Bonner, William H., Jr. (1830–1888)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: March 24, 2008

Updated: November 19, 2014

William H. Bonner, Jr., businessman, city official, and state representative, was born in Louisiana on October 25, 1830, the son of William H., Sr., and Nancy (Martin) Bonner. The Bonner family immigrated to Texas in 1831, staying briefly in San Augustine County before relocating near Stone Fort, Nacogdoches County, in 1832. Shortly after the arrival of the family in this area, Bonner's father was murdered by bandits. After 1836 Bonner's mother relocated the family to the area that would become Angelina County. Upon reaching adulthood Bonner settled a homestead on the Neches River in Angelina County and established himself as a farmer and cattle raiser. On June 24, 1850, Bonner married Malinda Blackburn. This couple had six sons and three daughters. During the Civil War, Bonner served in Company G of the Thirtieth Texas Cavalry Regiment. Following the war he returned to his homestead and resumed farming. In addition he assumed a leading role in the business and political affairs of the community. In 1870 Bonner won election as representative for Angelina County to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. Later in the decade he served as county clerk. In 1877 he established the settlement of Bonners Mills near the site of a mill that he owned and operated, and he won election as the first postmaster of the town in July of that year. This enterprise failed to bear fruit, however, and Bonner soon established general stores in Homer and, in 1882, Lufkin, Angelina County. Bonner died in Keltys, Angelina County, on July 23, 1888, and was buried there at Keltys Cemetery. He was an active Mason.

Cemetery Records, Angelina County, Texas, Volume I (Lufkin, Texas: Lufkin Genealogical and Historical Society, 1982). Kathryn H. Davis, and Carolyn R. Ericson, Angelina County, Texas, in the Civil War (Nacogdoches, Texas: Ericson, 1981). Land of the Little Angels: A History of Angelina County, Texas (Lufkin, Texas: The Angelina County Historical Survey Committee, 1976). Helen S. Swenson, Angelina County, Texas, Marriage Records, 1846–1897 (Round Rock, Texas: Helen S. Swenson & Frances T. Ingmire, 1981). IGI Individual Record: "William H. Bonner" (, accessed June 8, 2007.

  • Twelfth Legislature (1870-1871)
  • House

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

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Bonner, William H., Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 24, 2008
November 19, 2014