Bonham, Dora Dieterich (1902–1973)

By: Chester V. Kielman

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: November 30, 2019

Dora Dieterich Bonham, businesswoman and historian, daughter of Roy Ferguson and Annie (Fulkes) Dieterich, was born in Watters, Texas, on May 19, 1902. She attended schools in Fiskville and Austin before entering the University of Texas in 1921. She was employed in the Bureau of Child Hygiene of the Texas Department of Health from 1924 to 1937. She married Eugene Bonham on October 2, 1937, and with him became associated with Rauscher, Pierce, and Company in San Angelo. In addition to developing a successful business career, Bonham was also especially active in promoting Texas history programs throughout her adult life. She was a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the Texas State Historical Association, the Tom Green County Historical Association, the Austin Heritage Society, the American Association of University Women, and the Fort Concho Museum Board; she was a special consultant on Texas history with the San Angelo and Lake View public schools for many years. Her biography of her grandfather, Francis Dieterich, Merchant to the Republic (1958), is an insightful study of Austin and Texas during the days of the republic. She bequeathed most of her estate to the University of Texas at Austin, designating the University Archives (see BARKER TEXAS HISTORY CENTER), the Texas Memorial Museum, the Department of History, and the College of Business Administration as specific beneficiaries. She was a member of the First Christian Church, San Angelo. She died on June 22, 1973, and was buried in Walnut Creek Cemetery, near Austin.

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Dora Dieterich Bonham Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Austin American, July 29, 1958. San Angelo Standard Times, April 6, 1968, June 24, 1973.

  • Women
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Historians

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Chester V. Kielman, “Bonham, Dora Dieterich,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
November 30, 2019

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: