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
Augustine, where he remained for a year. But because of frequent
Indian raids, he decided to carry his family to the safety of the
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
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 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's East Texas October
17, 2010 column