Henson D. BONHAM is a representative of one
of the pioneer families of
Shortly after the commencement of
hostilities between this country and
At the time of his removal here Captain BONHAM had about eighteen hundred dollars in money, together with a good supply of stock. The family consisted of father, mother and nine children, among them being two married daughters with their husbands – James TANQUARY and John S. HOSKINS. The latter settled on land adjoining, in Steuben township. James TANQUARY was the father of Cornelius and Addison TANQUARY, who are now prominent citizens of Steuben township.
On the farm on which he originally settled in Whitefield township, Captain BONHAM spent the remainder of his life, passing peacefully away July 23, 1869, at the rig age of eighty-eight years. His remains were interred in the family burial ground on the home farm, a plat of ground set off by himself for that purpose. There his wife, who died February 17, 1858, at the age of sixty-eight years, was also interred, and side by side they lie at rest, waiting the resurrection morn.
The tract of land secured by Captain BONHAM comprised about one thousand acres, which he extensively improved, and as his children went out from the old home he gave them such assistance as seemed best or as they were entitled to. In this way he administered on his own estate, and in a more satisfactory way, the division as made being perfectly satisfactory to every member of the family. Everything was perfectly harmonious, there being no dissatisfaction expressed by any one. The old homestead was given to our subject, with whom he made his home the last years of his life.
In early life Captain BONHAM was politically a whig, the principles of the party being dear to him, and its great leaders – Webster and Clay – revered. A liberty-loving man, when the whig party ceased to exist, he identified himself with the new republican party and voted its ticket and advocated its principles to the end. His interest in political affairs never wavered, and, while never an office seeker, he was duly honored by his fellow citizens in a number of local offices. For about twenty years he was justice of the peace and was well known throughout the county as Squire Warford BONHAM.
While he was a self-educated man, having
had little opportunity for an education, either in public or
private schools, he was a great student and well versed in
general history and current events of the day. He was very fond
of good reading, especially of a theological nature, and was
well versed in the Bible. For many years he was a member of the
Christian church, being converted under the preaching of
Alexander CAMPBELL. He was never bigoted in church matters,
although a warm supporter of the church. The same right to hold
and advocate his religious views he was willing to concede to
others. In a discussion of
religion or politics he could hold his own with the best.
As a republican he was an earnest supporter of
Of the children born to Warford and Rebecca
BONHAM, George is now residing in
Squire BONHAM was a resident of
Henson D. BONHAM, of whom we now write, was
but four years of age when his parents located in
On the 14th of October, 1852, Mr. BONHAM
and Miss Luana SWIFT were united in marriage. Six children came
to bless their union – Alice R., at home; Roscoe LeRoy, an
employee of the Great Northern railroad at
Immediately after his marriage Mr. BONHAM commenced farming on his own responsibility. In due time his father let him have one hundred and sixty acres of the old homestead, on which he has continued to reside. From the other heirs he purchased fifty acres, giving him a nice farm of two hundred and ten acres. This he has ever kept under a good state of cultivation and his improvements have kept pace with the times.
Politically Mr. BONHAM is a stanch republican, the principles of the party being born and bred in the bone. He has never sought office, but has shown his interest in the party by attending the primaries and local conventions and serving on township committees. For thirty years he has been an Odd Fellow and has passed all the chairs in both subordinate lodge and encampment. He has served the local bodies as a delegate to the Grand lodge and grand encampment. He is now chief patriarch of the encampment at Sparland. A strong temperance advocate, he is decidedly in favor of the total annihilation of the liquor traffic. An almost life long resident of the county, having spent some sixty-one years within its borders, he is well and favorably known throughout its length and breadth.
Extracted April 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.