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Texas | Columns | Bob Bowman's East Texas

The Perfect
Haunted House


by Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman

With Halloween upon us, itís time to remember the old Bonner house west of Lufkin, which has been called the perfect haunted house.

But it had also has a rich history.

At one time, the house--which was recently torn down--was a two-story mansion, one of the largest in Angelina County, built by a family prominent in business enterprises, including farming, lumbering and oil.

The original Bonner, W.H., left his home in Louisiana in 1831 with his wife Nancy and a small child, W.H. Jr., to come to Texas. At the time, there was only one well-defined road in Texas, known as the Kingís Highway or the Nacogdoches-San Antonio Road. Indians often killed and robbed travelers on the road. After weeks of perilous travel, Bonner and his family finally reached San Augustine, where he remained for a year. But because of frequent Indian raids, he decided to carry his family to the safety of the Old Stone Fort in Nacogdoches. Enroute, he and his family camped near what is now Chireno.

Short on provisions, Bonner started for a store several miles away. He secured what he needed and started back to his familyís camp when he was surprised by a band of Mexicans, robbed and killed. His horse, however, continued to his familyís camp.

Fearing for her husbandís life, Nancy mounted the horse, found her husbandís body and buried it near the trail. She and her small son then rode to the Old Stone Fort, where they remained until after the Battle of San Jacinto.

Mrs. Bonner later married W.G. Lang and her son, W.H. Bonner Jr. grew to manhood, and married Melinda Blackburn. They had nine children, all of whom left a legacy as merchants, farmers, lumbermen and oilmen in Texas.

W.H. Bonner Jr. earlier spent his boyhood days on the Texas frontier fighting Indians as far away as Brown and Comanche counties.

Bonner also fought for the South during the Civil War, returned to his home, created a farm and built his home on what is now known as Bonner Road.

Bonner was persuaded by the people of Angelina County to seek election to the Texas Legislature. After leaving the Legislature, he ran and won a race for County Clerk in the county.

Bonner died at Lufkin in 1888 and was buried with Masonic honors. His wife followed him in death in the l890s.



© Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman's East Texas October 17, 2010 column



Related article:

Ghosts of the Pineywoods by Bob Bowman



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