the foundation for subsequent efforts to tell the story of Mishawaka. Brunner was a Mishawaka patriot and urged his fellow citizens to resist anything that might surrender their city’s sovereignty or diminish its identity. To that end, Brunner wanted Mishawakans to know their own history, to savor the city’s rich traditions, and to “reverence the name Mishawaka.”
Ninety years later, the need to safeguard Mishawaka’s unique identity and to educate its citizens about their collective past remains as profound as in Brunner’s time. With that intent, the City of Mishawaka has commissioned this history of Mishawaka from its origins to the present day.