A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 893
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JIM1TSTONE, FIIEE,'TONE AND LJEON COUNTIE'S.
After graduating, Dr. Bonner located to
practice in St. Stephens county, Alabama,
in 1817, and practiced there and in Claiborne
and Dallas counties in that State, in
the meantime also conducting a plantation
until 1850, when he came to Texas.
His first settlement was in Williamson
county, where he bought a large tract of
land about seven miles north of the newlycreated
county seat of Fairfield, lying
on Cottonwood creek, and here he owned
a large number of negroes and opened up
an extensive plantation. Iis tine was
wholly occupied with his agricultural pursuits,
and he never practiced his profession
after coming to this State, except
among his relatives and near friends.
From 1853 until the breaking out of the
war he was engaged in the management of
his large plantation, but the war swept
away the most of his property; especially
did he lose on his negroes and personal
property. He then divided the land among
his children and afterward lived in retirement,
dying at the home of his son,
our subject, in 1879, in his eighty-fifth
year. During his active life he ranked
well asa physician, and when in the profession
enjoyed a good practice. He was
a cultured gentleman, largely imbued with
those aristocratic views which were prevalent
in that portion of the country at his
time of life. He cherished high hopes for
his children and strove for many years to
accumulate property, that they might enjoy
the advantages that wealth only can
give. He was possessed of an even temper,
but not a passive disposition, and was a
man of feeling and decided conviction.
Late in life he joined the Presbyterian
Church, in which he had been reared, and
lived consistently the remlainder of his
days within its teachings.
The mother of our subject bore the
maiden name of Eliza F. Williains. She
was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina,
but her parents moved to Alabama at an
early day, settling in Claiborne county,
where she met and was married to our
subject's father. She died in Freestone
county, this State, some years before the
demise of her husband. John and Eliza
F. Bonner had nine children, seven of
whom became grown, and of whom the
subject of this notice is the eldest. The
next, John L., is a farmer of Freestone
county; Andrew died in 1865 from disease
contracted in the Confederate army;
Oliver A. and Irvin H. are farmers and
stockmen of Freestone county; Eliza, the
eldest daughter, died unmarried; and Arabella
is now the wife of W. H. McCrery,
of Freestone county.
J. I. Bonner, the subject proper of this
sketch, was born in Claiborne, Alabama,
in November, 1828, and was reared in
Dallas county, in that State. He graduated
from the University of Alabama at
Tuscaloosa in 1847, and then read medicine
under his father, and later spent one
year under Dr. George B. Woods in the
University of Pennsylvania, from which
institution he had intended to graduate,
but was unfortunately prostrated with
cholera at the end of the first year. He
returned home and subsequently completed
his medical education in the Charleston
Medical College at Charleston, South
Carolina, a school which then stood high,
and from which he graduated in 1850.
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/907/: accessed July 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.