Bruni is on State Highway 359 fifty miles southeast of Laredo in Webb County. The site was probably occupied in 1860 by Mexican settlers. The town was named after Antonio Bruni, an Italian immigrant who arrived in the area around 1877 and owned a general store and a ranch. Bruni became a station on the Texas-Mexican Railway about 1881; a Bruni post office began service in 1900. The community had sixty residents, a general store, and four cattle-breeding businesses in 1914. A 1936 map showed three churches and a school in the town. By 1939 the discovery of the South Bruni oilfield had increased the population to 800 and the business community to thirty. The number of residents declined to 350 in 1943 and remained near that level until 1964, when it was 275. From 1972 through 1984 the population was 214. In 1990 Bruni had 698 residents and twelve businesses. In 2000 the population dropped to 412 with fifteen businesses.